Author(s)Xu, Daphne Y.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Chinese Speed is an exploration of the affective dimensions of top-down modernist planning in the context of contemporary China. It is an investigation into lived experiences of state-funded mega-projects and the cultural impacts of infrastructure. Specifically, I look into the high-speed rail (HSR) as the literal and symbolic connecting feature of the Jing-Jin-Ji megaregion proposed in the 2035 Beijing Master Plan. I study the high-speed rail (HSR) in China utilizing ethnographic methods in the train, in HSR stations, and in place-based communities on sites around new and proposed HSR stations. I am interested in the meaning of the HSR as a cultural artifact, a semiotic and aesthetic vehicle towards China's current national project. I am also interested in the changing sense of place and time in rural villages and towns along new and proposed HSR stations within the context of rapid development. This media thesis consists of a collection of multimedia works including a photo book, video installations, and a short film. They are experiments in creating nonlinear narratives surrounding the HSR in varied forms, and translating research findings into accessible modes of engagement. Documentation of completed visual work is contained in a website within Beijing22 (www.beijing22.org), a curatorial project funded by the Goethe Institute that sets out to be a "living archive" of Beijing's urban development before the 2022 Winter Olympics. This media thesis stems out of a larger multi-year project initiated in January 2018 called The Harmonious Commute by the Sponge Gourd Collective, consisting of Beatrix Chu, Daphne Xu, and Diane Zhou.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 54-56).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.