Yansong Ma: MAD Dinner (March 26, 2008)



Ming Fung introduces Yansong Ma in the context of the current Chinese economy, and China’s culture and arts. She discusses his contribution to the changing landscape of architectural practice in China. Fung questions the role of digital tools and manufacturing processes on the globalization of architectural design.

Yansong Ma proposes to structure his talk around his recent book, MAD Dinner. He discusses the history of the office, noting their engagement in over a hundred competitions over the last two years. He then documents the contributors to MAD Dinner, including writers, artists, architects and filmmakers. Ma questions what it means to represent China in a fast-changing global landscape.

Ma describes a museum that is part of a new master plan for Ordos, Mongolia, a house in Denmark inspired by Mies van der Rohe, and his office’s first international commission in Toronto. The discussion of the projects includes an explanation of manufacturing methods and construction techniques.

Ma concludes with a discussion on the future of his office, and speculates on different directions China might take in the next few years. He presents a project for a high density city in the sky as a commentary on utopian ideals among the Chinese. Ma explains a theoretical project that revisits the history of Tiananmen Square and introduces Russian Soviet buildings into the original context.

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