Matt Participates in "Great Cities" Urban Design Conference in Wuhan

This past week, Matt was in Wuhan to take part in the "Great Cities" Workshop, sponsored by the British Council and Wuhan Tiandi, which focused on how Architecture and Urban Design can help to create and shape great, liveable cities.  

The session Matt participated in, 'Urban Design in the Modern Era,' was a conversation between Matt, Li Baofeng (Architect, HUST, Wuhan), Catherine Pease (vPPR, London), and Albert Chan (Developer, Shui On Land, Hong Kong), and dealt with the question of how to make big cities (which are now dominated by large scale projects and high rises) more tuned to the human user, i.e. smaller scale, pedestrian friendly, and more liveable.  The discussion broached the subjects of scale, how to balance the best aspects of the old and new cities, diversity and pluralism in urban design, the need for changes in code at the policy level, and sustainability.

Other participants included Hisham Elkadi (Dean, SBE, University of Salford), Thomas Jefferies (Head, Manchester School of Architecture), Cheng Shidan (Wuhan University), Satoshi Ohashi (Zaha Hadid China & Asia), and Nick Whittingham (the British Consul General), et al.  

Metaamo receives Gold Prize in Guangzhou

Matt and Xiaonuan were recently in Guangzhou for the Liang Sicheng Cup awards ceremony, where we were presented with the Gold Prize, the highest honor in the international competition, for our proposal for a Cultural Center at a UNESCO Heritage Site in Kaiping, China.

The Prize was presented by Ms. Tang Wensheng, who was born in New York, and was once aide to Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai (When US President Richard Nixon first came to China in 1972, Tang Wensheng served as translator in that historic meeting).

Following the ceremony, we were honored to have met with Liang Sicheng's grandson, in a wonderful conversation, also translated by Ms. Tang Wensheng. Among the topics, we discussed the foundational role that his grandfather's scholarship played in bringing knowledge of East Asian architecture to the US and the West, and in how his formal recommendations to Allied leaders helped to save the cities of Kyoto and Nara from bombing in World War 2. Coincidentally, Liang Sicheng's first books in China were published by Tsinghua University (where Xiaonuan is an Alum and Matt was a Visiting Scholar), while in the US, his famous first English language work about Chinese Architecture was published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT Press (where Matt is an alum and former faculty member).