Trend: Creativity Made in China – MAD Architects

Over the last two decades China has become known as the factory of the world; “Made in China” has often come to symbolize cheapness, sub-standard quality and lack of originality. More recently however, thanks to a booming economy, political deregulation and social development, China has witnessed the gradual evolution of a free-thinking generation of creative individuals who have broken free from the system to express themselves in profound and innovative ways.

As part of this movement, growing numbers of Chinese architects, emboldened by the general fervor currently gripping China’s artistic community, are designing buildings which are slowly but surely imprinting a new identity on the Chinese built landscape.

At the forefront of this architectural revolution have been Ma Yansong, a young US-educated Chinese architect, and his Beijing-based architectural agency MAD, founded in 2002. MAD took the international architectural scene by storm in 2006, as the first Chinese studio ever to win an design competition outside China. The “Absolute Tower” in Toronto, Canada, is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Read more @ Trend: Creativity Made in China – MAD Architects | CScout TrendBlog.

Dongtan Eco city shouldn’t be a marketing piece – Planners

Two countries will lead the world in eco-cities: China and Britain.” The words of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lingered in the cold Shanghai winter air long after he had given tacit approval to the Dongtan ‘eco-city’, set to be constructed on the formerly preserved wetlands of Chongming Island, near Shanghai. Dongtan was initiated by Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp, which contracted British engineering firm Arup to work on the development.

The heavily hyped, and controversial, development is being marketed as the world’s first “self-sustaining eco city” – designed to house up to 90,000 people by 2010, with 90 per cent of all waste to be recovered, recycled or reused. Last November, it was recognised as one of the “most innovative and outstanding buildings in Asia” by the MIPIM Asia Awards in Hong Kong.

However, speculation persists about the yet-to-be-constructed Dongtan’s actual ecological credentials, and rumours have surfaced that its near-neighbour may be a Disneyland theme park (reported here).

China Business News and Business in China – BizChinaUpdate.

Singapore landscape industry to grow 10% a year

The landscape industry is worth an estimated S$1 billion and the government expects it to grow rapidly.

This is according to the Minister of State for National Development, Grace Fu.

She was speaking at the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) Design Awards Presentation and Dinner on Monday evening.

Ms Fu said the industry is expected to grow about 10 per cent a year, over the next few years.

Manpower demand is projected to grow at about 4 per cent per year for the next five years, creating about 700 jobs annually.

She added that besides Singapore, landscape architects are also highly sought after overseas, in China, India, Vietnam, and the Middle East. -CNA/vm

Channelnewsasia.com.

City builders to keep people in mind

Environmentalists, urban planners and experts at a seminar in the city said architecture and life are closely related with each other. While planning a city and designing any architecture, all should keep in mind the welfare of the people, socio-cultural environment and the cause of humanity.

People are becoming urbanised, which is making human life mechnaised, self-centred and detached from each other. For this reason, different social problems have been created in city life, which has influenced the urban lifestyle, they said.

This was said at the seminar on ‘Pro-People Urban Design: Learning from Copenhagen’ organised by WBB Trust at CIRDAP Auditorium yesterday.

Prof Dr Jan Gail, architect from Copenhagen of Denmark, presented a key-note paper, while Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, Programme Manager of WBB Trust, moderated the session.

The New Nation – Internet Edition.

Brown offers China green incentive

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised China £50 million in aid for “green” technology as he seeks to switch the focus of his visit to the country to climate change.

The Prime Minister has promised at least that sum will be handed out to support investment in energy efficiency, so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture in the booming Chinese economy.

The deal was done on the first day of Mr Brown’s three-day visit to China, where the environment will now increasingly take centre stage.

The Prime Minister will visit the environmentally friendly Taiyang Gong Power Station on the outskirts of Beijing which recycles its own heat sources to supply hot water and other benefits to the community.

Mr Brown will later fly on to Shanghai to see progress being made in the Dongtan “eco-city” with lessons being learned for the Thames Gateway project currently under development in London’s suburbs.

Brown offers China green incentive | UK Latest | Guardian Unlimited.

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