The 20-Kilometer University: Knowledge as Infrastructure

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Journal Article
Theory, Culture & Society, 2011, 28 (8), pp. 287 - 320
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This piece presents the work of academics and architects in a collaborative venture. It provides an architectural design and a series of statements towards the hypothetical creation of an unconventional city centre in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. The idea is to create a linear university that would run the 20-kilometer length of the Shenzhen Strip: the 20K university. The contributors outline, in the diversity of their idioms, a complex spatial condition fundamental to life, and demonstrate new relationships between knowledge and the city. The design of the proposed ‘open university space’ responds to two simultaneous and interrelated challenges: that posed to architecture, and that posed to science. The university would embody the meeting of these at the intersection of the urban infrastructure and the knowledge infrastructure. The purpose is thus also to develop the notion of knowledge, embodied in institutions, as urban infrastructure. © 2011, SAGE, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore. All rights reserved.
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