MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city

ma yansong completes new project for Aranya Theater Festival

 

For the second consecutive time, Ma Yansong from MAD Architects has created an outdoor artist hub for the 2024 Aranya Theater Festival in coastal China. Named City of Time, this year’s design builds on the 2023 version, offering a more open layout with a road lined by independent settlements. Organic sand piles, circular walls, and sheltered pathways form a scattered sand city, reminiscent of ancient city-states, providing artists and audiences with ample open spaces and clear pathways for exploration. This sand city hosts the festival’s 2024 highlight, the Migratory Bird 300 public art project, where 300 artists live, interact, and create for 300 hours. Afterward, the temporary infrastructure is dismantled, restoring the site to its original state.

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
all images courtesy of DONG Image

 

 

city of time 2024 by MAD architects

 

Ma Yansong and MAD Architects (find more here) have created a surreal, dreamy 300-hour experience, blending art with architecture. Built for the Aranya Theater Festival (find more here), the 2024 City of Time invites people to move freely through various settlements in the sand city, experiencing different scenes of daily life at different times. Low walls divide spaces while guiding visitors, maintaining openness and encouraging discovery. Visual cues help artists and participants navigate, uncovering new paths and exits, making the City of Time more accessible and fostering exploration. This layered environment promotes connection and creativity as artists and participants interact, blurring the lines between observer and participant and encouraging active involvement and imagination.

 

MAD’s design merges natural elements and human creativity. Organic sand sculptures shaped by human hands and rough linen dancing in the breeze captivate observers’ imaginations. This environment integrates nature, space, art, and human behavior, capturing unique moments in time. Artists and audiences are invited to explore and create in this collaborative space, forming a seaside utopia that transcends traditional artistic boundaries.

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
the 2024 City of Time from above

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
this year’s design builds on the 2023 version, offering a more open layout

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
organic sand piles, circular walls, and sheltered pathways form a scattered sand city

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
the 2024 City of Time invites people to move freely through various settlements

mad-ma-yansong-aranya-theater-festival-circular-open-air-art-sand-city-designboom-full

Ma Yansong created a surreal 300-hour experience, blending art with architecture

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
low walls divide spaces while guiding visitors, maintaining openness and encouraging discovery

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
this environment integrates nature, space, art, and human behavior

mad-ma-yansong-aranya-theater-festival-circular-open-air-art-sand-city-designboom-full-01

the newly unveiled sand city reminds of the layout observed in ancient city-states

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
the 2024 City of Time at night

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
the 2024 City of Time at night

MAD's ma yansong returns to aranya theater festival with circular open-air sand city
the 2024 City of Time at night

 

 

project info: 

 

name: The City of Time
architect: MAD architects | @madarchitects
principal partners: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
design team: Miao Si, Huang Juntao, Zhang Zhonglin
collaborators: Aranya Theater Festival, Migratory Birds 300
location: Aranya, China
photography: DONG Image
Aranya Theater Festival shooting team: Zaiye Studio (Wang Zhen, Wang Yong, Hou Xuefei, Zhao Weiyi, Hu Yiqian), Zhu Shi, Wang Zhe, Liu Jianhui, Yu Yang, Zhao Nan

 

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