This seminar focuses on the large-scale experiments in new Chinese “building” during the tenure of Mao Zedong. Over this time span many fundamental notions of daily life—language, expression, family, education, countryside, and city—were redefined and radically tested. These new representations of culture included a paradox for architecture: how to both reflect progress while remaining place-specific. The first four weeks of the seminar ground students in the targeted sites with introduction to Yale’s research collections. Over the balance of the term, primary resources from these collections and assigned readings are used to explore the particular “experiments” in modern China building and the qualities of “new” and other discourses that the campaigns of Mao’s China represented.