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Article: Vicissitudes of the Modern Dwelling: Metropolitan Domesticities in the Hong Kong Builder

TitleVicissitudes of the Modern Dwelling: Metropolitan Domesticities in the Hong Kong Builder
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherRoutledge.
Citation
Journal of Architecture (Forthcoming) How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper examines the evolution of dwelling as represented, framed and discussed, within the pages of The Hong Kong and Far East Builder journal (1935-1980). Beginning as an extension of the London Builder in Hong Kong, the bi-monthly trade journal featured building, real estate and urban development in the British colonies, with circulation and readership in Mainland China, Macao, the Philippines and Malaya. The paper traces the journal's role in producing and reproducing discourses on the architecture of domesticity in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia; and the extent to which it reinforced the “metropolitanism” of dwelling. As it shifted away from presenting the building industry and development within the contexts of contemporaneous social issues such as “the Squatter Problem” in the 1950s to focusing primarily on building types in the final decades of its existence, the earlier differentiation of the Chinese dwelling and the European one had disappeared from its pages by the mid-1960s. Whereas the colonial racialization of density as an urban problem of the Chinese masses was still implicit in the descriptions of large-scale housing estates and blocks that were being built by public and private enterprises, attention was directed towards the successive completion of institutions and variegated domestic typologies including hotels, hospitals and hostels. To that end, was this symptomatic of a definitive break between building and society, a reflection of the architect-builder opting out of a direct engagement with issues concerning the social in pursuit of the technological solution? To what extent did the journal with its design blueprints for modern dwelling conceal or reveal colonial anxieties on the city’s sociopolitical exigencies and its precarious relationship with the Chinese Mainland? A close analysis of the domestic plans in relation to public discourses on dwelling is crucial in considering these questions.
DescriptionSpecial Issue: Dwelling in Asia
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/215022

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorSeng, MFE-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-21T12:19:41Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-21T12:19:41Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Architecture (Forthcoming)-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/215022-
dc.descriptionSpecial Issue: Dwelling in Asia-
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines the evolution of dwelling as represented, framed and discussed, within the pages of The Hong Kong and Far East Builder journal (1935-1980). Beginning as an extension of the London Builder in Hong Kong, the bi-monthly trade journal featured building, real estate and urban development in the British colonies, with circulation and readership in Mainland China, Macao, the Philippines and Malaya. The paper traces the journal's role in producing and reproducing discourses on the architecture of domesticity in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia; and the extent to which it reinforced the “metropolitanism” of dwelling. As it shifted away from presenting the building industry and development within the contexts of contemporaneous social issues such as “the Squatter Problem” in the 1950s to focusing primarily on building types in the final decades of its existence, the earlier differentiation of the Chinese dwelling and the European one had disappeared from its pages by the mid-1960s. Whereas the colonial racialization of density as an urban problem of the Chinese masses was still implicit in the descriptions of large-scale housing estates and blocks that were being built by public and private enterprises, attention was directed towards the successive completion of institutions and variegated domestic typologies including hotels, hospitals and hostels. To that end, was this symptomatic of a definitive break between building and society, a reflection of the architect-builder opting out of a direct engagement with issues concerning the social in pursuit of the technological solution? To what extent did the journal with its design blueprints for modern dwelling conceal or reveal colonial anxieties on the city’s sociopolitical exigencies and its precarious relationship with the Chinese Mainland? A close analysis of the domestic plans in relation to public discourses on dwelling is crucial in considering these questions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherRoutledge.-
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Architecture, Special Issue on Dwelling in Asia-
dc.rightsPreprint: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/[Article DOI]. Postprint: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in [JOURNAL TITLE] on [date of publication], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/[Article DOI].-
dc.titleVicissitudes of the Modern Dwelling: Metropolitan Domesticities in the Hong Kong Builder-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailSeng, MFE: eseng@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authoritySeng, MFE=rp01022-
dc.identifier.hkuros247805-
dc.publisher.placeLondon-

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