The Skyscraper Museum
Book Talks 2014
The Skyscraper Museum

The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 6:30-8:00 pm

Stefan Al Book Talk

Mall City: Hong Kong's Dreamworlds of Consumption

University of Hawaii Press, 2016

In his new book, MALL City: Hong Kong's Dreamworlds of Consumption, Stefan Al analyzes Hong Kong as the world’s laboratory of vertical urbanism. The city continues to build ever-higher-density mega-complexes of residential and office towers standing on a podium shopping mall, often integrated with railway infrastructure. These podium-tower developments are cities in and of themselves, accommodating up to tens of thousands of people who live, work and play within a single structure. Stretching up to 26 stories and incorporating stunning vertical atria with dynamic “expresscalators,” these complexes have become one of Hong Kong’s basic units of urban development, like the skyscraper is of New York City. Highly efficient urban forms, they also set in stone a culture of consumerism.

Stefan Al is an architect and urban designer. An Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania, he teaches courses and studios on Urban Design and co-teaches, with Jonathan Barnett and Gary Hack, an online Coursera class "Designing Cities" that reaches more than 65,000 students. A leading expert on urbanization in developing countries, high-density cities, and cities of spectacle and entertainment, Als has authored and edited numerous books, including ​​Factory Towns of South China, Villages in the City, Mall City, ​​and ​​Macau and the Casino Complex,​​ as well as a recent work on Las Vegas, ​​The Strip​​. Stefan Al holds a doctorate in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, an M.Arch. from The Bartlett, and an M.Sc. from Delft University of Technology.

Visit our Programs Archive Video Index!

The exhibitions and programs of The Skyscraper Museum are supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.