Young, enthusiastic and ambitious - this was Dutch architect John van de Water when setting off to a rapidly modernizing China in 2004. His intention was to put into practice in China the internationally recognized ideas of NEXT architects, the firm in which he is a partner. The years that followed were hectic, with more than a million square metres' worth of projects realized on Chinese soil. The boundaries of his Western frame of reference constantly needed reviewing in the light of the Chinese context. He encountered a wide range of conditions and situations informing the relationship between Western and Chinese thinking: incomprehension, confrontation, misunderstandings, acceptance, awareness, consensus and, ultimately, mutual benefit. You Can't Change China, China Changes You is Van de Water's personal, disarming and occasionally hilarious account of this compelling and confrontational quest for an authentic architecture. Are Western design skills able to evolve in a cultural context as radically different as that of China?