In this lecture video Xu Tian Tian, founder and director of DnA_Design and Architecture, presents a series of the firm’s cultural projects in Songyang County, an area of rural China. Among the works discussed are Tofu Factory, a building agglomerating small producers, that increases their economic viability and displays the process of tofu-making to the community, thereby also acting as a cultural facility; and Jinyun Quarries, an ongoing transformation of nine abandoned quarries into public spaces for social and cultural activities. Through the presented projects Tian Tian shares a design philosophy that attends to the particularities of place to instill existing spaces with renewed possibilities.
The presentation is followed by a conversation with Calvin Tsao, founding principal of Tsao & McKown Architects. Tsao and Tian Tian discuss how commissions with an unclear client, like the Jinyun Quarries, come into being, and to what extent the solutions Dn_A has formulated to the crisis of rural China are applicable elsewhere in the world, among other topics.
Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art. The spring 2022 Current Work series focuses on architectural practices designing museums, schools, and cultural centers that contend with the complex legacies of place.