【RAM Talk】The Wisdom of the Poor: Vernacular Architecture in China
Mar 25, 2017 Saturday 19:30 - 21:00
Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District)
In the exhibition “Song Dong: I Don’t Know the Mandate of Heaven”, the Para-Pavilion, an installation artwork created by Song Dong, reproduces the vernacular architecture that the poor struggled to build for shelter with their wisdom and vitality. “Why did these people live on the roof?” Song Dong explains, “The reason is simple: They had no place to stay. In the beginning, they built a pigeon loft on the roof. After a few years, they started to store their things in the pigeon loft. After another few years, they themselves moved into the pigeon loft and cut back the number of pigeons. Finally when the government decided to rebuild the houses for a better city image, they told the government that they had lived there for nearly ten years and another place should be provided for them to live. In this way, the pigeon loft provided an opportunity for its owner to secure a permanent housing.” How did China’s “unusual” architecture come into existence? How does the complex picture of Chinese contemporary architecture look like? And what are the social facts that affect the architecture? Since the 1990s, Chinese architects have blazed a new trail in architecture: on one hand, they refuse to follow the trends set by famous architectural design institutes, and on the other hand, they have a clear understanding on the reality with a sober mind. In this lecture, the speaker will talk about the avant-garde and experimental value of the Chinese architecture in 1990s, the impracticality of early experimental architecture and how it was developed to meet China’s national conditions.... Read More
Li Xiangning，deputy Dean of College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University; curator of the exhibition “Towards a Critical Pragmatism: Contemporary Architecture in China” displayed at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.
Free admission, reservation is required.