Contemporary Architecture in China Towards A Critical Pragmatism
Architectural exhibition is an important aspect in the study and transmission of architectural culture. The academic thoughts and design styles that influence the trends of global architecture are all established through one or a series of important architectural exhibitions. This book is produced based on the GSD (Harvard Graduate School of Design) autumn exhibition: 'Towards a Critical Pragmatism: Contemporary Chinese Architecture'. It reveals a unique perspective of contemporary Chinese architecture by showcasing 60 works from 60 contemporary architects within five thematic categories: cultural, residential, regeneration, rural, and digital. The selected architects attempt to maintain, from the earliest moments of the design process to its finished outcome, a certain level of critical thinking and quality. It is a record of the continuous evolution and growth of contemporary Chinese architecture and hopes to open up a new avenue from which to encourage further conversation regarding both the present and future state of China's architecture culture.
Dr. Li Xiangning is Deputy Dean and full professor in history, theory and criticism at Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is a member of CICA (Comité International des Critiques d'Architecture), and has published widely on contemporary Chinese architecture and urbanism in international architectural magazines including Architectural Review, A+U, Architectural Record, among others, as well as several books including The Real and the Imagined: A Study of Value in Contemporary Urban Theory(2009), Updating China: Projects for a Sustainable Future (2001), Made in Shanghai (2014) and Total China (2016). He serves as editorial board member of magazines including Planand Le Visiteur (Journal of Société Française des Architectes). Dr. Li Xiangning was a visiting professor at TU Darmstadt, UCLA, Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is the curator of 2011 Shenzhen Biennale, 2013 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale, Shanghai Westbund 2013 Biennale and 2015/2017 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. In 2016, Dr. Li Xiangning was a Visiting Professor in Architecture, teaching at Harvard GSD and in that summer, he schemed the 'Toward a Critical Pragmatism: Practice of Contemporary Individual Architects in China' at Harvard GSD. He is the curator of the China Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.