SUPERUS CITIES; Contemporary Urban Identities from the Global City

Kay-Jones, Simon orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5741-3875 and Janvier, Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3196-1608 (2020) SUPERUS CITIES; Contemporary Urban Identities from the Global City. In: The global city – The urban condition as pervasive phenomenon. Aisu Internaional publishing, Bologna. ISBN 978-88-31277-01-3

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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 archi-tectural 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 pos-its 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 identifi-cation 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 narra-tive 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 iden-tity and Global cities.

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