Asian Alterity: With Special Reference to Architecture and Urbanism through the Lens of Cultural Studies


Asian Alterity is an interdisciplinary theoretical analysis that vigorously contests the homogeneity of the mainstream Eurocentric values. Part I argues for the need for an alternate perspective to be introduced so as to understand the diversity of Asia's cultural differences at their varied development stages and to meet the complex challenges of the explosive urban expansion and disruptive changes in traditional cultures and lifestyles.

Part II of the book consists of nine case studies of Asian major urban cities by well-established academic writers and urban theorists. Each author presents diverse aspects of urban dynamism. The case studies will collectively demonstrate a broad framework to understand the essentiality of the interdisciplinary mode of Cultural Studies as an important lens towards meeting the challenges in Asian Architecture and Urbanism.

Highlights of the book:

  • Forewords and comments written by an international panel of multidisciplinary academics and urban theorists including Linda Lim, Lim Teck Ghee, John Philips, Saskia Sassen, Iain Borden, Edward Soja and Chua Beng Huat.
  • Innovative graphic design and page layout by an internationally established designer, Jackson Tan of Singapore.
  • Elegant limited edition box set includes five additional posters of images from the book.


  • Part I:
    • Asian Alterity:Introduction and The Rise of Asia:
      • The Relevance of Cultural Studies
      • The Rise of Asia
    • Modernities:
      • Multiple Modernities and Contemporariness
      • Democracy, Human Rights and Social Justice
    • Selected Cultural Studies:
      • Cultural Identities, Diaspora and Memories
      • Globalization and Inequalities
      • Sustainability and Affordability
      • Popular Culture and the Contemporary
    • Asian Architecture and Urbanism:
      • Creativity of the Contemporary
      • Asian Urbanism — Challenges Ahead
      • Asian Architecture — Challenges Ahead
  • Part II:
    • Case Studies of Asian Cities:
      • Bangkok: A City in Flux (K Ratanapridakul)
      • Ho Chi Minh City [Saigon]: Before the Doorstep of Global Assimilation (Khang T)
      • Hong Kong: City of Maximum Quantities (S Li)
      • Istanbul: Observations (K N Tan)
      • The Melbourne Case Study: The Consultant Arrives [and sees] … (L van Schaik)
      • Seoul: Gangnam Alternative Nature — The Experience of Nature Without Parks (Y-J Park & J Kim)
      • Shanghai Assessed: Six Architectural Nodes of the City (E Seng et al.)
      • Singapore: In Search of Transparency (J K Kaw)
      • Tokyo: An Urban Collage of Chaos Amidst Order (T Muraji)

About the Author
William S W Lim graduated from the Architectural Association (AA) London and continued his graduate study at the Department of City and Regional Planning, Harvard University. Lim is a citizen of the Republic of Singapore. His professional work involves architecture, planning and development economics. He was principal architect at Malayan Architects Co-Partnership from 1960-1967, Design Partnership (later renamed DP Architects) from 1967 to 1981, and William Lim Associates from 1981 to 2002.

Lim is president of AA Asia and co-founder and chairman of the Asian Urban Lab (2003). He was also president of the Singapore Heritage Society from 1988 to 1997, and of the Singapore Planning and Research Group (SPUR) from 1966 to 1968. Presently, Lim is Adjunct Professor of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Australia, and Guest Professor of Tianjin University, China. Lim was conferred a Doctor of Architecture Honoris Causa by RMIT University in 2002 and Honorary Professor of LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts (Singapore) in 2005.

Currently, Lim writes and lectures on a wide range of subjects relating to architecture, urbanism and culture in Asian cities as well as on current issues relating to the postmodern, glocality and social justice.

ISBN: 9789812707710
Cover Type: Softcover
Page Count: 320
Year Published: 2007
Language: English

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