Beatrice Leanza – The Architecture of Broken Relations: Design Culture & China

February 15 19:00 at National Gallery of Art in Vilnius researcher and curator Beatrice Leanza invites for an open lecture on design culture and China.

Taking cue from her recent publication Ideas in Action – Critical Design Practice in China, Beatrice Leanza offers an overview of selected research and practice-based initiatives stemming from the Chinese context to elicit a common perimeter of criticality accompanying their making. The instances investigated lay bare an interest in the reconstruction of a participatory ethics in the urban realm and in so doing target broken or obsolete relations of production, inheritance and place through rehabilitative methodologies of cultural and social character. The presentation focuses on projects that help assessing a recalibration between top-down and bottom-up approaches informed by collaborative making and can thus generate refreshed notions of contemporary situated knowledge and locational identity.

Ideas in Action – Critical Design Practice in China is the first publication in both Chinese and English language to survey projects developed by China-based designers that critically tap into the transformative dynamics of the country’s post-global cities. Styled in form of an almanac, the book features 115 projects spanning across a variety of disciplinary articulations from architecture and urban renewal to ephemeral interventions, product and editorial ventures. What draws shared significance to this assembly of positions is their dynamic detouring within the remedial scale of actions and networks of co-doing and combining of knowledge that become generative of novel processes of mutuality and co-dependency. The book conjures a lesser-known image around the role and sentiments motivating practitioners’ engagement with entangled phenomena of urban, social and economic change in the PRC.

About Beatrice:

Beatrice Leanza is a researcher and curator based in Beijing since 2002. She earned an MA in Asian studies from Ca’Foscari University (Venice) specializing in the history of Asian and contemporary Chinese art. Starting her experience by working with Ai Weiwei as a curator at CAAW (China Art Archives and Warehouse), the historical alternative art space founded by the artist in the late 1990s, her work over the years has focused on practical and theoretical explorations engaging the contemporary urban condition from the vantage point of China.

She has acted as Creative Director of Beijing Design Week since the 2013 edition and is currently head of its overseas program (2017). She is co-curator of the international research program Across Chinese Cities featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 and 2016 and is a member of the international advisory board of Design Trust (Hong Kong).

Her writing and curated projects have appeared in publications such as Artforum, Abitare, CNN Style, Domus, Dezeen, Disegno magazine, Frieze, Blueprint Magazine, Metropolis magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, IDEAT, Liberation/NEXT, The Good Life, among others.

The events is organised by Architecture Fund in collaboration with Lithuanian Culture Attaché in China and Lithuanian Culture Institute.

Partner: Lithuanian Design Forum.

The event is held in English and will be recorded. The video will be uploaded afterwards on www.archfondas.lt website.
Entrance is free.

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