The shikumen (石库门) neighborhood where Lewei Huang grew up is barely recognizable from the digital replica he created half a year ago. Sections of the neighborhood have been reduced to rubble, as bulldozers grind their way through brick walls and 20th century shikumen structures – a fusion of Western and Chinese architecture unique to Shanghai.

“A lot of places that are rich in Chinese history haven’t been well documented,” says Mr. Huang, a junior at NYU Shanghai. “Instead, they’ve been gentrified or demolished.”

“This project is a kind of preservation,” he says. “A preservation of old memories.”

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Eva Xiao

Eva Xiao is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. Contact her at eva.xiao@technode.com or evawxiao (wechat & twitter).