Landscape Architecture

The Making of ‘Beautiful China’: Book Launch and Reception

Saturday, January 16, 2021 8:00am
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Free admission; advance registration required
Based on new public health directives, this event is a virtual event.
Time listed for this event is US Eastern Standard Time.

In celebration of the publication of Beautiful China: Reflections on Landscape Architecture in Contemporary China, this program brings together several of the book’s editors and contributors and distinguished guests to illuminate one of the most ambitious national policies for enhancing the built environment ever conceived.

An expression of the national aim to create an “ecological civilization,” Beautiful China is the Chinese government’s policy to ensure that the traditions and esthetics of Chinese culture not only survive as heritage but also animate contemporary society, now and into the future. Applied to a nation of over 1.3 billion people and the second most powerful economy in the world, the policy’s manifestations constitute the most fascinating design experiment taking place anywhere in the world today. This book is the first serious consideration of this policy and what it means for the design professions in contemporary China.

Speakers will include Fritz Steiner, dean and Paley Professor of the Weitzman School of Design; Richard Weller, Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism, professor and chair of landscape architecture at Weitzman, and co-executive director of The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology; special guest Xiewei Song, dean of the School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA); and contributing author Xiaodi Zheng, associate professor of landscape architecture, Tsinghua University.

Edited by Weller and Tatum L. Hands, the team behind LA+, Weitzman’s award-winning interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture, Beautiful China: Reflections on Landscape Architecture in Contemporary China (ORO Editions, 2020) pairs the perspectives of leading designers and educators across China with stunning photography commissioned specifically for this project from Shengyuan Zheng (MLA’19). Contributors include: Rui Yang, Yufan Zhu, Yuning Cheng, Binyi Liu, Hui Liu, Xiangrong Wang, Feng Han, Tao Han, Zheng Chen, Wei Guo, Jason Zhisen Ho, Yuelai Liu, Shulin Shi, Zhifang Wang, Jinshi Zhang, Tianjie Zhang, Zhenwei Zhang, Jijun Zhao, Xiaodi Zheng, Stanislaus Fung, Hongde Wu, Richard Weller, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Christopher Marcinkoski, Kongjian Yu, Yuan Xu, Junli Xu, and Tatum Hands. The book was exquisitely designed by Chendi Zhang (MLA’19) and Yifai Cai (MLA’19).

Beautiful China originated with the 2019 symposium called Penn China Dialogues, produced with generous support from the China Research Engagement Fund at Penn.

Presented by the Department of Landscape Architecture at Weitzman in partnership with the Penn Wharton China Center.