According to a recent New York Times article, American architects are rapidly expanding their business in China, which mainly constitutes projects on high-end homes and fancy skyscrapers. As the country experiences rapid development and more Chinese billionaires emerge with handfuls of spare money, China is increasing in its demand for not only substantial mansions but also stylish office buildings. At the moment where Americans become more conservative in spending, architects facing harder client relationships domestically choose to enter the unsaturated market across the globe, and find the environment surprisingly welcoming. With a desire for western aesthetic designs and feeling unconfident of the work of architectural firms within the country, the rich Chinese individuals and corporations are extremely collaborative and appreciate the projects American architects are carrying out.
Is this seeming prosperity a true good sign in China? Whereas rich people are seeking luxurious houses to live in, the constantly rising housing price is depriving millions of middle-class and poor households of the basic needs for shelter. From this perspective, the boost in high-end housing market seems more like a symptom associated with an exacerbation of the disparity between rich and poor. While developed cities in China are duplicating the image of Dubai, there is no doubt that vast rural areas remain undeveloped as well as lacking the most basic infrastructures. In terms of its macro goal and the responsibility of the government, the country does have to zero in on providing affordable houses for low-income families.