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Row of wood buildings, steps leading up towards hilly landscape, The Songyang Story in black font above.

The Songyang Story

Architectural Acupuncture as Driver for Progress in Rural China. Projects by Xu Tiantian, DnA_Beijing

Edited by Kirsten Feireiss
Edited by Hans-Jürgen Commerell
Contributions by Eduard Kögel
Contributions by Saskia Sassen
Contributions by Remy Sietchiping
Contributions by Martino Stierli
Contributions by Wang Jun
Contributions by Xu Tiantian


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  • First comprehensive documentation of Chinese architect and urban designer Xu Tiantian's method of Architectural Acupuncture, discussing also the influence of architecture on cultural self-understanding and economic renewal in 21st-century rural China
  • Features around 20 richly illustrated realised projects, based on the Xu's method, as case studies for how precise minimal interventions can have maximum positive effect with regard to revitalisation of villages in rural China
  • Highlights the quality achieved by a participative approach that involves local population and administration and the designing architects
Full Description

In 2014, Xu Tiantian, founder of Beijing-based studio Design and Architecture (DnA) began to work in Songyang County, in China’s Zhejiang Province. Her exemplary holistic planning concept of Architectural Acupuncture, which has gained the support of local administrative and political leadership, aims at revitalising rural areas and comprises the renovation of production plants and of tourist and technical infrastructure as well as the creation of venues for culture and education and of social housing. Each of Xu’s small-scale interventions at local level is unique, only the small budget is common to all of them. Moreover, they are all inter-related with each other and in their entirety serve the broader goal of mutual enhancement.

This book introduces Xu’s concept of Architectural Acupuncture and discusses the influence of architecture on cultural self-understanding and economic renewal in 21st-century rural China. It features some 20 new buildings and conversions of existing structures with diverse functions. Published alongside are essays by international economists, sociologists, and curators as well as by the secretary of the Songyang County Party Committee, examining the social, political, and economic implications of sustainable planning and collective action in the Chinese province.

About the Author
Kirstin Feireiss is a writer and editor and founder of Berlin's Aedes Architecture Forum. She is a member of the Pritzker Prize jury and has been director of Netherlands Architecture Institue in Rotterdam 1996-2001. Hans-Jürgen Commerell is an architectural photographer and co-director of Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin.
Park Books
30th Oct 2020
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
295 mm x 295 mm
272 Pages
139 color, 72 b&w
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