Completed PhD thesis shortlisted for RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2018

Earlier this year, AA PhD Alumni, Dr. Jingru Cheng was shortlisted in the ‘Cities & Community’ category for the RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2018 with her work  titled ‘Care and Rebellion: The Dissolved Household in Contemporary Rural China’ (supervisors: Pier Vittorio Aureli and Sam Jacoby)

Cyan started her PhD research on rural China from the perspective of an architect. However, in her words, ‘towards the end, I have felt more and more strongly about what I find out through research – rurality as an elastic form of association – from the perspective of being Chinese.’

She identifies ‘the associational relationships [which] manifest themselves through minor details and insignificant moments in the practice of everyday life – through how people act, speak and do their chores’ – as elastic, confessing that, methodologically speaking, this has also made her increasingly drawn to the intersection between architecture and anthropology as well as to design ethnography.

Cyan argues that derived ‘from the deeply embedded elasticity, the dissolved household in contemporary rural China anticipates some of the global discussions around alternative forms of social relationships beyond the family norm, especially in relation to the network of care, the intergenerational living and the ageing society. In this sense, rural China is at the forefront of global challenges.’

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