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Designer shares his first drafts of Xintiandi in video

By  XING YI in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-07-16 19:05

Benjamin Travis Wood is an American architect who participated in the design of Xintiandi, a leisure area in downtown Shanghai where the memorial site of the First Congress of the Communist Party of China is situated.

Wood shared with the public the first drafts of Xintiandi which he did in 1998 in a recent video series titled "Shanghai Through Our Eyes", which was produced to commemorate the Party's centenary.

Xintiandi was Wood's first project in China. Having learned about the historical importance of the site, Wood recalled that he felt "a huge sense of responsibility" and was compelled to study about the history of China and the Party for the project.

"I cannot imagine the future without understanding the past. So learning as much about the history was my way of showing respect to the people that had lived there," he said.

Wood became a resident of Shanghai since starting work on the Xintiandi project and he describes the move as the best decision in his life as it allowed him to bear witness to "the largest urbanization of any country in the history of the world" in the past two decades.

"What people learn from the history of China in the last 100 years is that if you do something you truly believe in, it will come true," he said.

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