China Builders
Cognitive Mapping
Digital Theater
20th century

Bringing into focus China’s history of modern architecture from the early 1900s to the twenty-first century, China Builders invites the audience to explore and experience the life journeys of pioneering architects. Living in times of dramatic cultural interactions and transformations, these architects have produced the milestones of modern architecture in China. Some of them came to China from abroad; they brought modern design practices to China and reshaped the urban landscape of Chinese cities. Others were architects educated outside of China and initiated the study of Chinese architectural history—in turn, they founded the discipline of architecture in China. As it examines the past hundred years of China’s architectural history, China Builders recalls the careers and lived experience of multiple generations’ representative architects.


China Builders transforms the extraordinary careers of pioneering architects into multimedia experiences, inviting contemporary audiences to rethink the history, education, and practice of architecture in modern China.

In its online form, chinabuilders.art, China Builders explores architectural history at both a macro and a micro level. The macro level visualizes the broader social context of these architects with an Archive Cosmos. Mapping the dimensions of time, space, and typology, the Archive Cosmos aligns ephemera (such as photographs, videos, and textual documentation) along an interactive timeline. Focusing on individual stories, the project’s micro level pursues architects’ thoughts and dreams, reflecting at once on personal experiences and the social transformation that the architects witnessed.

PROJECT DIRECTOR Prof. Eugene Wang, Chenchen Lu
PROJECT LEAD Jiajian Min, Anna Borou Yu
ACADEMIC COMMITTEE Dr. Qin Zhang, Prof. Jeffrey W. Cody, Prof. Jiang Wu
RESEARCHER Chinwei Chang, Wanyi Cui, Chijen Li, Jiajian Min, Fei Deng, Yao Meng, Kyra Yao, Qisen Song, Yihan Yin, Ning Zhu, Anna Borou Yu, Xiaoyang Tong, Shiyi Zhu, Xiaoyu Yang, Ruijia Zhang, Florence Chen
VIDEO EDITOR Jiajian Min, Anna Borou Yu, Jinglin Li, Fletcher Zuo, Icey Lin, Yirong Yao, Wanyi Cui, Chenchen Lu
WEBSITE DESIGNER Qi Sun, Seph Li, Fei Deng, Jiajian Min, Anna Borou Yu, Yilin Zhang, Sijia Chen, Ningjing Tang, Mengying Zeng, Daoru Wang, Elaine Yilin Huang, Paul Zhou
VISUAL DESIGNER Jiajian Min, Anna Borou Yu
ACADEMIC SEMINAR Jiajian Min, Chinwei Chang, Ning Zhu, Elaine Yilin Huang
MARKETING MANAGER Alina Yijia Yang, Elaine Yilin Huang, Sabrina Mingjia Chen
ACADEMIC CONSULTANT Prof. Nan Wang, Prof. Ming Tong, Prof. Delin Lai, Prof. Chang Liu, Prof. Zhuonan Wang, Prof. Aibin Yan
SPECIAL THANKS: Prof. Xujie Liu, Prof. Yao Ding, Prof. Xiahong Xia, Prof. Yongyi Lu, Kui Yu, Jian Liang, Xiaodong Yu, Dr. Chunqian Jiang, Prof. Jiawei Jiang, Dr. Wei Lu, Prof. Puay Peng Ho, Prof. Lizhen Cheng, Prof. Sizheng Fan, Prof. Yung Ho Chang, Prof. Shiqiao Li Tsinghua University Art Museum
Tsinghua University School of Architecture
The Memorial Hall of The Society for the Study of Chinese Architecture
Archives of Tsinghua University
Inner Mongolia University of Technology School of Architecture,
Chongqing University School of Architecture and Urban Planning
Shanxi Ancient Architecture Museum
Harvard University: Harvard University Archives, Fine Arts Library of the Harvard College Library, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Houghton Library, Frances Loeb Library
Princeton University: Princeton University Library Special Collections, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Marquand Library of Art & Archaeology
United Nations: U.N. Audiovisual Library, UN Photo Archive
University of Michigan: Bentley Historical Library
University of Pennsylvania: University Archives, Architectural Archives
Yale University: Sterling Memorial Library, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
Cranbrook Academy of Art: Academy Archives
Peabody Essex Museum: The Phillips Library