TalksTalks | ONLINE
Royal Academy of Arts
Fri 22 Apr 2022
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Live Subtitled by Stagetext
Royal Academy of Arts

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From Countryside to City: Chinese Architecture Now image

Inspired by the Royal Academy Architecture Awards, our panellists look to the unique and changing approach of Chinese architects to both rural and urban settings.
As part of our awards programme, the RA seeks to foster year-round discussion and cultural exchange on architecture. This year, we are starting our awards cycle with a conversation exploring recent developments in Chinese architecture and how Chinese architects are looking to the future.
In the last 40 years, Chinese society has seen large scale migration from rural to urban areas, often resulting in ‘hollowed out’ villages with aging populations troubled by social and economic upheaval. This rapid urbanisation process has given some architects pause for thought and has drawn them to rethink the countryside, using vernacular forms and local materials to propose new, more sustainable buildings. In this talk, we will invite leading practitioners and experts to take a closer look at how to ensure these projects can go beyond fuelling urbanite nostalgia for a simpler way of living and foster meaningful relationships that serve local communities.
We will begin with short presentations from our speakers, and our panel will then discuss how architects are rethinking Chinese villages; and whether a meaningful rural resurgence is possible within current economic context. We will take a closer look at trends in current practice and discuss the impact that these calls for engagement, re-use, refurbishment, or appreciation of local culture have outside the architectural press. There will be ample time for questions at the end of the event.
Xu TianTian, is the founding principal of DnA architects based in Beijing.
Austin Williams is course leader/senior lecturer in PG Dip Professional Practice in Architecture at Kingston School of Art; and honorary research fellow at XJTLU University in China. His recent publications include China’s Urban Revolution: Understanding Chinese Eco-cities (Bloomsbury, 2017) and New Chinese Architecture: Twenty Women Building the Future (Thames & Hudson, 2019).
Dr. Xiangning Li is Assistant Dean and Director of International Programs as well as Professor in history, theory and criticism at Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Shanghai, China. He has published widely on contemporary Chinese architecture and urbanism in international architectural magazines. Among his books are The Real and the Imagined: Study of Value System in Contemporary Urban Theory (2009) and Updating China: Projects for a Sustainable Future (2010).
Vicky Richardson (chair) is the Drue Heinz Curator and Head of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts.