Born in 1972 in China, HUA Li received his B. Arch. from Tsinghua University in 1994. He then studied at Yale University and received his M. Arch. in 1999. He practiced in New York and Beijing before founding his own firm TAO (Trace Architecture Office) In 2009.
Being critical at contemporary architecture as an obsession to fashionable forms in media driven globalized consumerism, HUA Li visions architecture as an evolving organism, being an inseparable whole with its environment, rather than just a formal object. With most projects positioned in particular cultural and natural settings in China, TAO explore the essence of place; make architecture deeply rooted in its cultural and environmental context with respect of local condition. The sense of place, response to climate, efficient use of local resource, site-responsive construction method, such issues are always explored in every TAO project responding to its specific situation.
HUA Li’s key works include: Museum of Handcraft Paper (2010, shortlisted in Aga Kahn Award 2013), XiaoQuan Elementary School(2010), Wuyishan Bamboo Raft Factory(2013), Forest Building(2014), and Split Courtyard House(2015). HUA Li and TAO has won several important architectural awards including ARCASIA Award, shortlisted in Aga Kahn Award 2013, Architectural Record GDGB Award, China Architecture Media Award and WA Award, and TAO was listed in Design Vanguard 2012 by Architectural Record Magazine. TAO’s works have been exhibited internationally in Venice, Vienna and New York. HUA Li also teaches at Tsinghua University as a visiting professor and has been a guest critic for studio reviews at HKU, CAFA and UdK Berlin. He has given lectures in many universities and conferences in both Asia and Europe.
In this lecture Hua Li will present projects by TAO(Trace Architecture Office) in recent years.
“In-Situ” reflects a consistent viewpoint in TAO’s practice: architecture is an integral part of its local environment, rather than an isolated object; In archeology, in-situ means an artifact has not been moved from its original place and thus is critical to interpretation of its cultural background and related meaning. Same as architecture, if conceived away from its specific context, it will become only empty symbols, losing its essence. Thus “In-Situ” also means inseparable relationship between the lightness of form and gravity of construction. The reality of here and now needs to be respected.
“In-Situ” also means that architecture is not just an abstract and utopia concept; it is a place for both body and spiritual experience. Therefore each project is concrete and unique. TAO is interested in searching for a sense of place in each project, and interpreting the complex meanings in both formal and tectonic aspects of architecture. The heterogeneous forms and construction strategies of different projects are the direct embodiment of the idea of “In-Situ”.
****No reservation is required. All interested are welcome****