Current Work: DnA_Design and Architecture

Beijing-based architect Xu Tiantian presents her firm's recent projects in rural China.

July 26, 2022

Recorded on May 31, 2022.

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

The spring 2022 Current Work series focuses on architectural practices designing museums, schools, and cultural centers that contend with the complex legacies of place. 

In this lecture video Xu Tiantian, founder and director of DnA_Design and Architecture, presents a series of the firm’s cultural projects in Songyang County, an area of rural China. Among the works discussed are Tofu Factory, a building that increases the economic viability of small tofu producers and gives visitors a view into the manufacturing process, and Jinyun Quarries, an ongoing transformation of nine abandoned quarries into public spaces for social and cultural activities. Through the presented projects Tiantian shares an approach to design that expands the possibilities for existing spaces.

The presentation is followed by a conversation with Calvin Tsao, founding principal of Tsao & McKown Architects. Among other topics, Tsao and Tiantian discuss how circumstances can cause confusion between designer and client, and if the solutions Dn_A has formulated in response to rural China’s crises can be applied elsewhere.


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