2016

[115] IDEAS IN ACTION – The Book



ACROSS CHINESE CITIES: (115) IDEAS IN ACTION – Critical Design Practice in China

Book launched at the WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL TAIPEI 2016 

13 – 30 October, 2016

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park – Taipei, Taiwan

The book project Across Chinese Cities – Ideas in Action was featured as part of the International City Pavilion – Unfold Cities at the International Design House Exhibition/ World Design Capital Taipei representing the city of Beijing, where in all 13 participating international cities, countries and organizations had been invited.

Following the latest instantiation of the Across Chinese Cities program at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, Across Chinese Cities – Ideas in Action (Critical Design Practice in China) is the first publication in both Chinese and English language to offer insight in the specific outputs, contexts of action as well as strands of intellectual perambulation that inform the state of design in China today. Styled in form of an almanac, this 320-page book is arranged in alphabetical order by presenting 115 projects developed by a variety of local and international practitioners in the PRC. These cover a breadth of disciplinary encounters, ranging from urban planning, architecture and temporary interventions, to examples of design initiatives and organizations, publishing ventures, open-source and digital fabrication, to just name a few.

‘’What draws shared significance to these assembly of creative visions is their dynamic positioning within generative networks of co-doing and combining of knowledge, their detouring within the remedial scale of actions that can rekindle broken or obsolete relations of production, inheritance and place into novel processes of mutuality and co-dependency. These practices advocate for design actions that are generated by a locally shaped resourcefulness of humanistic and social engagement, yet can be taken as blueprints and propositions of relevance on a global expanse.’’ (from my preface in the book)

They have been selected according to four analytical categories that portray distinct yet interwoven scales of operation and systems of knowledge, to the end of rendering their implicit dependences manifest. They are: Re-Thinking Systems, Spatial Divides, Social Making, Visuality&Objecthood.

If you are interested to buy or distribute the book be in touch via the contact page or write to media[at]bjdw[dot]org.

The book is also presented at Operae Design Festival (3-6 November) with a public talk Urban Perspectives with Carlo Ratti and me, moderated by Cino Zucchi.

ACROSS CHINESE CITIES – IDEAS IN ACTION

(Critical Design Practice in China)

A project presented by: Across Chinese Cities

Organizer: Beijing Gehua-Rizzoli Design & Communication Co Ltd.

Institutional Support: Beijing Design Week

Publication Curator: Beatrice Leanza

Project Management: Evelyn Chen Yi Chenhao

Graphic Design: D-T-Z-W Studio (Li Xibin)

Editors: Qin Lei,Wang Qing,and others

Translation: Zhou Xuan, Lin Yan

www.acrosschinesecities.org

SEE ALSO ::

Baitasi Remade 2016/2015



www.btsremade.org

(all photos in gallery by Nicola Longobardi for Baitasi Remade project)

First launched with the 2015 edition of Beijing Design Week in the context of Baitasi historic hutong district, Baitasi Remade is a program of urban renewal tasked to integrate communal engagement, architectural and infrastructural upgrading by way of soft-strategies of development taking design thinking, cultural making and educational empowerment at their heart.
The Baitasi Remade project aims at emplacing unprecedented modes of collectively rethinking the sustainability of life in the city as products of networked systems for knowledge making-and-sharing inspired by the human-scaled dimension of traditional settlements like Beijing’s hutong areas, to eventually shape new urban communities.

The 2016&2015 BTS Remade project were under the creative direction of Beatrice Leanza, who positioned the area as a living incubator for a networked community of design professionals and entrepreneurs to take home in the area and partake to the rejuvenation of its cultural and social ecosystem.  The program presented at BJDW offered insight into potential post-event activities fostering dialogue between perspective and existing communities, as a prelude to a generative process of interactions among various professional stakeholders – from economic and institutional actors to creative players in the fields of design at large – and local residents. Under the thematic agenda of Urban Learning & The Future of Sharing, the program dives into an articulated strand of site-oriented initiatives that labour around ‘the future of design education and sharing culture’ intended as key fora for the discursive and pragmatic exploration of methodologies of redevelopment specific to the Baitasi area that could be further employed as blueprints for similarly challenged social and built environments in and out of China.

