Drawing Narrative: Blooming of Shanghai 2.0

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“Blooming of Shanghai” is an imaginative journey into an alternate urban landscape inspired by the life and literary works of the renowned science fictionist, JG Ballard. Born in Shanghai in 1930, Ballard’s early years unfolded amidst the vibrant tapestry of Shanghai’s concessions in the years preceding World War II. His poignant reflection, “I keep thinking, what would have happened had the war not taken place. I see around me an alternate life that I never managed to live because of the war,” serves as the cornerstone of this project’s inspiration.

Taking its cues from Ballard’s seminal novels, including ‘Empire of the Sun’ (1984), ‘The Drowned World’ (1962), and ‘High-Rise’ (1975), this endeavor explores an alternative reality of Shanghai. It delves deep into Ballard’s visionary interpretations and critical musings on topics such as the environment, urbanization, and sustainability, as portrayed in his literary works. Central to this exploration is the role of architecture, which intertwines seamlessly with Ballard’s personal connections to the city.

In this workshop, we will embark on a journey to explore the impossibilities of the further of Shanghai through the lens of JG Ballard, leveraging the power of AI tools. With the assistance of ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion, we will refine our research synthesis and create compelling visual narratives.

Each participant will be asked to develop a specific architectural concept and tectonic derived from the narrative and produce a series of storytelling comics, and eventually transform these ideas into physical models (3D or 2.5D).
Period19 Feb 202423 Feb 2024
Event typeConference
LocationSuzhou, ChinaShow on map