MAD Office, Beijing, China. MAD is a Beijing-based architecture design office dedicated to creating innovative projects. The firm combines a sophisticated design philosophy with advanced technology in addressing and furthering issues in contemporary architecture and urbanity.
The firm has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2006 Architectural League of New York's Young Architects Forum Award.
MAD's ongoing projects include the international competition-winning Absolute Tower in Toronto, Canada; The Tianjin Sinosteel International Plaza, a 320M tall tower in Tianjin, China; the Mongolian Museum in Inner Mongolia, China, and a private villa in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The firm has also won numerous international design competitions, including the 2006 Absolute Tower Competition in Toronto; the 2005 Solar Plaza Competition in Guangzhou, China, and the 2004 Shanghai National Software Outsourcing Base.
MAD's work has been published worldwide, and the office has also presented its designs in a series of exhibitions. In 2006, MAD was shown at the ‘MAD in China' exhibition in Venice during the Architecture Biennial, and the ‘MAD Under Construction' exhibition at the Tokyo Gallery in Beijing. In March of 2007, MAD will be shown at ‘MAD.exe' an exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ma Yansong, Yosuke Hayano and Qun Dand.
Beijing-born architect Ma Yansong is recognized as an important voice in a new generation of architects. Since the founding of MAD in 2004, his works in architecture and art have been widely published and exhibited. He graduated from the Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Ma attended Yale University after receiving the American Institute of Architects Scholarship for Advanced Architecture Research in 2001 and holds a masters degree in Architecture from Yale. He has since taught architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.
Ma Yansong was awarded the 2006 Architecture League Young Architects Award. In 2008 he was selected as one of the twenty most influential Young Architects today by ICON magazine and Fast Company named him one of the ten most creative people in architecture in 2009. In 2010 he became the first architect from China to receive a RIBA fellowship.
“I work with emotion and with the context. When I design a building, I close my eyes and feel as if I saw a virtual world which lays half way between the city, the nature and the land. It goes from large scale to small scale. Many things travel in front of my eyes; I feel them and try to find the way to express my feelings. The language I use is the least important of it all. It does not matter whether they are straight lines, curves... I only intend for people to feel the same or to find something unexpected” says Ma Yansong. “MAD is an attitude, a posture towards architecture, towards society. Through our work we want people to be inspired by a place through local nature, time and space”, he states.
Photo © Daniel J.Allen
After his studies in photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Iwan Baan followed his interest in documentary photography, before narrowing his focus to record the various ways in which individuals, communities and societies create, and interact within their built environment.
With his combined passion for documentary and space, he’s photographs reveal our innate ability to re-appropriate our available objects and materials, in order to find a place we can call our own. Examples of this can be seen in his work on informal communities where vernacular architecture and placemaking serve as examples of human ingenuity, such as his images of the Torre David in Caracas – a series that won Baan the Golden Lion for Best Installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.
With no formal training in architecture, his perspective mirrors the questions and perspectives of the everyday individuals who give meaning and context to the architecture and spaces that surround us, and this artistic approach has given matters of architecture an approachable and accessible voice.
As the inaugural recipient of the Julius Shulman award for photography, today, architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Toyo Ito, SANAA and Morphosis turn to Baan to give their work a sense of place and narrative within their environments. Alongside his architecture commissions, he has collaborated on several successful book projects such as Insular Insight: Where Art and Architecture Conspire with Nature, Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities and Brasilia & Chandigarh – Living With Modernity. Baan’s work also appears on the pages of architecture, design and lifestyle publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Architectural Record, Domus, Abitare and Architectural Digest.
Iwan Baan was named one of the 100 most influential people in contemporary architecture world by the magazine Il Magazine dell’Architettura on occasion of their 100th issue. He is recipient of the AIA Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award.