Urban Learning – For a new distributed sense of place and global belonging

By taking Baitasi’ unique urban and social formation as its prime area of investigation, BTS Remade looks at creating strategies of productive re-positioning for similarly shaped living environs within the larger ecosystem of the city and its global expanse. Transformations in the structural and demographic outlook of large metropolises like Beijing, present challenges as much as opportunities for such historically stratified neighbourhoods and their constitutive values of communal reciprocity and social co-dependency to accommodate a distributed sense of place and belonging as fostered across the evermore dematerializing spatial confines we inhabit and traverse in our daily endeavours. How can past and present forms of spatial thinking and social making together inform novel living standards and knowledge systems for contemporary urban residents? Is there a place for thereof ensuing modalities of life to partake in the larger urban economy of global expanse? How can we mend the disruptions of urban conglomerations by way of rewiring connections among the desires, needs and expectations of fragmented social groups and interests?

The Future of Sharing – The Future of Urban Making

The Baitasi Remade project takes an investigative approach of participatory observation into the constitutive nature of today’s processes of transformation that motivate individuals’, institutions’, corporate and governmental co-participation in the grand narrative of urban-making. It does so by addressing potential outcomes for today’s network-based, digitally-shaped economies of sharing to escalate collaboration and engagement to extant urban problems and their otherwise atomizing social effects. The project strives to configure new process of dialogue among clusters of knowledge and expertise – urban, social, anthropological, scientific, economic, etc. – to generate new ideas for start-ups, social entrepreneurship and creative initiatives to be integrated in the area.

BEIJING DESIGN WEEK 2016 – Program

The 2016 BTS Remade curatorial framework encapsulated under the agenda of ‘Urban Learning & The Future of Sharing’ is articulated around two core knowledge-making hubs connected to a set of initiatives and participatory projects involving the local context&residents as a prelude to post-BJDW activities. These are to be found around selected spaces in the area and are organized with long-term partners and collaborators involved in post-event planning as ad hoc public programs and newly created projects rethinking how design can enter productive dialogue with the social and infrastructural givens of this historical urban enclave.

The program is thus divided in three core sections including: two knowledge-making hubs which are The Global School and the Baitasi Print Club, and a number of initiatives scattered around the area under the umbrella of Baitasi Projects.

See details on the dedicated website www.btsremade.org – we will update on the next steps soon.

SEE ALSO ::

Ongoing – ACROSS CHINESE CITIES



Across Chinse Cities is an international program promoted by Beijing Design Week (BJDW) since its launch at the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Developed as a series of exhibition, public programs and events, it aims at generating unprecedented content and research around the state of producing, thinking and being in the urban condition of today China, providing access to the practical and theoretical knowledge generated at the crossroads of its unabated challenges and ambitions.

The two exhibition projects so far produced (Across Chinese Cities – Beijing and Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision) featured as official collateral events of the Venice Architecture Biennale, while relevant activities like talks, symposia, publications and spin-off exhibitions have taken place in the context of Beijing Design Week and other cultural institutions and platforms internationally.

A third installment of the project (Across Chinese Cities – Ideas in Action) was produced for the World Design Capital Taipei 2016, and consists in an unprecedented publication on critical design practice in China.

You can read more about Across Chinese Cities at the dedicated website WWW.ACROSSCHINESECITIES.ORG or under dedicated entries in this website.

Editorial content and texts by Beatrice Leanza.

Chief Curators: Beatrice Leanza and Michele Brunello (DONTSTOP Architettura)

For full list of credits and supporting partners and institutions please check the dedicated website.

SEE ALSO ::

China House Vision_2016



ACROSS CHINESE CITIES – CHINA HOUSE VISION

Official Collateral Event of the 2016 International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

VISUAL DESIGN & Printed Matter: by Sans Practice

Editorial direction and all texts by Beatrice Leanza, curator Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision

For Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision we realized a set branded items and printed matter to accompany this unprecedented show.

