To watch this lecture live on March 26th, 2014, please visit http://architecture.nd.edu/live/ at 4:30 PM EDT.
Professor Ruan Yisan, born in Suzhou in 1934，graduated from the Department of Architecture in Tongji University in 1961. As the Director of National Research Center of Historic City at Tongji University, he is a professor and PhD supervisor of Urban Planning at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. Professor Ruan is also a member of the Urban Planning Expert Committee of the Ministry of Construction, the National Conservation Expert Committee of Historic Cities, the Urban Planning Consultative Committee of Shanghai and the Vice Director of the Academic Committee of Historic Cities.
Professor Ruan was awarded the French title “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” (文学艺术骑士勋章) by French Ministry of Culture in recognition of his contribution to World Heritage Conservation. For years, he has been working as a consultant for many historic cities such as Suzhou, Yangzhou, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Pingyao, and Lijiang.
Under Professor Ruan's supervision, the project of the Yangtze River Water Towns and the project of PingJiang Historic District of Suzhou were granted the Awards of Distinction by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation in 2003 and 2006. In 2008, his project of the Grand Canal River Conservation and Research assisted by Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation was awarded the Distinction by the International Urban and Area Planning Committee.
Professor Ruan was known as the Guardian of Urban Context, the Guards of Historic and Cultural Cities, and the Guardian of Ancient Towns. His project of the Yangtze River Water Towns (including Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Nanxun, Wuzhen and Xitang) was regarded as a milestone in China, while his another major project of Pingyao has set up a very successful example of heritage conservation for many other ancient towns.