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Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China (Spatial Habitus) Paperback – January 31, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Spatial Habitus
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (January 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824836065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824836061
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bianca Bosker is a graduate of Princeton University. She lives in New York and is senior tech editor at the Huffington Post.

Customer Reviews

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Here's a book about a phenomenon I had no idea existed -- apparently, it's a trend in China to build large housing tracts that mimic other parts of the world, such as Tuscany and Paris and Manhattan. These aren't Disneylands, they are entire cities, or at least villages, that look like neighborhoods in Provence or Venice. On the outside the houses look like palazzos or Tudor-style homes, and the surrounding areas look like streets and buildings from the target city. It's a middle class and upper class trend, and it has been going on for a number of years now.

Bianca Bosker, the author of this fascinating book, has included numerous photos from real estate brochures and from her own camera. At first, the trend seems fun and kitschy, then on closer examination it starts to seem odd, like a quirk that is amusing at first, then seems out of control. Finally, it just seems like a different way of approaching things.

And it may help explain what seems to be a serious difference of opinion about what constitutes stealing and what's normal use of ideas in the ether. In the light of recent news about Chinese military hacking of American businesses, it's interesting to read in Original Copies Chinese housing development designers doing research in Western cities rubbed locals the wrong way by taking numerous photos and measurements, etc, while never mentioning that they planned to copy their cities in China. You can see that on one hand it's hardly stealing to copy Venetian canals in China, but that it might be considered impolite to not mention that's what you intend to do. You do have to wonder how it would be regarded in China if a carbon copy of the Birds Nest Stadium popped up in Dallas.

Lots to think about here, from a variety of angles -- architectural, philosophical, cultural, and political.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fred Croton on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First the cover: Realizing the photo of a distant Eiffel Tower is not from Paris, but China does not prepare for the surprise and amusement awaiting while leafing through photographs of The Amsterdam Railroad Station, A massive French Chateau, a Dutch residential street, an English village all done in perfect imitation and ALL in China.

Then the best part: Blanca Bosker's careful delineation of the tradition, taken from scroll painting of honest copying, imitation, adaptation, and perhaps, a bit of fraud that sometimes occurs. She extrapolates from this to an important discussion of the China of today. It's prosperity, enormous social change and upheaval, all through the lens of domestic architecture. Quite an achievement !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jiang yin on March 24, 2014
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this is not something about how stupid of the things they have done。this is about why they did it and what would influence thier life in the future.
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Great information - but she LOVES to use more language than is required to make her point. Reads like she is trying to impress other authors...
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By adrian abrahim on December 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good
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Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China (Spatial Habitus)
This item: Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China (Spatial Habitus)
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