Scott Danford Memorial Lecture

James Shen

Founder, Partner, People’s Architecture Office and People’s Industrial Design Office | Loeb Fellow, Harvard University (USA>UK>USA>China>USA)

Published March 28, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Hayes Hall 403

Architect James Shen, co-founder of Beijing-based People's Architecture Office, will discuss his studio's use of methods of mass production to achieve greater social agency, particularly in the context of urban regeneration, housing, and place making.

Originally from Los Angeles, James Shen received his M. Arch from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc in Product Design from California State University, Long Beach. He is a Visiting Lecturer at MIT and Harvard Loeb Fellow.

In 2010, Shen co-founded Beijing-based People's Architecture Office, a multi-disciplinary studio focused on social impact through design. People’s Architecture Office is the first architecture practice in Asia certified as a B-Corporation and serves as a model for social entrepreneurship.

The office of PAO is located in a traditional courtyard house in Beijing’s historic core, a setting characterized by urban informality, and one that inspires the studio’s work. PAO engages in urban issues through designs that straddle architecture and product design. The Courtyard House Plugin is a prefab system for urban regeneration that quickly and efficiently upgrades dilapidated homes without demolition or relocating inhabitants. The recently completed People’s Station is a cultural center that incorporates mobile parts that expand and detach in order to bring cultural activities to surrounding communities.

The studio’s award-winning works have been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Harvard Graduate School of Design and the London Design Museum.