With direction of overall visual design by Shenzhen based SANS Practice, the items include tote bag, key-shaped usb, a foldout map with content and texts about the exhibition, flyers and mini cards. SANS (三思) was founded in 2010 by Yijing Xu and Neill Mclean Gaddes, a pair of thinkers and practitioners engaged in strategic design from Shenzhen. The practice values execution as much as presentation and consultation; integrating ideation, planning, design, implementation and evaluation into a cyclic process for clients ranging from SOE’ s involved in property and cultural development, to media organizations, curators and architects.

The same visuals where applied all throughout the exhibition.

SEE ALSO ::

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016



Ca’ Tron, Santa Croce 1957 – 30135 Venezia

May 26 – September 23, 2016

Open daily 8:30 – 19:45 // June: open every day // July- September: Closed Saturday and Sunday // Closed: August 1 – 22, 2016

For the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, we are presenting the second installment of Across Chinese Cities, an international program ‘promoted by Beijing Design Week (BJDW) since its launch at the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia with Across Chinese Cities – Beijing.

The 2016 exhibition Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision, an official collateral event, curated by Beatrice Leanza (BJDW) and Michele Brunello (DONTSTOP Architettura), stems from the House Vision project, a Pan-Asian platform of multidisciplinary research and development started by designer Kenya Hara and Sadao Tsuchiya for Japan in 2013. House Vision is an exploration in ‘applied futurity’ in the realm of domestic habitation exercised by match-made teams of architecture practices and industry-leading companies from various sectors for the actualization of visionary conceptions of ‘home’ responding to extant urban challenges, lifestyle transformations and human needs.

Across Chinese Cities – House Vision features for the first time the body of research so far produced with a team of China-based architects and experts from various innovation-driven industries. It addresses the wider cultural and historic implications affecting the role and habitat of architecture practice in today China as increasingly impacted by environmental factors, shape-shifting demographics and generational segmentation.

The show renders manifest the contextual phenomena – economic, urban, social – that inform the research trajectories, motives and conditions behind 12 architectural proposals by reflecting on the implications of rethinking ‘habitation’ beyond the strict confines of the ‘private’.

Participating architects (in alphabetical order): Approach Architecture Studio, Atelier Deshaus, Atelier FCJZ, Atelier Fronti, AZL Architects, Beijing Centre for the Arts (In collaboration with Kengo Kuma, Winy Maas and Au Yeung Ying Chai), B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio, Crossboundaries Architects, MAD Architects, NEXT Architects, Trace Architecture Office, URBANUS, ZAO/standardarchitecture.

Promoter: Beijing Design Week

Organizer: China RedStar Design Award, CHINA HOUSE VISION Committee

Curators: Beatrice Leanza, Creative Director Beijing Design Week & Michele Brunello, architect DONTSTOP Architettura

Across Chinese Cities 2016 Guest City – Chengdu // Guest City Curator: Weng Ling

Exhibition DesignDONTSTOP Architettura (Michele Brunello & Marco Brega) & Omri Ravesz Studio (Team: Giorgio Donà, Caterina Fumagalli)

Visual and Graphic DesignSANS Practice

Exhibition Sponsors: Lenovo Group, SunShine 100, I-Space, CITIC BookStores

Institutional Support: Unesco ICCSD, Sino-Eu Innovation Center, Beijing Centre for the Arts

Technical Provider (Furniture): QM Furniture

More info soon here and at the ‘under construction’ www.acrosschinesecities.org as of mid May!

See you in Venice soon.

SEE ALSO ::

Shanghai Art&Design Biennale 2016


”IDEAS in ACTION” in SHANGHAI ART&DESIGN 2016 ¬ TRANS-DESIGN

January 10 – March 15, 2016

West Bund Art Centre, Shanghai 


Curator: Beatrice Leanza

Exhibition Design: reMIX Studio

Participants: 2×4 / Alexander Åhnebrink / Alvaro Catalan de Ozon / Anaide Gregory Studio / Atlas Studio / 白塔寺再生计划Baitasi Remade Project / 中央美术学院 -工业设计系Central Academy of Fine Arts – Industrial Design Department / 曹璞Cao Pu / 大木设计事务所DAMU Design / Studio Eva de Laat / From余杭融设计图书馆 & Pinwu 设计工作室From Yuhang – Rong Design Library & Pinwu /郝振瀚Hao Zhenhan / 黄明健Huang Mingjian / Instant Hutong-Studio Ramoprimo / LAVA Design Agency / 樂建筑 Le Architecture / LCD – Laboratory for Creative Design) / OPENDOT / 众建筑People’s Architecture Office / 临界工作室reMIX Studio / Studio S.W.I.N.E. & Andrew Friend / 清华大学 – 工业设计系Tsinghua University – Industrial Design Department / YEAH! Archkids

