Future Publics: Politics and Space in East Asia’s Cities: Introduction


  • Gregory Bracken
  • Jonathan D. Solomon




This special issue of Footprint began life in Shanghai, with the third Annual Delft School of Design (DSD) and International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) workshop, which was organized in conjunction with the Architecture Department of Hong Kong University (HKU) and took place in their Shanghai Study Centre in April 2011. The seven papers presented here look at issues of public space in East-Asian cities, beginning with an overview since 1945 and thereafter concentrating on cities in China, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Nanjing, as well as a realm that is not often considered public space: urban rivers. The issue also considers the city of Bangkok, where urban design is examined as a counter public sphere.

Author Biographies

Gregory Bracken

Dr Gregory Bracken is a lecturer and studio master at the Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, and a founding member of the Footprint editorial board. He is also a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, where he co-founded (with Dr Manon Osseweijer) the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA). He has recently set up the Asia Research Cluster (ARC) at the TU Delft with the aim of facilitating the study of Asia’s architecture and urban environment.

Jonathan D. Solomon

Jonathan D. Solomon is Associate Dean at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. His work explores public space and the contemporary city, through design projects such as Ooi Botos Gallery, a shop-house in a Hong Kong street market converted into a gallery for contemporary Chinese photographic art; research projects such as his 2004 book 13 Projects for the Sheridan Expressway, the 26th volume in the Pamphlet Architecture series; curatorial projects such as 2010’s Workshopping in the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale; and publication projects through 306090 books, where he has served as a founding editor since 2001. Solomon has taught design at the City College of New York and, as a Banham Fellow, at the University at Buffalo, as well as the University of Hong Kong, where he led the Department of Architecture as Acting Head from 2009 to 2012. He is a licensed architect in the State of Illinois and Member of the American Institute of Architects.