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Great Leap Forward / Harvard Design School Project on the City Paperback – February 22, 2002

6 customer reviews

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About the Author

About the Authors: Chuihua Judy Chung is principal of Content Design Architecture Group in New York. With Sze Tsung Leong, she has assembled The Charged Void: Architecture, the complete architectural works of Alison and Peter Smithson. She is currently editing Owning a House in the City a study on low-income housing in the US.

Jeffrey Inaba, a partner of AMO (Architecture Media Organization) is writing a book on the work of Gordon Bunshaft and Kevin Roche.

Rem Koolhaas is principal of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam, and the author of Delirious New York and the groundbreaking S,M,L,XL.

Sze Tsung Leong is principal of Content Design Architecture Group in New York, whose current projects range from residential design to graphic and environmental materials for human rights organizations. Sze Tsung Leong is the author and co-editor of Slow Space (Monacelli, 1998).


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Product Details

  • Series: Taschen specials
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (February 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822860484
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822860489
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2.1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Orff is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation and is a registered landscape architect. She is the founder of SCAPE, an urban design and landscape architecture studio based in Manhattan. Kate was born in Crofton, Maryland and lives in Forest Hills, New York with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
The previous reviewer was disappointed with this volume after reading Koolhaus' books. While the 3 volumes of the Project of the City are under his (loose?) direction, these are actually all anthologies of writings by individuals connected to the Harvard Design School, each book on a separate theme: metropolis (Mutations) shopping (Guide to Shopping) and the Pearl River Valley, this volume. I knew nothing about this region of the world until reading an article in Mutations about it.
Did you know that just one of the cities in this region went from a population of 30,000 to 3.9 million in 15 years? And this growth was accomplished basically without any city planning department? Or that architectural plans for a 40 floor high rise take less than 2 months to complete?
All of the Project on the City books have many similarities, which you can consider a strength (my opinion) or a weakness (previous review). Take a huge subject (PRV, shopping...) provide millions of factoids about it, present those fact in a cacophony of words, graphs, photos (and with Mutations, there is even a CD of avant electronic music). I liked that about S,M.L.XL and I like it in this series. A treatise on architecture and urban planning in the PRV I never would have read. Just too obscure and potentially boring a subject. But after reading and carefully studying all the photos in this book, I'm left with a large, jumbled set of distinct impressions about the PRV, which raise all sorts of questions about the role of architects and planners in developing countries (or in the US, for that matter).
To me the revolutionary things about S.M.L,XL was its insistence that architecture is not best discussed in articles. Even articles with accompanying photos.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By LongLost Now on April 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
I looked forward with great anticipation to this book. Koolhaas' "Delirious New York" was a fascinating work, and "S,M,L,XL" was both interesting and a great argument against hard drives. This book was a major disappointment. It doesn't delve very deeply at all into it's subject matter (the Pearl River Delta area of China) and most of it's "important ideas" are sophomoric. I would say the most irritating thing about this book (other than the totally artless and pointless photographs that litter the book) are the code phrases (highlighted in red) that read like a grad student's compendium of inanities. Don't waste your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Norton on March 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
While this book is packaged in some degree of sensationalism, such as mentioning that the most prolific architect in Dongguan city is a gambler, and highlighting the negative externalities of foreign direct investment in the region in question, it is the most stunning and compelling analysis I have seen of the PRD. This book is a fascinating introduction to Chinese economic policy and history, and a recommended read for anyone who doesn't know that 1/3 of everything you own that's "Made in China" came from the factories made possible by the topic of this book.

It's the next best thing to actually visiting the place, which I also recommend.
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