People’s Architecture Office

“We believe Architecture is for the Masses. It must be conceptually accessible and culturally pragmatic. However this does not preclude it from innovation, quality and authenticity. In fact, it is the Masses that inspire our work.”

People’s Architecture Office is interested in a future that is based on an intimate engagement with the realities of today. Located in the hutongs in the heart of Beijing, PAO views design from the framework of realities of scale, global economics, global flows, mass production, mass markets and social networks embedded simultaneously in the reality of the everyday.

“We approach design mechanically, viewing it as a set of problems to be solved, in order to arrive at a most humanistic conclusion.”

PAO recently received a World Architecture Festival award for the Courtyard House Plugin, presented by architect Peter Cook, a heavy influence on the work of PAO including the People’s Canopy. In 2014 PAO were also awarded an Architizer A+ Jury Award in New York for their Tricycle House, two International Property Awards for the River Heights Residencies, and exhibited as part of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial.

James Shen, co-founder of People’s Architecture Office (b. Los Angeles, USA), is a product designer and architect. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Product Design from California State University and studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London.