This is an archive page for Beijing
Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.
BeijingThe Big Symbol, Tsinghua Architectural Design & Research Institute, Beijing
Saturday 26 January – Sunday 3 February 2013
Metaphor is the basic principle of the Chinese characters, so to many other forms of cultural reflections including architecture. The Bird Nest (the BJ 2008 Olympic Stadium) is one of the most well-known architectural symbols in Beijing. A “successful” architecture in China always embodies a widely-recognized symbolic image for Chinese people. However, Bird Nest is becoming a hollow symbol in the post-Olympic era when it becomes a tour spot enjoying its annual profit from selling the tickets which overruns its incredible maintenance cost (approx.15million GBP a year). The big empty icon is mutating from its original meaning as a national stadium to a fun zone. It is the outlook (the result of 10 times steels as the normal usages under the stringent building regulations of earthquake resistance) that remains the fulfillment of the symbolic function for the national pride.
This year, the agenda is to renovate Bird Nest through experimenting new ideas and techniques under the theme of Chinese symbolism. We will test the semiotics theories with the Chinese aesthetic philosophy to engineer the ornamentation and space in the Bird Nest so that it will be experienced as a rich and engaging symbol.
We will address the following issues:
1. What are the values of symbolism? Can it be a productive force for a new kind of formation process?
2. Architectural ornamentation can be read as formulated aesthetic recipes defining styles which makes architects different from engineers, planners and developers. What if ornamentation is the necessary function in architecture? What about the scale and structure of ornamentation? Bird nest showcases that the structure and the functions are integrated into a giant urban ornamentation.
3. What kind of artifacts we could create if the focus shifts from typologies (i.e. shape and scale) to topologies (i.e. order and transformation) when we functionalizing ornamentation or ornamentalizing functions?
The deadline for applications is 15 January 2013. All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required. After payment of fees, the AA can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop. A portfolio or CV is not required, only the online application form and payment.
The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting Membership. If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £60 by the online payment system. Fees are non refundable. Fees do not include flights. Accommodation during the workshop is not provided, but advice on nearby accommodation options can be given. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.
The workshop is open to architecture and design students and professionals worldwide.