IDEAS in ACTION is one of four core thematic exhibitions constitutive of the 2016 Shanghai Art&Design biennale, hosted in the 8000 sqm space of the West Bund Art Centre (a reclaimed hangar once used as an airplane repair shop).

Ideas in Action brings together multidisciplinary projects linking conceptual and practical strategies of design enactment that mobilize extant relations of production, inheritance and place into new conformations. The exhibition aims at offering a critical look at forms of integrated thinking found, inspired by or echoing across contemporary scenarios of change in China that span from object-to-city making by way of rerouting connections across the social, cultural and spatial givens of uneven or unattended frameworks of development. While their specificity of investigation is expansive in covering from urban and rural renewal to augmented methodologies of making, engaging craft-thinking and-digital knowledge or grassroots intelligence, a common denominator of positive value-making, co-actualization and a light-weight awareness of ethical like-mindedness, drives their action. The implicit premise to this assembly of positions is the recognition that design performs today as a ‘meta-project’ across disciplinary and systemic structures of both intangible and material nature, which must labour at the interplay of processes grounded in practical know-hows as much as empower culturally dispositional faculties of locational character. What draws shared significance to these projects is their dynamic positioning within generative networks of co-doing and combining of knowledge, their detouring within the remedial scale of actions that can rekindle broken or obsolete relations of production, inheritance and place into novel processes of mutuality and co-dependency. These practices advocate for design actions that are generated by a situationally shaped resourcefulness of humanistic and social engagement, while remaining committed to exploring the ideas and the technical boundaries that move the discipline towards new horizons.

The featured projects have been selected according to four analytical categories that portray distinct yet interwoven scales of operation. The categories are: Infrastructural Matrix, Growth Protocols, Infill, and Materiality & Objecthood. Although categorized according to these four subchapters, the selected projects are not so presented in site of the show, as the spatial narrative instead highlights their interconnections, as if extensions of a growing organism, laid along a ‘dynamic masterplan’ realized by Beijing-based reMIX Studio.

INFRUSTRUCTURAL MATRIX

The works here featured here unpack the workings of systems of development traversing various spatial and material registers – from urban and domestic, to places and forms of production (from studio to factory; from digital prototyping to artisanal remake), and the communities that inhabit them, thus eliciting how designers are finding new ways of constitutive interaction against shrinking economies, socially divided contexts and degrading or disappearing cultural heritages.

These include: urban spaces, domestic spaces, spaces of production (from studio to factory), social spaces and communities, systems of production (from digital prototyping to artisanal remake).

INFILL

As a dive into the first chapter, this section looks at specific projects that infiltrate orders of production (urban, industrial, social, architectural, etc.) by giving shape to novel solutions or simply poetic expressions emerging from within. These projects unveil what is unattended, invisible or underutilized by way of creative gestures turning those into new productive potential. Borrowed from architectural parlance, a strategic ‘infill’ is side-track thinking, it is a compounded approach that generates scalability out of extreme specificity.

These include: architectural projects, visual and graphic design, social design, industrial design.

GROWTH PROTOCOLS

This features programs that operate more specifically across the post-demographic scape of increasingly segmented user-and-consumer groups, devising new tools and systems to bring positive change to critical contexts, endangered or discarded constituencies.

These include: social design, digital and interaction design, product design.

MATERIALITY & OBJECTHOOD

The designers and creators selected for this section are more prominently working across material divides at the crossroads of new systems of ‘making’, rethinking traditional and artisanal forms and methodologies with the aid of contemporary technologies and skilling emerging as a result of changing systems of fabrication, distribution and ever more flexible and customizable possibilities of creation. Changing notion of aesthetic and material orders surface as a result.