Designers Tackle Problems of Growing Cities and Declining Villages



Designers Tackle Problems of Growing Cities and Declining Villages on 29th July 2016

Shenzhen, July 1, 2016__The American Academy in China (AAC) is organising an exhibition and a symposium in Shenzhen that examine one of the critical issues facing China today—the changing relationship between the country’s expanding cities and declining villages. Entitled “Rural-Urban Re-inventions: Bridging the Gap Between China’s Cities and Countryside,” the events will bring together work done by a broad range of architects, academics, businesspeople, and thinkers from around the world.

The exhibition will open on July 29 at the Shenzhen Design Center (No. 8 Zhongkang Rd, Shangmeilin, Futian District) and will present the work of academic and professional organizations from Asia, the United States, and Europe. These are: the University of Southern California (USC); the University of Pennsylvania; Harvard Graduate School of Design; the University of California, Berkeley; Rice University; Syracuse University; the University of Hong Kong; the University of Saint Joseph, Macau; the Architectural Association; ETH, Zurich; l’Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Saint-Etienne; Stefan Al; BASE Bejing (Robert Mangurian/Mary-Ann Ray); DnA (Xu Tiantian); Urbanus; gp/s (Gary Paige Studio); Thomas Daniell; and Michael Sorkin Studio.

The symposium will take place on July 30 at the campus of developer AVIC Legend (Tea House, Building #2, 1F, AVIC Shahe Industry Area, Qiaoxiang Road, Nanshan District), which is one of the event’s sponsors, along with Robert A.M. Stern Architects and NBBJ. Participants will be: Stefan Al (University of Pennsylvania), Ole Bouman (Shekou Design Museum), Aric Chen (M+ Museum), Thomas Daniell (University of Saint Joseph, Macau), David Erdman (University of Hong Kong), Jianxiang He and Ying Jiang (O-Office Architects), Doreen Liu (NODE), Xiaodu Liu (Urbanus), Qingyun Ma (USC), Gary Paige (USC), Clifford Pearson (AAC), Michael Sorkin, Nan Xiao (AVIC Legend), Tiantian Xu (DnA), and Marisa Yiu and Eric Schuldenfrei (ESKYIU).

“Although more than half of China’s population still lives in rural villages, younger generations are migrating in huge numbers to major cities, seeking economic opportunities,” says Clifford Pearson, AAC director. As a result, cities are forced to cope with severe pressures on their housing and economic infrastructures, while villages look for new economic and social models to sustain declining numbers of residents. Schools of architecture and research-based design firms are currently exploring new models of sustainable development, as well as new architectural prototypes that can be employed in rural areas. “Our exhibition and symposium will show some of the innovative approaches designers are using to tackle the twin challenges facing China’s metropolitan and rural areas,” adds Pearson.

Established under the auspices of USC’s School of Architecture, the American Academy in China strives to create cross-cultural collaboration between the United States and China by promoting dialogue around design, the built environment, and the arts.

For more information, contact Clifford Pearson at: cliff.pearson@gmail.com

AAC exhibition flyer Shenzhen symposium flyer