In and around Beijing with Mr Yang and others : space, modernisation and social interaction
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The aim of my PhD project has been to understand how Hutong residents’ ideas about living space have been different from those living in the high-rise compound and how their concept of living space has been changed by both internal and external factors, meaning additional affiliated functions and governmental city-planning. I conducted my fieldwork in Beijing between July 2009 and September 2012: fourteen months in total, interspersed with trips to St. Andrews. I spent ten months from July 2009 to May 2010 living in a Hutong called Xingfu Street (the word translates as ‘happiness’). Then I moved into a high-rise apartment outside the inner city, called Suojiafen Compound, for a further four months. This study concerns space in the contemporary city of Beijing: how space is humanly built and transformed, classified and differentiated, and most importantly how space is perceived and experienced. In the end I have developed the concept “overlapped” space as a way to detect the “personality” of space in both Hutong and high-rise apartment: how they differentiated from each other and how they have been transformed in different way by the residents inside.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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