AJ Climate Champions with Hattie Hartman
Chinese architect Xu Tiantian on revitalising rural villages
Episode 40. AJ Climate Champions with Hattie Hartman. In this episode, we explore the global phenomenon of shrinking villages in the countryside, hearing about a remarkable series of interventions in southeastern China by DnA_Design, a small Beijing practice.
Xu advocates a role change for architects in both rural and urban contexts. Architects should no longer accept a commission as given, but take the initiative and evaluate a project’s regional context to make a proposal that is unique and rooted in its place.
In less than a decade, Xu and her team have built more than 20 projects that vary widely in programme and materiality: a tofu factory, a museum, performance spaces and a sugar factory. These projects have attracted new residents back to formerly dilapidated villages by creating jobs and a sense of purpose in these forgotten places.
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For show notes to this episode, go to www.architectsjournal.co.uk/podcasts
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