Emerging Chinese Firms | The Plan
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Emerging Chinese Firms

Studio Pei Zhu | Amateur Architecture | MAD | MADA S.P.A.M.

Talented young Chinese architects are beginning to win competitions for every kind of building, from high rises to campuses and civic centers, as well as tiny gems. Many were trained abroad and worked in foreign offices before returning to set up their own small firms. Their optimism is inspiring and surprising, given the pressures from profit-hungry developers and entrenched bureaucrats. They have to battle for jobs with top practitioners from around the world as well as huge state institutes that enjoyed a monopoly in architectural design and engineering until eleven years ago. The newcomers aren’t playing in that league yet, but they’ve realized far more in a few years of practice than most of their contemporaries in the West. Xu Tiantian, who got her masters degree from Harvard and set up her firm, DnA, in 2004, speaks for her peers. “There are frustrations, but it’s exciting to be...

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