October 14, 2021
At MoMA, an Exhibition Highlights Chinese Architecture far from Megaprojects
A new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Reuse, Renew, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China (on view from September 18, 2021, through July 4, 2022), investigates eight projects that show the diversity and dynamism of contemporary architecture in the world’s most populous country. Organized by Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, and Evangelos Kotsioris, curatorial assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, with advice from Professor Li Xiangning of Tongji University in Shanghai, the projects illustrate a shift toward careful site planning, recycled materials, repurposed structures, and an engagement with craft. Standing in direct contrast to China’s well-known urban megadevelopments and splashy office towers—many of which are designed by Western firms—the architecture amplified by these practitioners prizes social and environmental sustainability.
“Most of the architects in the show are roughly the same age and many of them have been trained in the west or have worked for western offices that have built on a massive scale in China in the past few decades,” says Stierli, “They want to move away from this very detached megaproject approach to something that is much more grounded in the history of the country, the material traditions, and also the environment.”
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