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Third World Modernism: Utopia, Modernity, and the People's Commune in China

Duanfang Lu
Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Feb., 2007), pp. 40-48
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40480706
Page Count: 9
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Third World Modernism: Utopia, Modernity, and the People's Commune in China
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Abstract

This article explores an intriguing aspect of Third World modernism— the utopianization of modernity— through an investigation into the people's commune movement launched in China in 1958. Concurrent with sweeping institutional changes, architects and planners boldly experimented with modernist design between 1958 and 1960. By looking into the curious combination of Utopian and modernist elements in the commune movement the study reveals that the mass Utopia intensified some of the most tragic contradictions of Chinese modernity. The article argues that the failure of commune design led to a new conceptual distinction between the Modernism of the West and that of the Third World in Chinese architectural discourse.

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