“China Too Cool: Vernacular Innovations and Aesthetic Discontinuity of China” is the interest and focus of Pratt Institute graduate Yi Jing Zhou’s graduating thesis. She researches on intriguing design, aesthetic and stylistic choices in vernacular instances in China —what she identifies as “Too Cool”— and argues that this can be a lens of considering the nuance and complexities of cultural productions “Made in China.” The thesis discusses the origin of the “Too Cool” aesthetics, economic and generational difference that give rise to this two-fold style, and how it is a reflection of the rapid urbanization process of China. Read it for free  here and join the discussion, or email me to get a print version.

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My senior thesis, entitled “China Too Cool: Vernacular Innovations and Aesthetic Discontinuity of China”, examines the cultural phenomenon and aesthetic style of "Too Cool": the unoriginal, tacky-cool styles of cultural productions "Made in China." I argued that there is a different kind of creativity involved in making low quality rip-offs, resulting in intriguing aesthetic outcomes. The birth of “Too Cool” is a two-fold phenomenon—a naive layer and a second layer of conscious remaking—and is a result of economic and generational differences in China. Through examining aspects of fashion, popular culture, interior and graphic design, I used the analysis of aesthetic forms to delve into broader questions of culture, globalization, and politics.

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My senior thesis, entitled “China Too Cool: Vernacular Innovations and Aesthetic Discontinuity of China”, examines the cultural phenomenon and aesthetic style of "Too Cool": the unoriginal, tacky-cool styles of cultural productions "Made in China." I argued that there is a different kind of creativity involved in making low quality rip-offs, resulting in intriguing aesthetic outcomes. The birth of “Too Cool” is a two-fold phenomenon—a naive layer and a second layer of conscious remaking—and is a result of economic and generational differences in China. Through examining aspects of fashion, popular culture, interior and graphic design, I used the analysis of aesthetic forms to delve into broader questions of culture, globalization, and politics.

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You can find here my introduction and one chapter  on architecture and interiors relating to Too Cool aesthetic. Interest in reading the whole book, or purchasing the hard copy please email me! not.seriously.yj@gmail.com

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You can find here my introduction and one chapter  on architecture and interiors relating to Too Cool aesthetic. Interest in reading the whole book, or purchasing the hard copy please email me! not.seriously.yj@gmail.com

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