Building Intervening Connecting: Recent work of Gong Dong


Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist, 55 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago IL 60601


November 18, 2019
5:30 pm
8:30 pm

The School of Architecture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Alphawood Foundation Chicago present "Building Intervening Connecting: Recent work of Gong Dong,” a rare public presentation by award-winning architect and Plym Distinguished Professor Gong Dong at the Seventeenth Church of Christ Scientist, 55 E. Wacker Drive, Monday evening, November 18. The multi-media program will examine current projects by Vector Architects, the Beijing-based architecture practice founded by Gong in 2008 and will include video clips emphasizing the craft of the construction process.
The November 18 event, free and open to the public, begins at 5:30pm with registration and a reception, followed by the 6:30pm presentation and Q&A.  Seating is general admission; advance reservations are required by visiting All guests will receive a limited-edition publication documenting Dong’s architecture and his work as a Plym Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Gong will sign copies following the speaking program.
"One of the most prominent representatives of a new generation of Chinese architects, Gong Dong successfully integrates the best traits of modern architecture with the centuries-old archetypes of Chinese building. His site sensitive, spatially imaginative, and convincingly authentic architecture is as much experientially evocative and quietly powerful as it is patently in tune with China’s current construction capability and social conditions,” said Botond Bognar, Professor and Edgar A. Tafel Endowed Chair in Architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

About Gong Dong & Vector Architects
Gong Dong founded Vector Architects in Beijing in 2008. He has been also teaching Design Studios at Tsinghua University since 2014, and in 2019, he was appointed as Distinguished Plym Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  He and Vector Architects have been invited to participate in various major exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Berlin, Boston, Venice, Melbourne, Paris, New York, etc., and exhibited in the 2018 FREE SPACE Venice Biennale, as well.

Professor Dong’s numerous international awards includes "100+ Best Architecture Firms" selected by Domus (2019), nominated for Swiss Architectural Award (2018), the AR House Award (2017), the German Design Award (2016), the Overall Winner of Italian Archmarathon Awards (2016), A&D Trophy Awards (2015), and selected as part of the "Design Vanguard 2014” by Architectural Record.

Gong Dong has been invited as guest speaker and critic by major universities, academic and professional institutions such as Tsinghua University (China), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (USA), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Swiss), Société Française des Architectes (France), etc. Vector's projects have been published by such prominent journals as CASABELLA, Arquitectura Viva, A+U, Detail, The Architectural Review, Wallpaper, C3, T+A, Domus, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, as well as the New York Times, and many others.

About the School of Architecture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois School of Architecture provides students with an aesthetically motivated and technically rigorous design education. The depth and breadth of its curriculum enables students to become leaders in a range of disciplinary specialties. Its diverse and accomplished faculty offer students a strong intellectual foundation informed by its position within a top-tier research university. Students explore theoretical and conceptual positions informed by history and technology and envision creative design solutions for real-world settings in communities, organizations, and firms. Its comprehensive programs prepare students to design and research in a rapidly changing global context from the macro to the micro scale.

The Plym Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the School of Architecture brings recognized practicing architects to the school to serve as lead studio critic with a School of Architecture faculty member as liaison; the Professorship is made possible by a 1981 gift to the school by the late Lawrence J. Plym of Niles, Michigan, past president of the Kawneer Corporation.

About Alphawood Foundation Chicago
This program is underwritten by Alphawood Foundation Chicago, a private grant-making foundation working for an equitable, just, and humane society. Each year, grants are awarded to organizations primarily in the areas of advocacy, architecture and preservation, the arts and arts education, promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights.

This program is presented in connection with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.  For more information, please visit

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Lakhi Siap

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