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CAUP in Shanghai

Tongji University's College of Architecture and Urban Planning marks 70 years with Global Dean's Forum

Promotion: Shanghai's Tongji University is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its College of Architecture and Urban Planning with the Global Dean's Forum, a day-long event bringing together 11 major architecture schools from around the world.

Held on 15 December 2022, the event's theme is focused on "Design Education in a Transformational World". The event is being streamed online and will feature 11 deans and university heads of department as speakers.

This includes Sarah Whiting of Harvard Graduate School of Design, Deborah Berke of Yale University, Andrés Jaque of Columbia University, Renee Chow of Berkeley University, Andrea Campioli of the Polytechnic University of Milan, Benno Albrecht of the Iuav University of Venice, and Helen Woolley of the University of Sheffield among others.

Photo of Long Museum by Atelier Deshaus
Shanghai's Long Museum was designed by CAUP alumni Atelier Deshaus. Image by Su Shengliang

Representing schools from Asia, Europe and North and South America between them, the speakers will share their perspectives on the future of higher education in architecture.

"In the context of the post-epidemic era, the Global Dean's Forum encourages us to think about what we can bring to the city as architects, planners and landscape designers," said CAUP.

A photograph of the deans of CAUP
Li Xiang Ning (left) is the new dean of CAUP. Pictured are Li Xiang Ning and previous deans in the exhibition opening of CAUP. Image by CAUP

The event is the second Global Dean's Forum convened by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), and is demonstrative of the school's dedication to openness and international engagement.

This approach has been reinforced under the college's new dean Li Xiang Ning and new architecture department chair, architect and Neri&Hu co-founder Rossana Hu, who took up the post in December 2021 and has aimed to bring in international educators for exchange, understanding and community.

China Pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale
In 2018 CAUP's dean and professor Li Xiang Ning was appointed as the curator of the China Pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale

Under her leadership, the school has introduced a new course on Architectural Analysis and Theoretical Reflections by visiting professor Stan Fung, which will inject new energy into the design theory programme.

Hu has also begun a lecture series that she mainly teaches herself and which is run in conjunction with the seminar course The Interdependence of Theory, Practice and Criticism in Architecture.

Rossana Hu doing a presentation
Since December, 2021, Rossana Hu, the architect and founding partner of design studio Neri&Hu has been appointed chair of the department of architecture at CAUP. Image by CAUP

Further appointments of foreign scholars and contemporary design critics are set to come at the beginning of next year.

Based in a Bauhaus-influenced building on the Tongji campus, CAUP was founded in 1952 on a foundation of historic ties with Germany and an orientation towards European modernism, with founding professors coming from leading design schools internationally.

It went on to become the first architecture school in China to offer a masters programme in 1965, a doctoral programme in 1981 and a postdoctoral programme in 1988, as well as running the first urban planning, landscape and historic building protection engineering programmes.

Photograph of the deans of CAUP
CAUP was founded in 1952, and went on to become the first architecture school in China to offer a masters programme in 1965. Image by CAUP

While having an international outlook, the school is also deeply rooted in its Shanghai home and has influenced the changing landscape of both the city and China as a whole.

Alumni and professors of the university have been involved in the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, and a number of landmark cultural buildings including the Long Museum by Atelier Deshaus, the Shanghai Xuhui Westbund Riverside Tourist Center by Yuan Feng and the New Shanghai Theatre by Neri&Hu, and the renewal of the public riverside space along Shanghai's Huangpu River.

Alumni also have participated in the creation of infrastructure for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, the reconstruction after the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, and a revitalisation of rural areas by alumni Wang Shu, China's first Pritzker Prize winner.

The Shanghai Xuhui Westbund Riverside Tourist Center
The Shanghai Xuhui Westbund Riverside Tourist Center was designed by vice dean and Professor Yuan Feng of CAUP. Image by CAUP

"In the past seven decades, as a college rooted in Shanghai, Shanghai's urbanisation process and urban culture have nourished the development of CAUP, whose practice and research have in turn revitalised the city," said the dean of CAUP, Li Xiang Ning.

In addition to the Global Dean's Forum and the new lecture series and courses, the school's 70th anniversary celebrations will include symposiums, exhibitions and publications.

Global Dean's Forum's schedule
The Global Dean's Forum will be streamed online via Zoom. Image by CAUP

Among the CAUP's offerings for local and foreign students is a double-degree programme in conjunction with 17 major architecture schools around the world, including the Polytechnic University of Milan, Georgia Institute of Technology, TU Wien and the Technical University of Berlin.

The school is now also starting to recruit post-doctoral researchers from abroad.

To watch the Global Dean's Forum, join the Zoom meeting link. The Zoom meeting ID is 890 929 765 88 and the password is 525 041.

For more information, visit the CAUP website.

The Global Dean's Forum takes place on 15 December 2022 online. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Global Dean's Forum as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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