A very interesting Chinese architect won this year's Pritzker (the Architecture Nobel Prize). His name is Wang Shu and he is dedicated to tradition, craft, and innovation. He has deeply studied the nature of chinese craft as well as the structure of the traditional Chinese city. These inquires have provided a springboard to address the rapid changes occurring now in China. And searching for new ways to bring meaning and authenticity to the making of places. What is so compelling about his work is that he is able to use a contemporary design language that acknowledges the past yet is clearly forward looking.
I hopefully will see his work in China in the coming weeks or months! He practices in Hangzhou and went to architecture school at Southeast University in Nanjing where I will be teaching! There are many articles on him but this is one good one:
This has been making me reflect on the idea of CRAFT in Urban Design. How can a similar reflection on both tradition and innovation inform the making of PLACE at a range of scales. Craft means more than basket weaving in urban spaces. It can mean the tectonics of the city and the very structure of a place. Ultimately these are the essential elements that affect how we experience a place. Bottom up and Top down. Much more to follow on this idea in the future!!