"Chromatopia, at first, aims to be a collective project designed by eight individuals, a collective enterprise that negotiates its individual differences within a regime of agreement. The utopic overtones (or undertones?) openly engage the premise of a new and different world, yet the world depicted here is made up of the existing impulses of Shanghai. More towers, more programs, more color — to offer at a political level more publicness too, which may be more atopic in its mission, that is, to make a borderless utopia, one that would infect the life and spirit of the city.” — Neil Denari
What is left to be said, in 2015, about the state of the high rise, especially concerning Shanghai, a city that has more than 1400 buildings over 100 meters tall? Neil Denari and his students in the UCLA A.UD Research Studio 2014-15 investigate this question during a year-long study of high rise towers and vertical density in the city of Shanghai. The result is a collection of speculative designs (fictional and financial) and accompanying scenarios presented against a backdrop of topics including the global city, political conformity, social mobility, migrant labor, and invisible currencies — all in the form of 24 high rise towers. The publication includes essays by Professor Neil Denari and UCLA Ph.D Student Jia Yi Gu, student along with a selection of photos by Shanghai-based photographer Tim Franco.