Cersaie 40° to discusses Xu Tiantian’s Chinese rural architecture

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The Chinese architect Xu Tiantian

The Chinese architect Xu Tiantian, founder of the DnA Design and Architecture Firm based in Beijing, will take centre stage at the upcoming edition of the cultural program “Building, dwelling, thinking” (“costruire, abitare, pensare”) with a conference entitled “Terra Madre” to be held on Wednesday, 27 September at 3.00 p.m. in the Palazzo dei Congressi of BolognaFiere during Cersaie. The International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, which is scheduled to be held in Bologna from 25 to 29 September, is renowned as the world’s most important event for ceramics, bathroom furnishings, architecture, design and urban planning.

Xu Tiantian, born in Fujian, China, in 1975, received her Baccalaureate in Architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing – where she currently teaches – and her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Xu Tiantian has engaged extensively in the rural revitalisation process in China. Her groundbreaking “Architectural Acupuncture” is a holistic approach to the social and economic revitalisation of rural China and has been selected by UN-Habitat as the case study of Inspiring Practice on Urban-Rural Linkages. Her architecture extends beyond the mere construction of buildings and also encompasses social design aimed at maximising benefits for both the location and its people. The traditional building culture in rural areas differs significantly from that in urban areas. By integrating communities with their surroundings and considering the cultural and economic context, architecture becomes a fundamental tool for enhancing local agrarian life in villages.

Her main projects include the Huiming Tea Workshop, which showcases the traditional Huiming tea production process, integrating the local She culture with Buddhist culture; the project for transforming the abandoned tuff Quarries in Jinyun into a space for cultural events; the old bridge in the village of Shimen converted into a viewing platform for the Songyin river and the Wuyang dam.

Xu Tiantian has received numerous awards such as the Swiss Architectural Award in 2022, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2023 and the Berlin Art Prize / Kunstpreis Berlin – Architecture in 2023. In 2020, she was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

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