Lan Xiao

lan xiao web

DPhil Student

St Cross College

Thesis: Making and Remaking the Home ‘at Home’ in Shanghai in the Time of Covid

Research: My doctoral research seeks to explore the ever-ongoing process of home-making in contemporary China. It creates an ethnographic account of people’s intimate relationships with their homes, interiors and objects. By paying close attention to both the process of creating homes and everyday aesthetic engagements with materiality and design of homes, my research analyses certain key themes in home-making that are distinctive in contemporary urban Chinese settings, including location, relationships, design, aesthetics, space, etc. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and its ongoing impact during my research, I emphasise how the pandemic has changed the way people feel about their homes and made the home increasingly important. I also reconsider the meaning of the home, a private domestic space, and its relation to the state. My observations of homes in Shanghai, including my own, reveal how a home is a place in which the past is remembered, the present is experienced and the future is imagined.

Research interests: Material and visual anthropology, art and aesthetics, urban anthropology, home, museum

Previous education:

Master of Arts in Material and Visual Culture, University College London (2015)
Bachelor of Laws in International Politics, Fudan University (2014)