A Fantasy on the Fringe of the Future | NAAM publication

Suhe Creek Development Shanghai (March, 2015) | by MovingCities

NAAMNew Architecture Assembly Magazine – is a bilingual Farsi/English architecture and design magazine edited and published by the architecture students at University of Tehran (Iran). Contributing to its most recent issue – now fully available on ISSUU – and centered around the theme of ‘On the Edge of Architecture’, MovingCities wrote a piece dealing with the transformation of Shanghai 上海 called “A Fantasy on the Fringe of the Future“.

About NAAMNew Architecture Assembly Magazine – foreword by editor-in-chief Arshia Eghbali – and the School of Architecture at University of Tehran:

AT NAAM, we spotted a handful of edges for architecture; most of all we focused on the edge of ‘fantasy and story’, which is exclusively featured n a special section dedicated to this subject. We have other article and images as well, which explore several different ‘edge’s. Moreover, we have received interesting urban projects full of fantasy, which you can view in the ‘Projects’ section.

One of the oldest schools of the University of Tehran, the School of Architecture has been the leading center for training the Iranian architects for many decades. The present professors of the school are the graduates of various prestigious foreign universities as well as the University of Tehran. It has a center of excellence in Architecture, and it also hosts a UNESCO chair in Islamic Architecture.

The team of the architecture students at University of Tehran edited and composed a great magazine, have a look:

NAAM#2 | On the Edge of Architecture

A Fantasy on the Fringe of the Future | NAAM-contribution by MovingCities [excerpt]

Shanghai’s most important inner-city (re)development project is called the “Suhe Creek Development”. Positioned on a prime location – roughly in-between People’s Square and the Bund, and along the Suzhou (Suhe) River – the area was one of the last large-scale demolition sites Shanghai witnessed in recent years. This removal act went largely unnoticed to the public and professionals. There was no outcry or protest directed at saving a potentially endangered urban typology – the lilong, a series of three story houses, a combination of Western and Chinese early 20th century residential architecture, organized in high-density in narrow lanes.

Living in the vicinity of this area, MovingCities documented, since Spring 2012, the disappearance of a 1920s urban tissue and the emergence of a 21st century urban dream. Oftentimes, we believed to live on that special spatial fringe, a foggy confluence of fact and fantasy. As of 2015 we live in an area where “The Central Park is slated to set a precedent in Shanghai” while being promised a “Color lifestyle on the waterfront.” It is correct to think that this communication has all ingredients to be labeled as a fantasy: it is cryptic and common at the same time, there is lack of contradiction and an abundance of imagination. It is straightforward, but also takes liberty, artistic architectural freedom, to play around with the standards of syntax and vocabulary to make, or obscure, its intentions.

OCT Suhe Creek Development Shanghai 2012-15 | MovingCities

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A Fantasy on the Fringe of the Future [2015] by MovingCities
published in NAAM | April 2015

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