Confucianism and Proletarian Culture

The idea of culture in both Confucianism and proletarian culture is to create an operative pedagogy for central government. The specificity of Chinese culture is this educational role, which translates an abstract concept into moral or political guidelines for the people.

Knowledge Economy

With the current development of knowledge economy in China, culture is now regarded as an economic driver to sustain rapid GDP growth. Cultural industries are announced by Chinese government as the main economic force, introducing a new cultural idea in China. This separates education, cultural industry and urban and socio-political development.

Privatization of the Cultural Industries

The privatization of the cultural industries led to a new urban category: the cultural park development. This large-scale peripheral urban expansion is largely defined by generic office complexes and is another version of the "mega-block". With this urban sprawl, large-scale infrastructural project and the problem of the periphery become the focal points of planning in Beijing.

Urban Design

The urban design in Communist and Confucian China were based on very different political ideologies. However, they both employed a similar linear spatial organization to define the central part of the city. This was not only for morphological consistency, but more importantly, it was because of a spatialized idea of public education. I would argue that the linear composition defined a perceived spatial sequence.

Higher Education

The higher education system is the most important component of Chinese education. In higher education sector, almost all leading Chinese universities are today state owned. And these Chinese universities successfully linked education, political governance, and business together before the emergence of a new policy on cultural industries. They answer to both the university and the central government. Thus, economy, education and social governance are issues that are already seen together in the university.

Cultural Industries and Urban Growth

The role of cultural industries in the urban growth, I argue, should be a more ambitious pedagogical project that employs the university as an existing framework in which education, creative production and economic production already take place. Besides, the university is an important institutional force in China through which different forms of governance are realized.

New Chinese Campus

The new Chinese campus can be defined by the different ways it is formalized and spatialized. To propose an alternative relation between education, state and economy, in the new Chinese campus the university functions as an institutional mediator between the academy and business. Private investment and development takes place with the support by the central government. Universities become a common framework that allows different interests and governance to coexist.

University as Mediator

The Chinese university as the mediator between economic growth and administrative power, spatially develops the idea of the perceived sequence in order to redefine and insert a new hierarchy into the spaces of education.

New Campus

In the new campus, the articulation or nodal points provide a sequence of public activities with spatial hierarchy. The articulation points are the interfaces where interaction and different social activities takes place, at the crossing point of different programs, institutional public and commercial private ones.


The university's main aim is to provide a spatial prototype to accommodate different ideas of educational activities rather than trying to create a new form of governance. It can also be seen as an urban prototype that questions the role of the central government in urban development. The Chinese campus is thus a political institution through which a new idea of Chinese culture emerges.