Building a Future Countryside
Building a Future Countryside
Even though China has some of the largest cities in the world, many people still live in the countryside. The country is however developing its countryside at a speed and scale unseen in the West. Hence, one of the major challenges is the future of rural development.
Architects and developers have to balance rural life and tradition on the one hand and modern living conditions and technological progress on the other hand. Hundreds and thousands of villages have become sites for industrial development, self-building, and cultural creation. These sites enjoy tremendous opportunities offered by technological innovations, including the internet, logistics systems, and sharing economies.
The exhibition ‘Building a Future Countryside’ will show the countryside of contemporary China through six themes: poetic dwellings, local production, cultural practices, agricultural tourism, community reconstruction, and future exploration. The main projects are Wood Kiln Bing Ding (Zhang Lei, AZL Architects), Xinzhai Coffee Manor (Hua Li, Trace Architecture Office – TAO), An Old-new House (John Lin + Joshua Bolchover, Rural Urban Framework), Cidi Memo, a Town of Memory (Liu Yuyang, Atelier Liu Yuyang Architects), Mountain Dwelling. Waterside Dwelling. Forest Dwelling (Dong Yugan), In Bamboo (Philip F. Yuan, Archi-Union Architects, co. Ltd) and Cloud Village (Philip F. Yuan, Shanghai Digital Fabrication Engineering Technology Center).
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), he has worked as curator for numerous exhibitions and has published widely on contemporary Chinese architecture and urbanism. He is Chief Editor of Architecture China and President of Architecture China Foundation. Furthermore, he has been working with international museums and institutes and he has been a jury member to many international awards and competitions.
“The motivation for this exhibition is more than just xiangchou, a Chinese term that refers to nostalgia for rural lands. We return to the countryside where Chinese culture originated to recover forgotten values and overlooked possibilities; from there, we will build a future countryside.”
Li Xiangning, curator
The pavilion of China is located in the Tese delle Vergini in Arsenale, just before the entrance to the gardens (Giardino delle Vergini).
If you want to know more about the Architecture Biennale 2018 and the other national participations, you can read my post ‘What to expect from the Architecture Biennale 2018‘ or have a look at this overview page which links to all the articles related to the Biennale. If you want to be informed about new previews of national pavilions being added to the site, you can subscribe to The Venice Insider biweekly newsletter.
(Picture in banner: Philip F. Yuan, In Bamboo, Photo © Bian Lin, Courtesy Pavilion of China at the 16th Venice Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia)
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