SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape

September 24, 2015 - March 27, 2016

Due to popular demand, SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape has been extended through March 27!

 

An award-winning anthropological case study by designer Stephen Fan, SUB URBANISMS explores the controversial conversion of suburban single-family homes into multi-family communities by immigrant Chinese casino workers in Connecticut. Addressing the norms, cultural values, and public policies that determine how most Americans live, the exhibition juxtaposes immigrant cultural beliefs and pragmatism with suburban American social, aesthetic, and financial codes. With a regional focus and global reach, it also provides insight into the long-term effects of 9/11 on the New York Chinatown service industry as a significant factor behind the influx of Chinese labor seeking employment at the region's casinos, and the formation of this satellite suburban Chinatown. With creative implications for the future of housing design and habitation in response to cultural, social, and ecological challenges, SUB URBANISMS offers a powerful inquiry into the ways in which culture shapes our lives and homes.

 

Stephen Fan is an adjunct professor in the Art History and Architectural Studies Department at Connecticut College. Working at the intersections of art, architecture, history, design, and planning, he has built projects on four continents, and worked at accomplished architectural firms in the U.S. and Japan, constructed low-cost housing in Bolivia and Kenya, and served as a Community Service Fellow at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. More recently, he collaborated with local citizens on a design/build project and grassroots planning strategy for a Japanese community devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Fan holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Architecture and Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College. He grew up in Southeastern Connecticut.

 

SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape and related programs are made possible from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by The Starr Foundation.