Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2015–16

Jiaying Cao
The Vanishing Villages in Guangzhou, China

About three hundred villages disappeared every day in China from 2000 to 2010 according to research by Tianjin University. As part of the “urbanization process,” this is a significant phenomenon taking place in all the major cities in China. It is undoubtedly a progress that we endured in order to pursue the economic growth of the entire country. However, people living and working in these villages were affected substantially.

I was born and raised in Guangzhou, one of the cities that suffered severely from this growth. I was and still quite astonished by the extremely rapid changes happening year to year. The city has grown by destroying these small villages and making them become part of its new, modernized appearance. I’m scared by the speed that our villages are disappearing, and I fear that someday we will also lose all of our local traditions and history, which I think are necessary for our nation to hold onto and preserve.

I have created this timeline using collected photos of people’s reactions regarding the demolition of their villages as well as how they were changed by it. Some of the unique traditions of these villages are also included. Hopefully this website will make people notice and think about this phenomenon which might also be happening in other developments around the world.


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Autism & Support Groups
Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015–16