Professional Practice

HKU Cities-in-Asia Summer Program: Studio SHA-HKG-SIN, Jul 5 to Aug 2, 2013

Date: 7/5/2013 - 8/2/2013

Type: Other

Location(s): International


The University of Hong Kong Summer Program (SHA: Jul 5-18, HKG: Jul 19-26, SIN: Jul 27-Aug 2)

Visiting cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou and Shenzhen Studio

SHA-HKG-SIN is a three-to-four-week design and research studio organized by the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture in the cities of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Taught by a diverse group of faculty members from the University of Hong Kong and speakers from internationally renowned universities and independent research groups, the course offers participants a design studio experience within Asia’s most vibrant contexts.

The International Summer Program in Architecture positions Hong Kong as a launch pad to other Asian cities, linking strategically with the cities of Shanghai and Singapore this year. This summer program has the benefit of tapping into the vast wealth of expertise from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Future Cities Lab and Asian Urban Lab. A number of the urban sites and studies designed for this program will be linked to ongoing research undertaken by design studios at the ETH, NUS, SUTD and MIT.

Since its inception in 2008, HKU academic programs in Shanghai have benefited from exchanges and joint studios with leading universities such as Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, NYU, AA, ETH and EPFL, as well as regional universities such as Tongji, China Academy of Art, Tianjin and others. Fundamental to the study of architecture and cities is the question of rapid urbanization and innovation on the multiple fronts of society, culture, and the economy. For the purpose of this summer program, the three key cities in east China, the Pearl River Delta, and Southeast Asia will serve as platforms for the understanding of such issues in the current neo-liberal world of urbanization, where international corporations have grown far more powerful than sovereign governments. Saskia Sassen notes that it is precisely because cities are no longer within the realms of national politics that they naturally become the new frontiers where the “political informal” can thrive within the infrastructure and systems of cities without overt control.

Through this course, participants will focus on different architecture and building types that have emerged from the current state of rapid urbanization. These urban building types are unique in the way they resist and subvert, or become mutated or subsumed by the prevailing urban conditions of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The design and research studio would be based on the examination and re-invention of a number of these building types. Participants--landscape architects are encuraged to participate--will have the benefit of visiting numerous cities undergoing massive change, exploring broad-ranging issues such as identity, migration, cultural production, colonialism, nationalism, and globalization through topics in architectural history and theory. This program will include study trips to the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, and Shenzhen. In support of the design and research studio, a daily lecture and seminar program will further enrich the participants’ knowledge in these fields.


Julia Lent

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