Gallery: BOOK REVIEW: Bianca Bosker’s New Book, Original Copies, Dissec...

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but considering the fast pace at which Chinese builders have been copying architecture from around the world, does the old adage apply to the replication of entire buildings as well? That's one of the questions that author Bianca Bosker asks in her new book Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, where she analyzes the Chinese trend of replicating structures and even entire communities that look just like their European and American counterparts. I recently had the chance to review a copy of this eye-opening exploration into duplitecture in China as well as the culture that continues to drive it forward. Read on for my thoughts.

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  1. english cheese man July 10, 2013 at 6:14 am

    The English village looks about as accurate as the 1 at epcot (in FLoreda). I wouldn;t mind keeping their police though.

  2. philatonian April 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    None of these are “copies,” and most are only inspired by regional architecture. Paris’s Eiffel Tower is almost twice as tall as China’s, which isn’t the only replica.

    You can find the same “copies” in Las Vegas (which has its own, even taller, Eiffel Tower) or Dubai, or any theme park in the world. Architecture in Florida and Southern California is heavily borrowed from Italian and Spanish styles.

    The title of the book is a bit misleading, and the content isn’t anything new. The United States mimicked Europe for the better part of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    If developers in China were truly replicating entire Medieval or Midwestern villages and claiming them their own design, it would be notable. It’s not. It’s just a handful of uninspired architects and developers offering up some gimmicky tourist traps.

  3. riptionator March 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I don’t think they are as good as the originals. For one, Western countries don’t have brown water.

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