With a focus on social reality and a respect for local context and vernacular craftsmanship, Jiakun aims to solve contemporary architectural issues with a sense of realism, while remaining inspired by folk wisdom that speaks to Chinese traditions. Having faith in the compatibility of tradition and modernity, Jiakun devotes himself to translating traditional Chinese cultural ethos into contemporary architectural language. His exploration of suitable technical approaches to architecture is a purely logical continuation of his intent to serve people in need. Many of these projects throw light on the reciprocal relationship between Chinese people's public life and urban cultural spaces.
The exhibition features extensive film footage documenting the development of the West Village Basis Yard, alongside prototypes of the architect’s innovative building materials. The use of humble, local materials in the site is a significant component of the architect’s practice. Integral to the project is the use of Jiakun’s "Rebirth Bricks," applied in a variety of ways in the development, from flooring and building gables to courtyard walls. Jiakun developed "Rebirth Bricks" in 2008, one month after a devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, using rubble and debris from the disaster site to create a new building material to aid reconstruction in the area, giving both a symbolic and social charge to the notion of rebuilding.