At the forefront of the new generation of architects is Chinese studio MAD. Led by Beijing-born architect Ma Yansong, MAD is a global architecture firm committed to developing futuristic, organic, technologically advanced designs that embody a contemporary interpretation of the Eastern affinity for nature. The studio is globally recognized as a creative pioneer, boasting some of the most experimental designs to have been built since its inception in 2004.

MAD made American headlines in 2014 when it was selected as principal designer for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago, becoming the first China-based architecture firm to design an overseas cultural landmark. Both futuristic and timeless, MAD’s design features a curving white stone building with extremities that extend into the landscape, creating a platform above the main entrance. At the highest point, a flat top is covered by a “floating” disc, forming a sheltered viewing area that offers visitors vistas of Chicago and Lake Michigan. The museum’s white exterior and wave-like shape evoke the intersection between the artificial and the natural, and Ma Yansong sees the surrounding public park as an opportunity to blend the structure into the environment. “You will see the building as a landscape in front of all these modern skyscrapers,” Yansong said in an interview.

In 11 short years, MAD has become one of the most renowned architecture studios in the world. The firm’s iconic designs are transforming the landscape of not only China, but Rome, Paris, Japan, and soon Beverly Hills.

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