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Andrew Yang

Shanghai, China


Member since May 23, 2007

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    Source: ARCHITECT Magazine Publication date: 2008-12-01

    By Andrew Yang

    For many Beijingers, the best moment during this summer's Olympics was not the grand opening ceremony or a heroic athletic feat—it was the ability to see the sky. As China prepared for the Olympics, all kinds of measures were put in place: shutting down industrial factories curbed air pollution, and traffic restrictions cut by 50 percent the number of cars on the streets. So, during the games, the appearance of blue skies and unjammed roadways reminded many, for the first time in a long while, how Beijing could seem pleasant and feel intimate.

    After five years of Olympics-related construction, and nearly two decades of increasing investment in China, what is the future of China's megasized building culture? August's Olympics frenzy immediately segued into the financial crises of September, and while the United States and Europe deal with the biggest economic disaster in a century, the view from within China is ... surprisingly, business as usual. If anything, a through-the-roof economy is giving way to an economy that's just vastly expanding.

    That's not to say that the country won't experience a delay in some of its major projects; no country is immune in the current downturn, and China is in fact slowing down. In October, the government reported that during the period of July through September, China's economy grew only 9 percent—a boon for most nations, but not for fast-growing China, where 10 perc...

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    07.29.2008 Protest: China's Olympic Syndrome

    Some years ago in Manhattan while I was riding the subway uptown, a young woman entered the train and began to proselytize to the crowd, which, as usual, paid her no attention. She went on about religion, God, and so forth, and when she was done, I expected a call for donations. Instead, she contributed a bit of worldly wisdom that has stayed with me ever since: “I know we all look good,” she said. “But we’re not all being good.” And she exited the train.

    Years later, those words capture the spirit for me of the Beijing Olympics. As a recent transplant to China (I’ve lived in Shanghai for the last year and a half), the build-up to the Olympics is hugely visible not just in Beijing, but all over the country. From the large banners on the highways in Shanghai to the lampposts that declare simply “Beijing 2008” along the streets, the feeling is in the air. For China, the Olympics has been both a galvanizing force and an exercise in pride, partly deserved, partly not.

    Recently, however, the exercise has not gone entirely according to plan. In spite of their inevitability, the mass protests in Tibet, Xinjiang (the Muslim part of Western China), and Mongolia still caught the government off their usually rigid guard. Even more unpredictable has been the tumultuous time the government has had trying to control the coverage of these events. And when widespread public ...

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design