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How to be Modern and Return to the Source

  • Grub & Groove 283 Jianguo Xi Lu, Unit B, Bldg 2 Shanghai China (map)

The Origin of Modern Chinese Architecture -- Henry Murphy in Shanghai

In this talk, I want to introduce the American architect Henry Killam Murphy (1877–1954) who designed the original college ground of Shanghai University of Science and Technology in 1914 (then Shanghai Baptist College). Murphy is known in the Chinese architectural circle as the founder of "modern Chinese architecture," or what Murphy himself calls "adaptive Chinese architectural renaissance." He had designed numerous buildings in China from 1914-1935, and served as the advisor to the central planning authority for the capital city of Nanjing between 1927-1929. The purpose of the talk is to introduce his life and major works, and to try to answer the question "why did Murphy, an architect who is virtually unknown in the US circle, become one of the most prominent architects in the history of Chinese architecture. 

Non Arkaraprasertkul (王光亮) is currently a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Harvard University. He has published widely in the fields of urban studies,  architectural history,  and urban anthropology. His research interest lies in the crossroad of transdiscliplinary research between architecture and the social sciences. In the spring of 2013,  he served as Distinguished (Visiting) Gibbons Professor of Architecture at the University of South Florida (USF). Previously,  he was a visiting lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007–2008,  and an adjunct professor in Modern Chinese History at Lesley University from 2012 to present. He has master's degrees in history,  theory,  criticism of architecture,  and architecture and urban design from MIT,  and Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford. From September 2013 to July 2014,  he is based at Fudan University as Harvard-China Council Exchange Scholar,  and at Harvard Center Shanghai as Harvard Asia Center Affiliate conducting his doctoral research "Locating Shanghai: Globalization, Heritage Industry, and the Political Economy of Urban Space." 

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