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Wang Shu Discusses Chinese Urbanization

by Andrew Wade

Ceramic House in Jinhua, China. Source: Lv Hengzhong

Ningbo History Museum in Ningbo, China. Source: Lv Hengzhong

Last year, in a lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio confronted the effects of globalization, urbanization and rapid development on cities in China. Can design resolve tensions between global and local cultures? How should architects mediate the pressures of history and innovation? In Wang Shu, we find the value of the Amateur.

Wang Shu's presentation on "Geometry and Narrative of Natural Form" (0:25:14 - 0:27:07).

"In the past twenty five years, [China] did an incredible thing ... One country with three to five thousand years of history, with such rich cultural and traditional things ... made a big decision to demolish it. Ninety percent, just in the past twenty-five years. They do this and then build some new things; they copy from all over the world ... It is the professional urban planner and architect who did this disaster. They do this with the government together. And so I think maybe we need another kind of architect."

Wang Shu, 2012 Pritzker Prize Laureate, from his lecture on "Geometry and Narrative of Natural Form" at Harvard GSD on November 4, 2011

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