The first in a series of six monographic exhibitions focusing on socially conscious architects practicing today, The Architect’s Studio: Wang Shu examines the work of China’s only Pritzker Prize–winner. Wang, with Lu Wenyu, his wife and partner, runs Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, working to fuse modernism with vernacular building and traditional Chinese attitudes toward landscape and culture. The partners have been outspoken in decrying the negative impact of China’s rapid urbanization, including the destruction of entire neighborhoods and the degradation of the environment. The next three architects in the series will be Alejandro Aravena and ELEMENTAL Studio in 2018, Tatiana Bilbao in 2019, and Anupama Kundoo in 2020. An earlier incarnation of the series looked at more established architects, including Frank Gehry in 1998, Henning Larsen in 1999, Norman Foster in 1999, Renzo Piano in 2003, and Jean Nouvel in 2005.
“The aim of the exhibition series is to focus on political and social criticism as seen from an architec- tural point of view,” says Kjeld Kjeldsen, the curator of the current show. “Wang Shu was selected for his dedication to critical architecture [and for pioneering] a new definition of the role of the architect.”