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Will China transform architecture?

The rise of the metaphor is just the start

By Robert Adam  

Pudong, a new district in Shanghai built since 1992 with numerous buildings by famous Western architects.

Since China entered the global free market in the 1990s its city centres have come to look more and more like those of the other free-market economies. As Chinese cities expand at breakneck speed, the government now sets quotas to ensure that a high percentage of buildings are designed by architects from Europe and the Americas.

History tells us, however, that culture follows power. Will China soon switch from importing the cultural products of…

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