The exhibition at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in Los Angeles opened with a reception and panel discussion with the contributing authors of the book Urban Hopes: Made in China (Lars Müller, 2013). The discussion was moderated by Christoph a. Kumpusch and included Kathy Battista, Kimberli Meyer, Mark Morris, Ryan J. Simons, Anthony Titus, and Hrag Vartanian. Spirit of Space filmed the exhibition and the lecture given by Steven Holl in the courtyard of the Schindler House.
The exhibition presented six urban projects in China, designed with particular focus on shaping public space, natural green strategies, hybrid programs, structure and light. Included are three built works: Linked Hybrid in Beijing, Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, and Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, as well as three yet to be built works: Porosity Plan in Dongguan, Eco-City in Tianjin, and the Qingdao Culture and Art Center. Concept watercolors of each building were on view along with project models and construction documents. Also featured are short videos of the built works shot by Spirit of Space. The exhibition was arranged chronologically from 2002-2013 through the rooms of the Schindler House, making physical the journey through a decade of thinking.
As the office has taken on work of increasing complexity in China, embracing that which could dominate us—the city, infrastructure and overpopulation—has been an important part of the Holl design process. The projects featured in this exhibition offer a study of contrasting and nested scales that acknowledge the city-dweller’s ever-morphing perception from micro to macro and back again.
Along with writing an essay and assisting the editor with the book, I spoke on the panel, and assisted Janine Biunno from Steven Holl Architects in setting up the work displayed in the exhibition. The exhibition poster was designed by Won Choi.