Wang Shu wins the Pritzker Prize

It’s the first time a Chinese architect has been awarded the prize. From NPR:

Wang started drawing as a two-year old boy in Beijing. He drew on everything — from books to the walls of his house in a crowded Beijing alley. At age 6 he moved back to his birthplace, Urumqi, more than 1,500 miles away. When he returned to Beijing four or five years later, the neighbors told him, “your drawings are still on the walls, we preserved them.”…

Wang says that experience taught him to place a lot of faith in people. It made him want to learn more of their wisdom, and to give back to them. So he went to architecture school in Nanjing, but he says the way they taught the profession made it impossible to be a good architect. … For the next 10 years he found building projects being erected by more traditional craftsman, and from 8:00 a.m. until midnight he’d see how they worked, how they put materials together, where they put windows. If the project took three months, he was there nearly every day for three months. When he wasn’t there, he was studying anthropology, philosophy, movies and art history. In 1997, he and his wife founded Amateur Architecture Studio.

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