China Superdensity

2007 | Research | Academia | Visiting School
08.25 - 09.02


Unit Master

Tom Verebes, Giulia Foscari, Gao Yan, Jooryung Kim, Xiangning Li

The first-ever Architectural Association-Tongji Shanghai Summer School was hosted by the Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Shanghai. This intensive nine-day studio-based course connected the realms of contemporary urban theory with cutting-edge computational design techniques in the context of one of the fastest-growing, most densely occupied cities in the world. Shanghai was both the setting and topic of the work during the course, serving as a live model of a pre-eminent 21st century city. Summer School Agenda: High-Density-High-Speed Urbanism

At the beginning of the twenty-first century nearly half the world's population now lives within increasingly dense, rapidly growing, cities. The course developed design tools and research concepts to confront this phenomenon, which is challenging the conventions of both architectural design and urban theory. Students investigated time-based and non-linear simulation techniques, applied towards the creation of dynamic architectural scenarios and urban models in relationship to a site in central Shanghai, as the test-bed for team-based design exercises. The course introduced and developed the overall theme into three sub-topics, each with their associated techniques, both in digital and analogue modeling modes of design work.


The course was taught by AA School tutors and staff, and Tongji University tutors, in a two-part programme. In the first few days of the workshop students participated in introductory design workshops and seminars that led to the second phase in which they created design proposals responding to a shared studio brief for new ultra-dense, time-sensitive forms of architectural urbanism.

China Superdensity
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