From production landscape to consumption landscape: a study on the transformation of arts districts in Bejing

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Conference Proceeding

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Along with the conversion of industrial system, urban landscape can be a mirror as a social manifestation of deep meaning, as well as cultural and spatial research tool (Zukin, 1991). Shifted from the modern urban landscape, it has been demonstrated that the urban landscapes have been stepped into post-modern urban landscape with eclectic clustering (Gospodini, 2006). Within the backdrop of globalization, Beijing has transfored from a city under simple influences into a complex city impacted by multiple factors. As a result, its traditional urban space has started to face the challenge of deconstruction and restructure. Arts districts emerged as a unique urban landscape in Beijing. In such context, the aim of this study is to investigate the ways in which the former industrial quarter has turned into a consumption-oriented area, based on the search and understanding of dominant factors in transforming 798 Factory. Through an exploration of the formation and transformation process of 798, we argue that the urban landscape's formation is never just physical or political, it's also economic and social. We conclude that the process includes a capital accumulation process intertwined with culture and art, couple with conflict with certain social groups. Moreover, we raise a question that the possibility to sustain so called 'creativity' in such transformation, with the missing link to the artist group which acts the crucial role in branding the cultural icon.

Source Publication

Landscape – Great Idea! X-LArch III, 2009 Apr 29 - May 1, Austria



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