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|Title:||“The real modernity that is here”: understanding the role of digital visualisations in the production of a new urban imaginary at Msheireb Downtown, Doha|
|Keywords:||Urban development;Digital visualisation;Doha;Postcolonial studies|
|Publisher:||American Anthropological Association|
|Citation:||City and Society, 28(2): pp. 222–245, (2016)|
|Abstract:||This paper explores how Computer Generated Images have enabled the visualisation and negotiation of a new urban imaginary, in the production of a large-scale urban development project in Doha, Qatar. CGIs were central not only to the marketing but also the design of Msheireb Downtown. Our study of their production and circulation across a transnational architectural and construction team reveals how their digital characteristics allowed for the development of a negotiated, hybrid urban imaginary, within the context of a re-imaging and re-positioning of cities in a shifting global order. We suggest that CGIs enabled the co-production of a postcolonial urban aesthetic, disrupting the historical orientalist gaze on the Gulf region, in three ways. Firstly, they circulate through a global network of actors negotiating diverse forms of knowledge from different contexts; secondly, they are composed from a mix of inter-referenced cultural sources and indicators visualising hybrid identities; and thirdly, they evoke a particular urban atmosphere which is both place- and culture-specific, and cosmopolitan. The study emphasises the importance of research into the technical and aesthetic production processes which generate new urban spaces in the context of global market-led growth; and, by considering the circulation of CGIs between sites, contributes to the development of ‘a more properly postcolonial studies’ (Robinson 2011: 17).|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers|
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