Great Leap Forward Edited by Jeffrey Inaba, Sze Tsung Leong, Rem Koolhaas & Chuihua Judy Chung
8vo. pp. 800. profusely illustrated. paperback (near fine - some light shelf wear). Koln: Taschen, 2001.
ISBN-10: 3822860484/ ISBN-13: 9783822860489
Authors: Bernard Chang, Mihai Craciun, Rem Koolhaas, Nancy Lin, Yuyang Liu, Katherine Orff, Stephanie Smith
Design: Alice Chung
Harvard Graduate School of Design's independent study seminar Project on the City aims at identifying and analyzing problems leading to and resulting from accelerated urbanization, as well as developing new philosophies to aid our increasingly metropolitan planet cope with the rapid changes. Taking the roles of both architect and sociologist, the students travel and research in the first phase of each cycle, and write their theses in the second. The result of each project is a comprehensive, specialized study of the effects of modernization on the contemporary city. During the 1996-1997 period, Project on the City focused its sites on China's Pearl River Delta, a cluster of five cities with a population of 12 million destined to reach 36 million by 2020. Under the watchful eye of the Chinese Communist Party the Pearl River Delta has been (and still is) undergoing a Western-influenced, unrestricted capitalist development which is effectively destroying traditional Chinese social structures thereby producing an entirely new urban substance. Described as "laboratories for the contained unleashing of capitalism," these Special Economic Zones in the Pearl River Delta constitute an unprecedented experiment in urbanization on an astonishingly large scale. The new book presents thesis essays which explore, in a theoretical and critical context, the problematic results of this forced modernization and the possibility of a new system for understanding the troubled relationship between urbanization and economic growth.