a+u 2020:09 Feature: MAD Architects – Dreamscape
Our September issue of a+u is dedicated to MAD Architects, a global architectural practice established by Chinese architect, Ma Yansong in 2004. Together with his 2 partners, Dang Qun and Yosuke Hayano, MAD now has offices in Beijing, Jiaxing, Los Angeles, and Rome. Since its beginning, the studio has been experimental and bold with its futuristic designs. Frederic Migayrou, deputy director of the MNAM-CCI at the Center Pompidou Paris, gives an account of each project and the unique methodologies used by Ma Yansong that translates into his designs. Yet, to MAD, it is also important that the environment they built maintains spiritual and emotional connections with people through nature. The result of this combination of technology and nature is a type of fiction architecture that balances itself ambiguously between art and architecture, as described in an essay by Fumio Nanjo, a senior advisor at Mori Art Museum. To further understand the complexities behind MAD’s design, Dang Qun, Gao Ying and Yu Hui – the architect, structural engineer and façade engineer, respectively – came together to discuss the technicalities behind their work processes. In this issue, a selection of 17 projects are recounted through physical models, sketches, drawing and images, to take readers on a journey through the projects’ early design visions to their final realities.