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Lecture: Andong Lu "Red Futurism"


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On Tuesday April 17, 2018 at 6pm in the Stuckeman Jury Space, architect Andong Lu presents: "Red Futurism: Understanding Chinese Architecture of the 1960s and its Technological Monumentality Through a Case STudy of the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge."

The Nanjing Yangtze Bridge was the first bridge designed and built solely by the Chinese across the Yangtze River. As the most well-known icon of 1960s China, the Grand Bridge had an extensive presence in people’s everyday lives nationwide and is an essential part of the memory of several generations. The Memory Project of the Nanjing Yangtze Bridge uses this exceptional source of collective memory as a catalyst to reclaim this ideological monument as contemporary public space. The project was initiated in 2014 in a “bottom-up” way to collect and archive the abundant memories around this historical landmark. Then, by collaborating with mass media and social media (e.g. China Central Television, Tencent, etc.) and conducting talks, exhibitions and public participatory activities, this project gradually redefines the icon.

Red Futurism is one of the ongoing research projects of the Memory Project of the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge. It investigates the historical presence of the ‘Grand Bridge’ in the public sphere, in order to reveal the extraordinary association between technology and monumentality in Chinese modern architecture of the 1960s and 1970s. In this period, the enduring paradox between ‘the national’ and ‘the modern’ temporarily found an intermediary form. Through technological symbolism of emotion, it gave a radical criticism of canonical architecture.