Fall Lecture Series: Chinese Architecture

Pei Zhu’s Blur Hotel

Click here to watch Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu’s lecture video!

Rice Design Alliance is pleased to announce its fall lecture series, “Chinese Architecture: 中国建筑,” and a special issue of Cite that will explore the impact of the thirty-year building explosion in China. To purchase tickets, please click here.

“The lecture series will be a great opportunity to see design being done in China in the context of tremendous growth,” says RDA board member and Chinese Architecture steering committee member Camilo Parra. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts is supporting this unprecedented exchange of designers and scholars.

The destruction of China’s vernacular buildings and courtyard-style houses has garnered widespread criticism. Some Chinese architects, however, are now creating projects that engage traditional styles and preservation in innovative ways.

Houston also has experienced tremendous booms with further growth projected for the next 25 years to a population of 8.8 million. Like many Chinese cities, Houston has an industrial base and is planned through infrastructure, unconventional regulations, and public-private partnerships rather than traditional zoning methods. The Houston community can learn from China’s recent attempts to accommodate new buildings within the existing fabric of its global cities.

RDA’s quarterly publication, Cite, is joining the transnational conversation as well. “We are sending Christof Spieler, one of Houston’s brightest minds, to China,” says Raj Mankad, editor of Cite. Spieler, an award-winning engineer, Rice School of Architecture lecturer, and METRO Board Member, will write on-the-ground reports from places similar to ones in Houston.

The lecture series will feature a U.S. scholar and three successful Chinese architects who have reacted to China’s growth in three of its most important cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. RDA members and the public are invited to hear the following speakers during the series:

Wednesday, September 28
Thomas J. Campanella
Associate Professor of Urban Planning, University of North Carolina

Wednesday, October 5
Pei Zhu
Studio Pei Zhu, Beijing

Wednesday, October 12
Wang Shu
Amateur Architecture Studio, Hangzhou

Wednesday, October 19
Qingyun Ma
Dean, University of California School of Architecture
Principal, MADA s.p.a.m., Shanghai

All lectures will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Brown Auditorium in the Caroline Wiess Law Building, each with a pre-lecture reception at 6:00 p.m. in the museum lobby. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is located at 1001 Bissonnet (enter via the Main Street door.) No guaranteed seating for ticket holders after 7:00 p.m. Additional parking at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is available until 7:00 p.m. for $3 in the museum garage located at the corner of Binz and Fannin Streets.

RDA will gladly make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. Contact RDA directly. A minimum of two week’s notice is appreciated. Please call Kathryn Fosdick Turner at 713-348-5583.

Please click here to download the flier for the Chinese lecture series.

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Senior citizens 65 and older
$10 – Students with identification
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability):
$7 – RDA, MFAH members; Senior citizens 65 and older; Students with identification
$10 – Others

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