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RIBA's window dressing

The RIBA attempts to promote British practices in Shanghai

The RIBA’s efforts to fly the flag for its members abroad seem to have had marginally more traction in China than in Cannes, where the institute’s MIPIM party was something of a damp squib – made worse by [uninvited] clients not being allowed in.

Over in Shanghai last week, the crowds gathered to see a visibly embarrassed RIBA president Stephen Hodder hugged by a breast-enhanced dancing cyborg as he appeared as guest of honour at the launch of the RIBA’s Shop Window jamboree.

The alcohol-free party was ostensibly a way of promoting smaller British practices, and centre stage was given to the unveiling of a sculpture by UNStudio, which already has a huge portfolio of work in China.

Yet one developer was overheard to say: ‘Chinese clients [looking to commission architects] tend not to ask how many shop windows they have designed, but how many cities.’

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