2020 IHR Book Award Lecture: 'The Shenzhen Experiment' with Juan Du
Juan Du, an award-winning Hong Kong-based architect with decades of experience designing buildings and planning cities in the People’s Republic of China, takes us to the Pearl River delta and into the heart of China’s iconic Special Economic Zone, Shenzhen.
At this event, Du will discuss her winning book "The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story of China’s Instant City" (Harvard University Press, 2020). Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
About the author
Juan Du, an award-winning architect and urban planner with extensive experience in China, Europe and the United States, has been featured in international publications as one of Asia’s top designers. She is associate dean of the faculty of architecture at the University of Hong Kong and was formerly on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She leads IDU_Architecture, a research and design office based in Hong Kong.
Du is also the founding academic director of the Shenzhen Center for Design and is actively involved in the ongoing development and planning of the city.
About "The Shenzhen Experiment"
In an era that values technological innovation and the value of the new, Juan Du unearths another less shiny and polished history of a simple narrative of Shenzhen as an instant city with exponential economic benefits.
Her stories of urban villages and diverse communities show that the homogenizing narrative told by the state is not sufficient. It is these vibrant communities that provide life and success for the city.
Through interviews and story telling Juan Du shows the value of a lively heterotopia at work under the surface of the State’s myth of a homogeneous community. The book gives insight into the future of China but also provides ways of thinking about the histories and communities in our own city.