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When I was a kid growing up in Hangzhou, a city in southern China, I lived very close to a community park that I often visited after school. I especially loved playing on the slides and a grand tube. After I entered the fourth grade and had homework to finish, I continued to beg my… Read more »

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Cell phones offer us a seemingly irresistible portal into a digital realm where every whim and desire can ostensibly be exercised. With the advent of “selfies,” they also turn the memorable places we visit into spectacles of self-gratification. Whether or not we delight in this much-debated reality, it appears destined, for now, anyway, that human… Read more »

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A day before our presentation to an important mayor, my Chinese client called me to say, “By the way, prepare a plan without that golf course drawn in; they are not allowed to be openly proposed.” I admit that I responded in full panic mode: “What am I supposed to say about that huge space… Read more »

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As architects of the public realm, a critical component of our job is to thoroughly understand the needs of our clients in order to generate a successful project on multiple levels. Design realized without the careful study of who will be using the space and in what ways can result in a ghostly landscape absent… Read more »

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When it opens this summer, the 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower will be the second tallest building in the world and the tallest in China. It shares a site on Pudong with two other iconic towers, Jin Mao and the Shanghai World Finance Center, where four different ground levels contribute to a public open space. John Wong,… Read more »

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A childhood friend recently posted a photograph of children encircling her elementary school playground. The playground and school are about to undergo major renovations, and the playground will be forever changed. She expressed acute sadness at the thought of this important personal landscape disappearing or being radically altered. It was a beautiful image that clearly… Read more »

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