Gallery: Original Copies: Bianca Bosker’s New Book Tackles China’s Copy...

 
Did you know that there's a faux Eiffel Tower in China, as well as an entire copy of the city of Venice, complete with gondola-lined canals? In the past few years, builders in China have replicated world-famous buildings and landmarks at a remarkable pace - from the world's first cloned Austrian mountain village to a reproductions of the White House, entire English villages, and even new starchitect designs that haven't been built yet, like Zaha Hadid's Wangjing Soho complex. Bianca Bosker’s exciting new book Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China addresses this emerging Chinese 'duplitecture' trend and explores the ways that these replicated landmarks are shaping China's culture. It's a fascinating account that draws upon Chinese philosophical perspectives, builders, city planners, and even the residents who now live in these duplicated landmarks.

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.
  • 198 Votes Duplitecture is just another form of counterfeiting and should be criminalized
  • 37 Votes I'm not sure.

View Results

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.

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.

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.
  • 198 Votes Duplitecture is just another form of counterfeiting and should be criminalized
  • 37 Votes I'm not sure.

View Results

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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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