The Museum as a Cultural Landmark in a New Economic Geography

This article was written for a collaborative research project that is focused on traveling a route inspired by the historic Silk Road but in reference to a contemporary global economy and architecture.

The Contemporary Silk Road

One of the primary focuses of our research trip is to consider the significance of the ‘museum’ archetype across a network of cities along the Silk Road. The idea of the ‘museum’ draws upon the cultural and historic symbolism in a given territory and we are interested in examining this architectural characteristic in contrast to the economic trend of instantaneous cities dotting the Western Asian landscape. While the ‘museum’ may suggest a general understanding of a place, we are primarily concerned with the topography and temporality connecting these cities, forming an architecture of cross-cultural exchange. The beginnings of our museum selection for the trip has brought about a variation of contemporary styles to quirky vernacular formalism, all of which illustrate the architectural effort to express the, often politically charged, attitude of the local municipality toward culture.

A recent article published in The New York Times addressed China’s political ambitiousness via…

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