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Ma Yansong invites budding architects to China for 2017 MAD Travel Fellowship

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Young architects from around the world will have an opportunity to travel to China to undertake a research project under the guidance of Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects.

The studio has launched the 2017 MAD Travel Fellowship, which will be fund five international undergraduate or graduate architecture students to travel to China, and five Chinese architecture students to travel abroad.

The fellowship was initiated by Ma in 2009 for Chinese architecture students, because he believes “it is only through travel – the visceral experience of interacting with, and being influenced by, different spaces – that one can begin to understand ideas of context and gain a deeper insight into architecture.”

During the past seven years, the programme has sponsored 35 students from universities across mainland China for travels to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. This is the first time that students from outside the country have been invited to apply for the fellowship. They will be invited to "explore the traditions, contemporaneity and future of the Chinese built environment" through their research.

The successful candidates will be provided with ten days of funded travel, support with the project, “an intimate exploration of MAD’s iconic projects” and a chance to meet Ma.

To apply, students must submit a CV, a portfolio of work and a 500 word letter of intent establishing their personal ideals and perspectives on architecture, the sites they wish to visit and their individual research topic. Applications must be sent to [email protected] by 14 May 2017. They will be scrutinised by Ma, and recipients of the fellowship will be announced shortly afterwards.

Speaking to CLAD last year, Ma said young architects should not allow the conservatism of society to stifle the creation of beautiful and boundary-pushing buildings.

“Architecture is creating an experience, and I think the experience is like a narrative,” he said. “That’s something very fundamental to this profession. It can channel your hate, your love and all the other universal human emotions.

“Being an architect is like you’re an actor, and you control how you want people to feel. For me, creating form is like an acting technique.”

MAD are working on a number of high-profile projects, including the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, the China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing and the creation of seven green-filled leisure districts along Milan’s derelict railway infrastructure.

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Young architects from around the world will have an opportunity to travel to China to undertake a research project under the guidance of Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects.
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