Site, Light, and Making: A Manifesto

Gong Dong 

Since the early 1980s, China’s focus has been fundamentally shifted towards economic development. And it was not until that time that the country opened its doors to integrate with the world. Reflecting in the practice of architecture and the theoretical discourse, we missed the global baptism of Modernism that started from Bauhaus and lasted for more than half a century. But since the 1980s, different waves – mingled with voices of ‘new concepts’ and ‘new courses’ – have been constantly challenging the architects’ stance and judgement: from postmodernism and deconstructivism to the globalization, informatization, digitalization, and consumerism of the twenty-first century. Everything appears to be possible, yet to be believed for certain.

On the other side, China has been known as the world’s construction site for the past two decades. Rapid urbanization and tremendous changes and renewal of built environments have undoubtedly offered us way more practicing opportunities than anywhere else in the world. However, this mode of construction with unprecedented scale and speed has deprived the governments, stakeholders, and architects of the time, devotion, and aspiration for thoughtful design and high-quality construction...[+]

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