AnA Virtual Tour: Ma Yansong

Architects, not Architecture is turning five and is celebrating it with a Virtual World Tour. With its new event series, „AnA“ brings the architectural community a bit closer together by taking participants on a tour around the globe to “visit” selected cities and virtually meet some of their most relevant architects.

The list of countries includes Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, China, Ukraine/Lithuania, Mexico, and the United States. The event series will last until April 2021. You can find the full list of events at

Originally scheduled as the opening event, Ma Yansong and Thomas Heatherwick shared their biggest influences at the third event of Architects, not Architecture’s Virtual World Tour.

Today, Archdaily is bringing you Ma Yansong's talk:

Ma Yansong begins his talk with stories about his childhood in Beijing, China. He explains how the buildings in his neighborhood and his relationship with them have inspired his world-renowned designs. Following this chronological order, he goes on to reminisce about his time with Zaha Hadid and how she took him into the world of art. Apart from that, Ma shares a picture from a particular scene of a Star Wars movie and talks about how the idea of an object from outer space landing on planet earth fascinated him and that this influence can be found in many of his works.

About Ma Yansong:

Ma Yansong born in Beijing, is recognized as an important voice in the new generation of architects. He is the first Chinese architect to win an overseas landmark-building project. As the founder and principal of MAD Architects, Ma leads design across various scales. In recent years, many of Ma’s designs follow his conception of the “Shanshui City”, which is his vision to create a new balance among society, the city and the environment through architecture. Since designing the “Floating Island” in 2002, Ma has been exploring this idea through an international practice.

At MAD, Ma has created a series of imaginative works, including Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Absolute Towers, Harbin Opera House, Hutong Bubble 32, Ordos Museum, Chaoyang Park Plaza, Huangshan Mountain Village, etc. In 2014, Ma was selected as the principal designer for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which made him the first Chinese architect to design overseas culture landmark. Parallel to his design practice, he has also been exploring with the public the cultural values of cities and architecture through domestic and international solo exhibitions, publications and art works.

About Architects, not Architecture

Founded in Hamburg in 2015, Architects, not Architecture. aims to bring to the stage what usually goes unseen. For each event, they invite well-known architects, who instead of talking about their award-winning international projects, are asked to talk about themselves. They speak about their path, their influences, and experiences, and dive deeper into their intellectual biography. This enables a better understanding of their work, without them even mentioning it.

Earlier this year, AnA opened its archive to create a source of inspiration and entertainment through sharing one of its unique talks from the previous 35 events during the first wave of the global pandemic. Archdaily brought to you some of the talks in full-length, including Daniel Libeskind, Tatiana Bilbao, Dan Stubbergaard, Mario Botta, Sadie Morgan and Kjetil Thorsen.

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Cite: Diego Hernández. "AnA Virtual Tour: Ma Yansong" 30 Dec 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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