Related Staff : Xiaoxuan Lu
Responding to contemporary ecological pressures and current high demand for infrastructure development worldwide, this course brought together a series of thinkers and researchers from the design commons across Eurasia to discuss different methods, models and measures of large scale, long range infrastructure projects for the 21st century. This course challenged the commonplace assertion that the work of infrastructure remains invisible until it fails. Instead, It opened a horizon on infrastructure’s cultural valence that remains primarily symbolic — of technological development, of political patronage, of resistance to sovereign power. In addition to the weekly guest lectures and occasional screening of films, students worked in pairs to develop a videographic essay. Focusing on the multilateral transnational infrastructure development projects at China’s borderlands that are playing a significant role in current Chinese initiatives to create transnational China-centric development corridors, these videographic essays explored the following questions: How are environments and infrastructures built? Who builds them? What materials are required? What influences and forces act upon them? How are they changing? Through digital means, students explored and interpreted historic spatial processes and contemporary ecologic patterns to open a new lens on urbanization, where representation is, in and of itself, a form of research.