The MoMA presents the exhibition Reuse, Renew, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China

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Chief curator.- Martino Stierli. Assistant curator.- Evangelos Kotsioris. Curatorial advice.- Prof. Li Xiangning, Tongji University, Shanghai.
Amateur Architecture Studio.- Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu. Archi-Union Architects.- Philip F.Yuan. Atelier Deshaus.- Liu Yichun and Chen Yifeng. DnA Design and Architecture.- Xu Tiantian. Studio Zhu Pei.- Zhu Pei. Vector Architects.- Dong Gong. Standardarchitecture.- Zhang Ke.
The exhibition is made possible by Allianz, MoMA's partner for design and innovation.
16.09.2021 > 04.07.2022.
MoMA, Floor 3, 3 North. The Philip Johnson Galleries. 11 W 53rd St. New York, NY 10019, USA.
Schranimage, Shengliang Su, Ziling Wang, Wu Qingshan.

Martino Stierli

Martino Stierli is The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, a role he assumed in March 2015. Mr. Stierli oversees the wide-ranging program of special exhibitions, installations, and acquisitions of the Department of Architecture and Design.

As the Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Art History, Mr. Stierli focused his research on architecture and media. His project The Architecture of Hedonism: Three Villas in the Island of Capri was included in the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice. He has organized and co-curated exhibitions on a variety of topics, including the international traveling exhibition Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (2008–14).

Mr. Stierli has taught at various Swiss universities, including the universities of Zurich and Basel as well as ETH Zurich. He studied art and architectural history, German, and comparative literature at the University of Zurich, where he received his MA in 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he was part of the graduate program Urban Forms—Conditions and Consequences at ETH Zurich, from which he received a Ph.D. in 2008.


Wang Shu (architect and professor) was born in 1963 in Urumqi, a city in Xinjiang, the western most province of China. He received his first degree in architecture in 1985 and his Masters degree in 1988, both from the Nan Nanjing Institute of Technology.

Wang Shu and his wife, Lu Wenyu, founded Amateur Architecture Studio in 1997 in Hangzhou, China. The office name references the approach an amateur builder takes—one based on spontaneity, craft skills and cultural traditions. Wang Shu spent a number of years working on building sites to learn traditional skills. The firm utilizes his knowledge of everyday techniques to adapt and transform materials for contemporary projects. This unique combination of traditional understanding, experimental building tactics and intensive research defines the basis for the studio’s architectural projects.

The studio takes a critical view of the architecture profession’s part in the demolition and destruction of large urban areas. At the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale, Amateur Architecture Studio expressed views of on-going demolitions in “Tiled Garden,” an installation made from 66,000 recycled tiles salvaged from demolition sites. Rather than looking toward the West for inspiration, as many of Shu’s contemporaries do, his work is rooted in the context of Chinese history and culture.

Wang Shu has often explained in lectures and interviews that “to me architecture is spontaneous for the simple reason that architecture is a matter of everyday life. When I say that I build a ‘house’ instead of a ‘building’, I am thinking of something that is closer to life, everyday life. When I named my studio ‘Amateur Architecture’, it was to emphasize the spontaneous and experimental aspects of my work, as opposed to being ‘official and monumental’."

Wang Shu is Professor and Head of the Architecture School at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. In 2011, he became the first Chinese Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He has exhibited individually and participated in several major international exhibitions including: the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale at which he received a special mention for the “Decay of a Dome” installation – a project whose light, mobile and utterly simple structure can be speedily constructed or returned to nothingness; the 2009 “Architecture as a Resistance” solo exhibition at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels; the 2007 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture; the 2003 <em>“Alors, La Chine?”</em> exhibit at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the 2002 Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Art Museum; the 2001 “TU MU-Young Architecture of China” exhibit at AEDES Gallery, Berlin; and the 1999 Chinese Young Architects’ Experimental Works Exhibition, UIA Congress, Beijing.

In 2011, Wang Shu received the Gold Medal of Architecture (grande médaille d’or) from the l'Académie d'Architecture of France. In 2010, Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu were awarded the Schelling Architecture Prize, which goes to individuals who have responsibly advanced architecture's development with significant designs, realized buildings or with profound contributions to architectural history and theory. The Vertical Courtyard Apartment, in Hangzhou was nominated for the 2008, German-based International Highrise Award. In 2005, the project “Five Scattered Houses” in Ningbo received an acknowledgement from the Asia Pacific Holcim Awards for sustainable construction, and in 2003, the Wenzheng Library received the Architecture Art Award of China.

Wang Shu/Amateur Architecture Studio is known for the following built works: Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University, China (2000); Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum, Ningbo, China, (2005); Five Scattered Houses, Ningbo, China (2005); Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art (Phase I) Hangzhou, China (2004); Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art (Phase II) Hangzhou, China (2007); Ceramic House, Jinhua, China (2006); Vertical Courtyard Apartments, Hangzhou, China (2007); Ningbo History Museum, Ningbo, China (2008); and, Exhibition Hall of the Imperial Street of Southern Song Dynasty, Hangzhou, China (2009).


LU Wenyu. WANG Shu and LU Wenyu founded the Amateur Architecture Studio in 1998. This Hangzhou-based practice has grown during the past eight years into a famous name in China. The Amateur Architecture Studio’s best-known projects are the Wenzheng Library in Suzhou University, the Harbor Art Museum in Ningbo and the Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou.

