Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.
Wang Shu and his wife, Lu Wenyu, founded Amateur Architecture Studio in 1997 in Hangzhou, China. The name of the office refers to the approach of an amateur builder—one based on spontaneity, craft skills, and cultural traditions. In order to learn traditional skills, Wang Shu spent the early part of his career working on building sites. Rather than looking toward the West for inspiration, Wang’s work is rooted firmly in the context of Chinese history and culture. Today the studio incorporates Wang’s knowledge of everyday techniques to adapt and transform materials for contemporary projects. The “unique combination of traditional understanding, experimental building tactics, and intensive research” has become fundamental to the office’s architectural projects.
Some of his most important built works include the Library of Wenzheng College, Suzhou University; Ningbo Contemporary Art Museum; the Xiangshan Campus of the China Academy of Art; and the Ningbo History Museum.
Wang Shu is the 2012 Pritzker Prize laureate, the first Chinese citizen to receive that honor. He is a 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.
Moderated by Calvin Tsao. Tsao is a principal of TsAO & McKOWN and serves on the board of directors of The Architectural League of New York.
This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.