Mary-Ann Ray to Present James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City Competition

University of Michigan Taubman College Centennial Professor of Practice Mary-Ann Ray and Robert Mangurian, both principals at Studio Works in Los Angeles, were selected by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), in collaboration with the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), as the winners of the third international competition for the James Stirling Memorial Lectures. Their proposal is entitled “CAOCHANGDI Urban Rural Conundrums : Off Center People’s Space in the Early 21st Century Republic of China – A Model for the Momentous Project of the New Socialist Village.” The Caochangdi project includes the contributions of more than 20 Taubman College students. The James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City were conceived in homage to architect James Stirling, who believed that urban design is integral to the practice of architecture and a vital topic for public debate.

Ray and Mangurian will develop their research project and present the Stirling Lecture in fall 2008 at the CCA in Montréal, and at the London School of Economics in fall 2009. Their project opens up an original discussion of issues of development in China, going beyond a concern with extreme densification, and addressing a dynamic urban context in a way that is both historically-informed and clearly oriented to emerging social, political and cultural processes. The jury highlighted the innovative character of this project, its collaborative strengths, and its experimental approach to practice and was impressed by the range, originality and quality of the proposals, the international scope, critical links to practice, and engagement with key political, social and design issues in contemporary cities.