I was recently invited to write a piece for the AA's "colour research cluster," Saturated Space - "a forum for the sharing, exploration, and celebration of colour in Architecture."
For my essay, I took on nocturnal lighting in Shanghai.
"In Shanghai, light and colour give designers, planners, and policy makers the freedom to present an idealized image of their buildings, their city. Dynamic, animated lights dance through the haze, but hidden by darkness, massive fissures split the sidewalks, the water is undrinkable, and the air is toxic. While the idealized image the city seeks to project is one of uncontested modernity, conditions on the ground (in the harsh light of day) deny this. Architectural lighting is thus instrumental – even essential - in the projection of modernity, and represents a key aspect of Chinese society’s reclamation of agency following a long period of oppression and turmoil...."
reflections on architecture and urbanism in China.