FIELD REPORT: Life in the Labyrinth

Shanghai was a vast, sprawling megalopolis on the banks of the Huangpu River, the “Paris of the East,” where hyperbole-defying skyscrapers vied for attention with stately early-twentieth-century European façades. – Kevin Kwan, China Rich Girlfriend In China Rich Girlfriend—the second volume in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy which has become a mainstream literary phenomenon—author Kevin Kwan…

FIELD REPORT: On Variations of a “Sidewalk”

Shanghai is a super-megacity with a population of approximately 24 million people. In December 2017, the State Council approved strategic plans to limit Shanghai’s growth to 25 million people by 2035 in order to control pressures that are mounting on urban resources and infrastructure. Some skeptics hold the belief that Shanghai’s population has well-surpassed the…

FIELD REPORT: The Pop-Up Market

Bangkok is reputably a city with the largest urban concentration of night markets in Southeast Asia, becoming something of a nexus for bargain hunters and savvy entrepreneurs. From long-time fixtures such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market to purpose-built commercial developments like the Asiatique Riverfront Market and niche markets that include the Rod Fai Market with its focus on…

FIELD REPORT: Heritage & Conservation, (Re)engaged

What makes a city creative? It would seem obvious that ‘creative’ people might beget a creative city. But can a city in search of sustainable creativity rely solely on human capital alone? How significant a role can the physical elements of the environment—buildings, sites, and spaces—play in fostering, if not engendering, creativity? Does the adopted…

FILM: Noma, My Perfect Storm

Gastronomy and the City. Some may argue that this perfect match is as exquisite a pairing as wine and cheese. Where better to practice the art of good eating than in the city. Conversely, where other than the city is there a greater opportunity to partake in good eating. Is it the food, then, that makes the city? Or the city…

FILE NOTES: Why Playgrounds Should Never Grow Out of Style

In today’s digital age, the realm of children’s play is expanding rapidly into the fourth spatial dimension—the spatial dimension of virtual realities and cyber networks. From books and games to music and crafts, digital technology has converted traditional (physical and haptic) forms of play into digitized formats with user-friendly qualities: mobile, convenient, responsive. Such technological innovations…