In the past twenty years, a new generation of Chinese architects, many of whom have carved out an independent practice, have challenged the dominant ideology of architecture in China by offering an alternative experience, visual, tactile, and spatial.1 Since 2000 their exploratory practices, described as experimental architecture (shiyan jianzhu) by architectural critics, have been covered extensively in the Tongji University–based journal Time + Architecture (Shidai Jianzhu).

This article sketches the conditions that fostered the emergence of experimental architecture in the 1990s and the role that Time + Architecture played in presenting experimental architecture in the early 2000s. I focus on two special issues of the journal in which editors...

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