Revival of creativity

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-13 07:12

Revival of creativity

Wang Shu, winner of the Pritzker Prize. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

"I guess the reason I got the prize was that what we were doing got accidentally discovered by the world," Wang says.

"In a country with the largest number of ongoing construction projects in the world, there are few creative projects with Chinese characteristics," he says, adding that Chinese-style architecture has got lost in the frenzy of real estate development.

"Chinese architects have mimicked Western formats. ...We need a blank sheet of paper to start all over again."

Now, an exhibition, titled Re-Experiment: Live Exhibition of CAA School of Architecture, which began at the academy last week, is showcasing the school's architectural strides with models and drawings inspired by construction materials and public spaces. The works from students of the school are displayed under different themes. Some exhibits are even half-done.

"We don't want to review all our best work in a decade," Wang says. "This is more like a biennale."

The school is viewing architecture as a form of contemporary experimental art.

"Architecture education is not just knowledge-based, and we don't just draw but work with hands-on understanding of construction," he says.

Consequently, the beginners' syllabus here reads more like a training manual for carpenters and bricklayers rather than architects.

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