The Amateur Architecture Studio was engaged in experimental research projects, for example Sanhe House in the China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in Nanjing, the Ceramic Tea House in Jinhua Architecture Park in Jinghua. The projects have been shown in international exhibitions from 2001 including “TU MU-Young Architecture of China” in AEDES Gallery, Berlin (Germany), Shanghai Biennale 2002 at the Shanghai Art Museum in Shanghai, (China), Alors, La Chine?, Centre Pompidou in Paris (France), Synthi-Scapes: Chinese Pavilion of the 50th Venice Biennale in the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (China) and in the Art Museum of the Central Academy, Beijing (China). The projects have been published in China and abroad.


Atelier Deshaus was founded in Shanghai in 2001. The principal, Liu Yichun was born in 1969, obtained Master Degree from Tongji University, Department of Architecture in 1997. The principal, Chen Yifeng was born in 1972, obtained Master Degree from Tongji University, Department of Architecture in 1998.

While winning the architecture awards such as  Business Weeks/Architectural Record China Awards (2006), WA Chinese Architecture Awards (2006&2010), FAR EAST Architecture Awards (2010), Deshaus has been involved recently in major international exhibitions on contemporary Chinese Architecture in Shanghai, Paris, Dusseldorf, Bordeaux, Beijing, Shenzhen, Rotterdam, London, Cincinnati, Brussels, Barcelona, Cadiz, Venice, Prague, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. In 2011, Atelier Deshaus was selected by Architectural Record to be one of the 10 firms in year’s Design Vanguard.

Deshaus believes that pragmatic solutions related to contemporary architecture in China requires a rational approach that is linked to a personal touch. The rational and personalized attempt is closely related to its reproduction of the poetical tradition. Deshaus begins by contemplating on who they are and where they are, and sharply observes what is missing in the history of Chinese modern architecture and searches for the new understanding of reason (Li) which does not cut off its relationship with the traditional philos of poetics and ethics (Qing). Such an ambition requires the engagement in memory through art from a cross-culture perspective, the fusion of Li and Qing.

Philip F. Yuan. Archi-Union Architects

Archi-Union Architects. Founded in 2003 by Dr. Philip F. Yuan (Professor, CAUP, Tongji University), Archi-Union Architects is a Shanghai-based architectural design firm which is a Grade A design qualification certified by Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. It provides solutions to architectural problems through a combination of academic research and practice, specializing in architecture, urban planning and interior design. Archi-Union employs more than 60 people of all design and construction disciplines and has successfully completed more than 20 projects in the past decade.

Archi-Union has managed to introduce a design style that is an amalgam of the global trends and the local traditional architectural approach. From this stems the low-tech digital fabrication method ‘Digital Tectonics’ which merges the concepts of tectonic construction and ecology that are catalyzed through a parametric design process, in essence combining digital technology and craftsmanship.

Archi-Union’s projects have been reported by many international and national architectural design media, like T+A, UED, UA, Arquitectura Viva, Abitare China, AD China, Dezeen, Archdaily and METALOCUS.      

Xu Tiantian. DnA_Design and Architecture

DnA_Design and Architecture is an interdisciplinary practice addressing our contemporary living environment,both physical and social,from scales small to large.

Their approach to projects starts with research and discussion on context,program,and their interaction,which we believe are the fundamental elements,or the DnA,that will define design and architecture,to adapt,engage,and contribute to our society of multiplicity and complexity.

Contextprogram,and their potential relationship,will cultivate architecture into a multidimensional expression and generate new experiment and exploration for users.Architecture will continue to influence and inspire our contemporary life.

Xu Tiantian is founding principal of DnA_Design and Architecture Beijing Office.She received her master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design,and her baccalaureate in architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing.Prior to establishing DnA Beijing,She worked at a number of design firms in the United States and the Netherlands.She has received 2006 WA China Architecture Award and 2008 Young Architects Award from The Architectural League New York.


GONG DONG, one of the most active young architects in China, received Bachelor & Master of Architecture from Tsinghua University, followed by a diploma at University of Illinois where he received the Master of Architecture. He also had an exchange experience at Technical University of Munich. During his study in America, Gong Dong received several awards including Excellence Award from Steedman Fellowship International Architectural Design Competition, 2000; First Prize from American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter’s Student Design Competition,2001 and Excellence Award from Malama Learning Centre International Architecture Design Cmpetition,2002. Prior to establishing his own practice he worked for Soloman Cordwell Buenz & Associates in Chicago, then at Richard Meier & Partners and Steven Holl Architects in New York.

VECTOR ARCHITECTS was founded in 2008, Beijing. During seven years practice, we have always believed that design needs to confront problems, and it should be the attitude an architect ought to possess. Instead of enforcing architect's self-conscious or following icons and superficial forms, a good design has to respect the existing environment with support of logic and reasons. The contemporary Chinese design industry today is rather blundering that the rapid production and pursuit of landmark in height, size and form have become the main stream.

Architects no longer devote their effort for the fundamental and substantial truth of architecture. In this environment, the persistence of confronting problems remains essential and crucial. In every project, Vector Architects is devoted to discover the unrevealing relationship and various possibilities in existing context. Through our design, to create the new perception and experience which are exclusive to each project. The sense of ‘being here’ is uniquely established and reflected in percipient's emotion and action. Therefore, the space, being the vessel of living, has formed an irreplaceable connection between place and experience. 




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