Francesca Piazzoni

Francesca Piazzoni is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, School of Architecture. Her research explores the politics of public space with a focus on design justice, insurgent urbanisms, and critical heritage. A licensed architect, Francesca started interrogating authenticity by practicing preservation in Italy, Lithuania, and China, where she designed several “fake” towns herself. These experiences translated into a book titled The Real Fake: Authenticity and the Production of Space (Fordham University Press, 2018).

Thames Town, a British-themed village on the outskirts of Shanghai, attracts residents and tourists with its gothic-like church, red phone boxes, and statues of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. What is “real” in a quintessentially “fake” place like Thames Town? Does thinking through these categories even make sense? Who gets… Read more »