Typological Drift: Emerging Cities in China


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SpecificationsBinding: Softbound with flaps ISBN: 978-1-951541-71-2 Publication Date: Spring 2021 Pages: 336pp Size: 6.75” x 9.5” Portrait World Rights: Available

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This book documents the impact of the Chinese culture on the development of city types in China in the past four decades, leading to surprising urban realities that often escape normative urban theories. The book uses the concept of drift, which, together with mutation, adaptation, and migration, contributes to the rudimentary patterns of biological change; drift of phenotypes takes place when chance events randomly terminate some features and allow other features to flourish in ways that are unrelated to other patterns. The Chinese culture has exerted a set of forces that may be seen to have functioned as “unexpected events” in the normative processes of urban change. Through thirteen case studies, more than 60 original maps and drawings, and extensive photographic documentation, the book reveals how three “drift triggers”—ten thousand things, figuration, and group action—have altered typological development in Chinese cities in the past four decades.


Softbound with flaps



Publication date

Spring 2021




6.75” x 9.5” Portrait

World rights