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The Artisan and the MegaCity: A FOlk Novel of Shanghai

Part 2 Project 2007
Matthew Murphy
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
In the development of Shanghai, the agendas of modernisation and the lives of the Shanghainese are inseparable. Systems interplay across the city, from the individual to the institutional, infrastructural to the improvised. These systematic coincidences contradict and depend upon each other, with the meeting[s] of the individual and the MegaCity playing out in constant flux. Attrition is met with reparation as a complex layering of scales creates a city where the most unexpected mutual dependencies thrive. This thesis investigates an architecture and urban design that both provokes and provides for the meeting of these systems.
Matthew Murphy

Varied programmes of cultural specificity, for example, amazing bird, book, tea, fish and silk markets, adhere and shape the metro-stations of Shanghai’s grandest infrastructural project, reconciling the scales of body, buildings, city and China by placing spaces of intimate exchange within mechanisms for mass distribution. The strategic layout of the Shanghai-Metro-Markets echoes the commodity map of China. However, they also specifically intervene so the commodities suggest complimentary and critical programmes to their contexts, for example, the book market promotes liberal distribution of knowledge in the university district and the live-bird market nests in the shining cages of speculative high-rise offices.

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