(This new model)

Namchabawa Visitor Center Tibet 2007-08 Photo by: Chen Su

Recently WAI Architecture Think Tank sat down with standardarchitecture’s founding partner Zhang Ke to converse about the origins of standardarchitecture, the way Zhang is trying to develop a new model of practice and architectural office-organization and how to challenge “the standard” in contemporary China.

Also, there occurred a big change in terms of beliefs. Before I went to New York—I think a lot of architects have a similar transition period—we believed that design and architecture was the driving force, but after having lived there for three years you start to realize that we are not the driving force, we only facilitate the financial power. Then it makes you either really desperate or it makes you think critically about the alternatives of life for a young architect…I think for young architects it’s probably good to have this, because you see something that’s not what you want. Then, I was thinking how we can practice in a slightly different way, which means that we work in a collaborative way and at the same time the management of the office does not function like a sweatshop like a lot of other practices that make a lot of people come in to work without getting paid.”

More at Archinect here

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