‘Chinese architects account for 1% of the world total, but the turnover from building work is 1/10 of the world total. In other words, one hundredth of the world’s architects must design 33% of all buildings and they must do this for just 1/10 of the profit. How does this condition effect architecture?’
This is the question that motivates The Chinese Condition, the exposition that TCA ThinkTank displayed within the Chinese Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale 2014. The exposition highlights issues regarding the perception and research of the reality of the architecture in China. The exhibition is a collection of historical and contemporary information that provide basics for the understanding of the condition of architecture in China, and the situation in which way its actors must operate.
The contemporary reality is studied through the big numbers of the growth, size, quantity of projects, the issue of demolition, the relationship between the project and the context (or non-context), the definition of the numbers of Chinese phenomenon, the condition that determines its architecture. The research of the identity goes back when all this started with the first contacts with the West and the expression of the national changing. They are developed through examples of Baroque, Beaux Art, Eclecticism, Chinese Revival, Soviet Architecture, Modernism, American Postmodernism, Mega-structural Modernism and New Vernacular Architecture and the latest generation. The historical research focuses on the major nowadays-architectural trends, illustrating mega-structural objects, symbolic and iconic buildings, traditional appearance and architecture with Vernacular characteristics.
The exposition consists of three parts: ‘Conversations’ with Chinese Architects, ‘Architectural Report’ of the architectures of the new generation, ‘Issues’ of designing in China; meanwhile the ‘Case Cards’ are located in the Chinese Pavilion, in Magazzino delle Cisterne in Arsenale. The exhibition displays the conversation with those ones who build and who want to create architectural thoughts. The latest generation of architects talks and describes their experiences, their design philosophy through the most important works and their positions about the main contemporary issues: the research of architectural identity, the possibilities and contradictions of the present historical moment, the understanding of the non-context, the speed of architectural creation, the traces of the past in new architectures and the condition of uncertainty as integral part of the Chinese society. One can visit the places, buildings and architecture, studies and listens to the stories behind the representative works that most represent their philosophy in architecture.
“The world looks at China to see how it deals with the big numbers of Asian development using the latest experimentation in architecture, trying to understand what the enormous and exceptional architectural production in recent years can teach to the rest of the world.”
The Chinese Condition – 14th Venice Biennale - Fundamentals
Architects: Pier Alessio Rizzardi, Zhang Hankun
In Collaboration: Duoxiang Studio多相工作室
Area: 9 sqm
Location: Venice, Italy
Photographer: Marco Cappelletti
Video Editing: Andrea Vertone, Roberto Ortu
Text editing: Edna gee
Media Partners: ArchDaily, l’ARCA International, Ordine degli Architetti Milano, Ordine degli Architetti di Torino, ASSOCINA, Fondazione Italia Cina, STUDIO Architecture and Urbanism Magazine, Gizmoweb, Conceptbook.
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