Harvard CAMLab

Seminar | Retrieving Traces of the Past- Liu Dunzheng and the Society for Research in Chinese Architecture

Date & Time:

2022 FEB. 18, FRIDAY 8:00 PM EST
2022 FEB. 19, SATURDAY 9:00 AM CST

Special Guest:

LIU Xujie
Professor, School of Architecture, Southeast University
Son of LIU Dunzhen


LAI Delin
Morgan Chair Professor, Department of Fine Arts, University of Louisville

Chief Architect, TM Studio (梓耘斋建筑工作室主持)
Professor, School of Architecture, Southeast University


Associate in Research, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

MIN Jiajian
Project Manager, Harvard CAMLab

Simultaneous Interpretation:

Zhu Ning
Project team, Harvard CAMLab

The Society for Research in Chinese Architecture (SRCA) was China’s first academic group specializing in traditional architecture. Zhu Qiqian founded it in Beiping (now Beijing) in February 1930. Liang Sicheng and Liu Dunzhen served respectively as the legal and publishing department directors. The Society spent over a decade since its founding on the arduous journey of surveying and documenting architectural monuments across the vast expanse of China. With the leadership of Liang and Liu, the Society was able to organize and conduct its research to coalesce into seven volumes of journals and over 23 editions.

Liu Dunzhen (1897.9.19-1968.5.10) is a pioneer in Chinese architecture education and ancient architectural research. He is named one of the two pillars of the Architecture Society, along with Liang Sicheng, whom those familiar with the “China Builders” project will know. He was a founding member of many institutions that established architectural practices in China, most notably China’s first private architecture firm-Huahai Architects [华海建筑师事务所], the first professional education institution in architecture-the Department of Architecture of Suzhou Industrial College [苏州工业专科学校建筑科], and the Department of Architecture of Hunan University and the Department of Architecture of Central University.

Harvard CAMLab’s program “Retrieving Traces of the Past- Liu Dunzheng and the Society for Research in Chinese Architecture” invites Mr. Liu Dunzhen’s son Liu Xujie to recount his personal perspective in a trilogy of events. We will have the exclusive pleasure to learn from one who had grown up in the presence of Mr. Dunzhen and the pioneers of Chinese architecture within the Society for Research in Chinese Architecture. On January 8th, 2022, the first of three seminars featured details of Liu Dunzhen’s life, academic career, and experiences creating the SRCA in Beiping.

This seminar will feature Liu’s lesser-known endeavors in the Southwest. It will incorporate insights and discussion into other formative members of the SRCA, including Mo Zongjiang, Chen Mingda, and Liu Zhiping. CAMLab also invites Prof. Lai Delin, Prof. Tong Ming, Mr. Liu Xujie, and Prof. Zhang Qin to a discourse that rings in the goals of the “China Builders” project. Let us bring you closer to the iconic figures in the history of modern architecture and provide a glance into their dreams and memories that laid the foundation for building their ideal China.

Note: [This lecture will be presented in Mandarin Chinese with simultaneous translations to English. ]

This event is free to public via Zoom but advance registration is required. 

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