Copying can be a boon. As unpopular as an opinion as this may be, it holds water. Especially when talking about design. The nature of aesthetic culture and its dependence upon context allows other designers to have a stake in what would be referred to as “the zeitgeist”. Without it, they may be left un-tethered and floating aimless . . ..
But, that idea loses steam once you enter the world of the “carbon copy”. As in, no elevation of a previously conceived form, but simply, copy-machine style duplicate, and for a somewhat dubious cause. This example falls heavily obtuse in the terribly bizarre Chinese city copying initiative.
Spiegel Germany reports:
Architects secretly set their sights on the picturesque town in recent months, said Mayor Alexander Scheutz on Wednesday. "The people are not very amused that this has happened behind their backs," he told German news agency DPA.
The leader of the lakeside town in the picturesque Salzkammergut region heard about the plans coincidentally in May through an Austrian economic delegation in Hong Kong where the Chinese real estate company responsible inquired about arranging a partnership between the two cities.
But a few days ago Scheutz discovered what he called an "indiscretion" -- the plans for the Chinese version of Hallstatt were apparently far more advanced than he'd been led to believe. "I'm stunned, but not outraged," the mayor said. He has since alerted both UNESCO and national authorities.
Most unsettling is that opposed to creating individuality on the cultural and national strengths inherent to the lands of China, a quick-fix for already proven PR value and tourism visits seem to suffice in its place.
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