On September 24th and 26th, 2019, Ma Yansong delivered keynote speeches in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan respectively at the “AICA Modern Architecture Symposium."
The “AICA Modern Architecture Symposium” began in 1983. Each year, the seminar invites one world-renowned architect to deliver a keynote speech and share his/her opinions about the fields of housing, the environment and urban space. The seminar is regarded as a series of prestigious lectures that are highly anticipated by the Japanese community.
Past guests include: Kisho Kurokawa, Tadao Ando, Isozaki Arata, Hiroshi Sakahiko, Toshiro Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, Ryu Nishizawa, Kenggo Kumo, Shigeru Ban, Philip Johnson, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron, Christian de Portzamparc, Dominique Perrault, among others.
Ma Yansong’s invitation to deliver the 2019 seminar marks the first time a Chinese architect has been invited since the lecture series’ existence.
In his speech, Ma Yansong discussed different social cultures and urban perspectives, and introduced the core design philosophy of MAD Architects – exploring the relationship between architecture and nature, and conceiving architecture to be designed for the people. He explored the firm's practice through several iconic works, including the Hutong Bubble 32, Fish Tank, East 34th, Harbin Opera House, Absolute Towers, and Tunnel of Light.