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2017.09.14 Thu, by
10 Years of DUMB!!!
Tabula Rasa, Beijing

10 Years of Dumb!!! (2007-2017)
Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM)
An anniversary show about BAM’s First Ten Years

Tabula Rasa Gallery is proud to announce on September 2nd to September 15th, Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM), which focuses on the urban landscape, will launch its first 10 Year Anniversary Show titled “10 Years of Dumb”, which will include design models, installations, images and literature and exhibiting BAM’s cross-border exploration and achievements in a variety of design fields from 2007 to 2017 most of which are in China.

Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM) is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Beijing and New York, which was founded in 2007 in Massachusetts, moved to Beijing in 2009, co-founded by Jake Walker, Dan Gass and Allison Dailey come from The United States. So far, the studio has built projects from ARCHITECTURE to LANDSCAPES to STAGE SETS around the world, with its representative works in China including Beijing Daxing Park, Beijing Jiugong Vanke Plaza, Beijing Indigo Playground, L’Idiot Restaurant in Taiwan. In Beijing, one of the most famous is the Indigo Playground as it provides for local residence as well as the adjacent retail and through the design of a play environment which are sorely lacking in Beijing’s urban landscape. BAM’s studio has a background in ART and CRAFTSMANSHIP and integrates these values and methods into all phases of the design process. (scroll down to read more)

BAM 10 Year for Print


Designers and even more so architects love to represent themselves and their work as a perfect process.  This kind of representation is a fabrication, a constructed façade, an artificial reality, and BAM stands in opposition to this kind of false identity.  Most architects are still constrained by the Modernist belief that the work must stand for itself.  However, for BAM, the work and the projects do not in fact represent ‘the whole picture.’  The built work is only a fraction of the story, only a small piece of a larger event.  Although many of the works are complete and constructed, when viewed through the standardizing lens of contemporary media or even when experiencing them physically, they exist devoid of the conditions which shaped them.  Although the works are often visually playful, they are incomplete without the accompaniment of their stories.  Thus the exhibition “10 Years of Dumb” will complete the projects by providing the cultural and emotional context from which the work is a result.

BAM developed its design practice by taking any opportunity which came in the door.  Over the past 10 year BAM’s admittedly dumb strategy of ‘just say yes’ has led to countless mistakes yet ultimately has resulted in a portfolio of strange and exuberant works with a seemingly incomprehensible breadth, from the design of costumes, parades, building facades, parks, musical events, furniture, to wickless hand candles.  As such the exhibition will be honest and even show errors in BAM’s logic.  Although poised to be one of China’s leading design practices BAM still continues along divergent paths pushing farther into the depths of design.  After ten years of pursuing almost anything, BAM’s exhibition, 10 Years of Dumb, is a chance to reflect on the past in a time and place racing to forge the future.



BAM believes that Just as the constructed landscape is a cultural artifact, the definition of what nature is, lies in culture.  Among different cultures, views of what nature is and where it exists vary greatly.  The more we understand the differences between our varied definitions of nature the more it is evident that nature is in fact an idea.  As our cultures meld, and globalization ties cultures closer together, our varied definitions of nature may come to be the only remaining differences between cultures.

Our respective definitions of nature are reflected in our cities.  Whether we collectively define the city as nature or not, shapes our cities.  Whether we collectively see parks as nature itself, or as see them as constructed environment shapes our parks.  Whether or not we understand nature and the landscape to be one in the same or view them as having the potential to be completely different, fundamentally shapes our built environments.  The way in which we answer these questions is culturally determined not a global constant.

These very different views on where nature lies and what the human’s role within nature is, creates drastically different outlooks towards our urban environments, and drastically different understandings of where the landscape lies within that urban construct.  The show, “10 Years of Dumb” will illustrate through the work how BAM has grappled with these culturally defined issues.  BAM’s new book, A Landscape Vision, which is making its debut during the show address head on, the relationship between nature and the landscape and specifically how to see and understand landscape design.

Beijing Garden Expo

Daxing Park

About BAM

BAM started as a group of like minded individuals nearly expelled from architecture school for creating installation art.  BAM’s early interest in installation work lead them to gravitate away from architecture and towards the field of landscape. However the evolution towards landscape was not a straight line.

While the fields of architecture, art, and engineering receive an enormous amount of attention from designers and clients in China, BAM focus on all the spaces outside of architecture to create real public spaces that integrate the idea of nature deep into our cities.

HK Land Spin Flowers Indigo Playground 1 Indigo Playground 2 Indigo Playground 3