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China on my mind

Thanks to architect Charlie Sutherland, who brought two young architect / planners to Lawson Park (Karen and Grizedale Art's home in the Lake District) to talk about Cheng Du in SW China, a city of 12 million where Charlie is planning and designing many things including the 6000 sq m+ museum. 

We barely caught our breath as they showed us a series of startlingly futuristic animations of cityscapes, all of which will be done and dusted by 2016. One of their major practical and philosophical challenges is the linking of the rural to the urban - we toured them around the Lake District showing them what is called 'the tourist offer' here (shops selling tat, poor food, expensive parking) and highlighting how Grizedale and Somewhere's approaches to working with the indigenous cultures we find differed from this. Cheng Du will soon have all the iconic arts spaces of any world city that has arrived - museums, opera houses etc - but potentially it can also have a cultural masterplan that develops grassroots creativity for all its citizens and connects them with each other as well as China's past glory.

I gave a short presentation about What Will the Harvest Be? and hopefully the Mayor of Cheng Du is enjoying the website as I speak....