April 30, 2015
Design Matters lecturer balances traditional and modern, nature and social life
How can high-density development keep people connected to nature and social life? Ma Yansong, founder and principal of Beijing’s MAD Architects, is bringing nature and architecture together at an unprecedented scale. Yansong will be speaking in Calgary May 4 as the final Design Matters lecturer for the 2014-15 season.
Hosted by the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS), the Design Matters lecture series challenges the community to broaden its thinking on design-related issues. This month, the series welcomes Yansong to Calgary for a lecture held at a special location: Civic on Third.
In this lecture, Yansong will lead the audience through his firm’s core design philosophy, and his vision for a future "Shanshui City," a high-density urban development inspired by traditional Chinese paintings of mountain ranges. The Shanshui city is modern and high-density, but also pays close attention to the interplay of the natural and built environments and is based in the spiritual and emotional needs of residents.
"After 100 years of modern architectural development, people still think the traditional courtyard is the best," he says. "But to allow millions of people to live together on limited land, we have to go to the sky; we have to build a high rise. But we can still build nature and social space into the towers. Each family can have their own courtyard in the sky," he told Dezeen, a leading architecture and design magazine.
This concept has been earning Yansong international attention as a creative pioneer. Fast Company named him one of the Ten Most Creative People in Architecture in 2009 and one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2014. Recently, following a worldwide search, MAD Architects was chosen as the principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, with VOA Associates serving as the executive architect leading the implementation of MAD's design.
MAD Architects is a global architecture firm committed to developing futuristic, organic, technologically advanced designs that embody a contemporary interpretation of the Eastern affinity for nature. MAD endeavours to create a balance between humanity, the city, and the environment.
Join EVDS at Civic on Third (130 Third Ave. S.E.) on Monday, May 4 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., as Yansong brings real-world projects that implement this innovative way of thinking about urban landscapes.