The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Pop-Up Workshop Renegotiates the Rural in China

7 November 2018

(Re)negotiating the rural – Drawing (Hi)stories was lead by The Bartlett School of Architecture in Hangzhou, China

Abstract model of a new rural landscape

Since 2016, the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou has hosted a range of Bartlett pop-up workshops, discussing the urbanisation of Chinese cities and their heritage. This year, a new Bartlett workshop, (Re)negotiating the rural – Drawing (Hi)stories’ focussed on inspiring innovative design ideas and methodologies that foster resilience in rural settings.

Developed and taught by The Bartlett’s Edward Denison, Patrick Weber and Matt Lucraft, the workshop took place from 15 – 23 October in Xiao Yue, an ancient village in the Zhejiang Province. 

A group of 30 Urban Design students from the China Academy undertook extensive site surveys and design research around the village. This led to a series of exercises aimed at critiquing the past narratives and present conditions of the village, which could in turn be used to inform new approaches to inhabiting and invigorating present settlements. The result was an abstract model of a new rural landscape populated by the group’s beautifully-crafted design ideas and proposed interventions.