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MAD in China - Danish Architecture Centre

MAD in China - Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen

MAD IN CHINA’, the solo design exhibition of the Beijing-based architecture firm MAD, opened in the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), Copenhagen on November 2, 2007. This is the second exhibition of MAD in Europe following their 2006 Venice show. The exhibition is on view through January 2008.

MAD Office, a young Chinese firm of architects and designers, took the international scene by storm in 2006, as the first Chinese studio ever to win an architecture competition outside China. The “Absolute Tower” in Toronto, Canada, is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Over the last 20 years China has become known as the factory of the world. “Made in China” is globally recognised as symbolising cheap products and low quality. However, in the post-globalization era, the whole world has set its eyes on China, a country that is advancing rapidly in economy, culture, and art as well as in other realms. A new generation of architects and designers are in the middle of creating a multi-layeyed social identity, transforming the economical strength and individual dreams into a new kaleidoscope of size, height, space and shape.

Kent Martinussen, the director of DAC, remarked that MAD IN CHINA is not merely an exhibition of an emerging new firm. Rather, the firm’s controversial social dimension brings new perspective on China to the West. China begins to make their own rules, no longer subject to the taste of foreign countries.

The show features arresting design proposals from the socially conscious architecture firm. In MAD’s most visionary, politically daring design “Beijing 2050,” the studio has quite literally gone mad with futuristic visions for a densely populated city in the year 2050, including a blueprint for transforming Tiananmen Square into a sprawling, forested parkland.

The show also includes other major works of MAD: The 800-metre Guangzhou Twin Towers take a humorous and critical look at the tradition of skyscraper as architectural icon while referencing Chinese pop-culture; ‘Fish Tank’ is a reflection on mass-produced housing in an industrialized society. Visionary projects currently headed towards construction such as Toronto’s highly-publicized Absolute Tower, and Tianjin, China’s culturally significant Sinosteel International Plaza are examples of the office’s forward-thinking spaces that are quickly becoming reality. One item in the exhibition, the Denmark Pavilion, confronts the associations with ‘Made in China’, and features materials produced and refined in China, but later shipped to Europe for assembly. With each project, an idiosyncratic voice rises with the boldness and creativity to confidently step forward among the global architecture scene.

DAC has curated solo exhibitions of influential contemporary architects such as Daniel Libeskind, Frank Ghery and Santiago Calatrava.

Most recently, MAD was selected to do a high-rise building competition in Copenhagen, with MVRDV, BIG and Behnisch & Behnisch as the contenders.

MAD, an abbreviation of MA Design, is named after the firm's founder, Ma Yansong. After a Masters degree in 2002 from the Yale School of Architecture, he worked for such prestigious firms as Eisenman Architects in New York and Zaha Hadid in London before he returned to China. He taught architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and in 2004, he founded the company MAD Over the next two years. Ma entered his designs in more than 100 competitions, winning several, although none was ever built. When the Absolute Tower project was signed, his trajectory shot upward with the building. He won the Architecture League of New York’s 2006 Young Architect Award; he exhibited a design collection called “MAD in China” at the Venice Biennale); and he embarked on a global lecturing circuit. MAD now employs 37 people and recently opened an office in Tokyo to become China’s first internationally based architecture firm.

Ma Yansong Yosuke Hayano Qun Dang

Links >

MAD Office

Danish Architecture Centre (DAC)

Obras publicadas en NA > Hong Luo Club House / Rising House, Beijing - China

Entrevista con Yansong Ma (MAD Office) >>>


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