American Shopping Malls in China : A Mosaic Analysis of Database

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3224–3243
Number of pages20
Journal / PublicationJournal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering
Issue number6
Online published5 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023



With the proliferation of globalization in architectural profession, the trade between China and the United States, as the largest importer and exporter, is the industry leader and trendsetter in transnational architectural practice. However, despite the dominance of shopping malls in China–US architectural trade, there is still a notable gap in systematic and in-depth exploration of shopping malls designed by US firms in China. To explore the situation, development, and impact of this representative phenomenon, this study comprehensively analyzes 170 shopping malls built in China by 26 representative American architectural firms from 1990 to 2021 based on five dimensions: geographical distribution, construction period, scale and types, forms and design vocabulary, and top designers. The findings demonstrate that this transnational architectural trade is spontaneously generated by the market economy, whereas intentionally amplified by regional development positioning and subject to changes in the international situation. The basic reason for the prevalence stems from the deep understanding of business logic, high degree of professionalism, and unparalleled experience, whereas the fundamentals lie in the respect for the harmony of people, architecture, and the environment; constant innovation in response to the changing market; and persistent pursuit of more optimal green, resilience, and wellbeing.

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China.

Research Area(s)

  • Shopping Mall Design, Transnational Architectural Practice, Overseas Architectural Impact, China-US Architectural Trade

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