Architecture Without Architects

Deconstructing Modernity: Unsettled Urban Living in a Changing Shanghai

Architecture Without Architects

Most of the first-generation arrivals who originally built the urban villages in Shanghai from the 1850s to the 1940s were domestic migrants. They relocated from Eastern China by water routes, settling temporarily along creeks and remodeling and adding to their homes with recycled materials according to their enlarging families’ needs. This problem-solving approach to building resulted in effectiveness, wildness, and pragmatism that differ greatly from modern architects’ professional tastes.