Jill Fehrenbacher

Original Copies: Bianca Bosker's New Book Tackles China's Copycat Architecture Trend

by , 03/12/13
filed under: Architecture, Books

Is mimicry the highest form of flattery or is duplitecture just blatant stealing?

  • 80 Votes Duplitecture is flattering for the original architects and spreads their work to other parts of the world.
  • 199 Votes Duplitecture is just another form of counterfeiting and should be criminalized
  • 37 Votes I'm not sure.

View Results

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Original Copies Venice Duplitecture, green design, eco design, sustainable design, Bianca Bosker, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, Zaha Hadid Wangjing Complex, duplitecture, copy cat architecture, architectural copies ChinaThe Chinese didn’t change much in their duplication of Venice’s canals. Their version just looks a bit newer and cleaner.

In a new book entitled Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China Bianca Bosker explores the impact of ‘duplitecture’ on China’s social, political, architectural, and commercial landscape – and she found some surprising results.

Shanghai Minhang Peoples Court, green design, eco design, sustainable design, Bianca Bosker, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, Zaha Hadid Wangjing Complex, duplitecture, copy cat architecture, architectural copies ChinaThe Shanghai Minhang People’s Court courthouse takes its architectural cues from BOTH the White House and the United States Capital building.

Whereas duplicated buildings in the US and other parts of the world tend to be tourist traps (think Vegas), in China these structures are often inhabited as private residences – and they shape the bourgeois aspirations of the middle-class families that live in them. In many cases, the residents may not even realize that the buildings they inhabit are exact replicas of other structures around the world.

Original Copies Amsterdam Centraal, green design, eco design, sustainable design, Bianca Bosker, Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, Zaha Hadid Wangjing Complex, duplitecture, copy cat architecture, architectural copies ChinaA Chinese re-creation of Amsterdam’s Central Train Station, complete with randomly placed faux-Dutch windmill!

If you find this as crazy as we do, and you’d like to learn more about knock-off architecture, you can purchase the newly released Original Copies now from University of Hawaii Press, plus stay tuned for our in-depth review! And let us know what you think about duplitecture in the poll below:

Is mimicry the highest form of flattery or is duplitecture just blatant stealing?

  • 80 Votes Duplitecture is flattering for the original architects and spreads their work to other parts of the world.
  • 199 Votes Duplitecture is just another form of counterfeiting and should be criminalized
  • 37 Votes I'm not sure.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

+ Bianca Bosker, Original Copies

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1 Comment

  1. Jorge de Sousa February 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    They\’ll never be able to capture all the aspects of thoses places, the ambient and culture of thoses places will never be existent on the copies. So if you want to get the true essence of the places you will always have to go to the real deal. I take it as 1:1 scale models!

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