SUPERUS CITIES; Contemporary Urban Identities from the Global City

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


SUPERUS as a contemporary urban design discourse explores the city (in this instance Tokyo and Hong Kong) as a fertile ground and rich seam in exploring themes developed out of the continuing project work of UClan/ VTC architectural studies programme.

The 6 themes of SuperTYPE SuperBOUND, SuperIMPOSE, SuperFLOW, SuperOccupy \& SuperFORM emerged from two varying urban territories of Hong Kong \& Tokyo. Field study work by a transnational students was carried out alongside workshops over a period of 10 days in Tokyo and Hong Kong, observing, cataloguing, abstracting and analyzing photographic narratives. The activities connected Hong Kong students with UK students in Tokyo to con-duct multidisciplinary field study observation \& research.

The 6 themed Typologies that emerged from this work can be seen as conditions in a field of inquiry -captured through narrative instruments such as photographs- and are discussed to show certain formal similarities in the con-structed urban context that we call here the terroir of the (un) obvious city. The comparative analysis of the work posits a new framework in understanding the new terroir of global cities as a methodological approach grounded in the everyday experiences within the global city and as a theoretical model about the global city that captures the identification of new typologies, as an emergent paradigm.

Student experiences were drawn-in and drawn-on to their lived experiences. In such a process it was necessary to un-pack the identities and easily identifiable typologies of the global city as a counter point to the unobvious and life of transient visitors and permanent residents. They omitted colour, scale and orientation to more easily elucidate notions of: form & shape; boundary & connection; type & category; flow & movement; occupation & authorship; together with impositions & interventions.

Once typologies and identities emerged from within the work, specific and pervasive phenomena caught in a formal language about the global cities also became evident which could be argued to representative a lived and real narrative of such global cities. Superus as an architectural artefact and ongoing urban discourse lays bare within the photo essay a valuable new theoretical and methodological approach to reframing existing paradigms connected with identity and Global cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global City. The Urban Condition as Pervasive Phenomenon
Subtitle of host publicationImages, Forms and Narrative from the Global CIty
Place of PublicationTurin
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-31277-01-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA3 Book chapter


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