Interpreting China: A Study of Five Issues of Arquitectura Viva about contemporary Chinese Architecture


Since2004,ArquitecturaViva,arenownedSpanisharchitecturaljournal,haspublished fiveissuesoncontemporaryarchitecturalpracticesinChina.Threeofthemofferdistinct perspectives through essays and projects,theseinclude:China Boom(AVMonografias 109-110) from 2004, Made in China (AV Monografias 150) from 2011, and Timeless China (Arquitectura Viva 180) published in 2015. Two more issues were devoted to the architecture of global events: Olympic Beijing (Arquitectura Viva 118-119) from 2008 and Shanghai 2010 (Arquitectura Viva 129) put out for the 2010 EXPO. Published over a span of a decade, these five issues interpret a contemporary image of China from different perspectives with respect to architectural practices while building a narrative based on the journal’s underlying value orientation. Based on a close reading of these five issues in respect to editorial statements, issue structure and project choice, as well as an interview with their editor-in-chief, this essay attempts to shed light on the journal’s latent value orientation, while simultaneously offering a reflection on these values.

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