SpecifiCITIES    特异性

15-23 July 2016

2016 715—723

Directed by Tom Verebes

In an era of unprecedented city building, the 10th consecutive AA Shanghai Summer School will focus on issues related to urbanization in China. In the past year, China’s central government has announced both the Southern China Metropolis (pop. 45 million), and Jing-Jin-Ji Supercity (pop. 130 million). Shanghai serves as the programme’s laboratory for the study of the complexities of the contemporary city within this context of massive urbanisation. Given the pervasive legacy of assembly-based repetitive production paradigms, and the monotonous, generic effects of standardization on cities, we will address the question of what makes a city unique. In response, we will delve into design methods by which to shape specific urban characteristics and identities. AAVS Shanghai has persistently championed computational approaches applied to the problematic of the twenty-first century city. As an intensive nine-day studio-based course, clusters of tutors and students will engage experimentally with advanced computational design, to investigate a toolbox with which to confront the prevalence of generic urbanism. Students will apply code-based and time-based modelling, generative techniques to model growth and change, and physics-based simula­tion, towards multiple, variable and recursive urban and architectural systems.


The course will be taught by a team of tutors from the AA School and other visitors, whose expert computational skills and experience in teach, research and practice. The programme is structured in two subsequent phases. Over the first three days of the workshop, computational design systems will be introduced in a series of intensive ‘tooling-up’ sessions as the basis for investigating associative design concepts and methodologies. In a second stage of the workshop, students will develop design proposals responding to studio briefs focusing on developing highly specific prototypical models of urbanism.


The aim of the initial design exercises and the second design application stage is to introduce expertise in generative, algorithmic and parametric design approaches to adaptive urbanism. The main computational tools are Rhinoceros and a series of plug-ins and add-ons, Maya, Processing, and others. Students will gain expertise in cutting edge tools, as a basis to applied these emerging technologies towards innovative ontologies of cities in the twenty-first century.


Alongside studio-based design tutorials and seminars, a series of lectures will be scheduled on a nightly basis. Each year of the programme, AAVS Shanghai hosts a public symposium, with a large group of invited guest speakers and panelists, addressing contempo­rary topics related to the theme of the workshop, SpecifiCities. To mark the 10th anniversary of AAVS Shanghai, the director and teaching team will curate an exhibition of past student of AAVS Shanghai, and the work of the AAVS SH director, tutors and visitors to the programme.


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