This year’s studio develops the architectural implications of the Rural Return: a movement combining reverse migration of China’s urbanized villagers back to their ancestral homes and the renewed interest of China’s urban elite in rural history and lifestyle. The studio takes place in Xixinan village, a historic rural village near the Huangshan Mountains in Anhui province.
Filled with centuries-old vernacular architecture and surrounded by a productive agricultural landscape, Xixinan is positioned to be a center for rural and sustainable culture in China. The Rural Return, however, is not a reenactment of a long-gone era of Chinese village life, but a response to an unprecedented thirty years of Chinese development and urbanization. How can we build for new rural future in China?
The Xixinan studio deploys state-of-the-art digital technique for studying the existing village, mapping the challenges it faces accommodating the Rural Return, and generating architectural interventions that permit the flourishing of a new rural culture.
Image credits: MxD and Turenscape Academy