ROOT: Rediscovery of Jingdezhen Contemporary

Design Project: Blue and White Porcelain Museum

Jingdezhen is known as the "Porcelain Capital" of the world because it has been producing pottery for 1,700 years. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jingdezhen exported huge amounts of porcelain to Europe.

In Jingdezhen, we can rediscover the roots of human settlement and architecture, which are deeply connected to its nature, culture, and history. The city was formed with many kiln complexes, each complex consisting of a kiln, workshop, and housing. Even today, many historical kiln relics can be found in the city. Those relics not only record the city’s entire history, but also the memory rooted in its culture and tradition. Yet, Jingdezhen is facing the challenge of contradictions between urbanization and preservation, contemporary and tradition.

This studio will undertake the challenge of designing an around 6,000sm the Blue and White Porcelain Museum at Yuan dynasty kiln relic site in Jingdezhen. Students will have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of integrating this relic site and a museum into the public space systems.

During the first part of studio, students will research Jingdezhen historical housing, kiln complexes, and materials to discover the roots related to local nature, climate, culture, and history, to learn the way of the craftsmen who built the brick kilns.

For the second part of studio, students will travel to Jingdezhen and Beijing to visit the site, to meet with local craftsmen, artists, archaeologists, to experience local nature, culture and tradition, and to get sense of the contradiction between the most traditional city and the most contemporary architectures in China. 

Following the studio trip, students will further develop their concept and designs in very specific ways in terms of structure forms, light and materials. In the design process, different scales of study models will be encouraged as a design method. The final presentation will include a two-minute video focused on spaces, materials, and light studies.


This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Zhu Pei will be in residence January 18, 19, 23, 24, 30 and 31, February 20 and 21, March 6 and 7, April 3, 4, 10, 11, 24 and 25, and April 30, May 1, or May 2 for Final Reviews.

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