As part of the design research studio themed “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050,” taught by Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Architecture Research Professor and CTBUH Executive Director, and Dr. Peng Du, IIT Architecture Visiting Assistant Professor and CTBUH Academic Coordinator, 13 students traveled to the Pearl River Delta in China in October 2016 as part of the CTBUH 2016 International Conference, “Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism.” CTBUH and Gensler kindly funded this student trip.
The trip provided students with unprecedented opportunities to participate in lectures, workshops, networking receptions, and urban and tall building tours in a region that offers a global example of the competing pressures highlighted in this course – massive growth, verticalization, and urbanization – with many excellent examples of urban planning, infrastructure, and tall building design, contrasted with many examples that are inadequate.
Additionally, students participated in a studio interim review meeting with global leaders at Gensler, as a special session of the Conference coordinated by Professor Du.
Upon returning to United States, students will further develop their design proposals. The final review is expected to be conducted at S. R. Crown Hall in early December, 2017.
As a two-semester-long Cloud Studio, the first semester is focused on addressing sustainability and resiliency in urban environments, assessing the context of accelerating urbanism and climate change, and researching experimental designs in order to recommend where future cities should be located and how they should be planned. Students will continue working during the second semester to develop their urban vision in more detail (at a community/block scale), and they will develop to an advanced level the design of one tall building or a cluster of tall buildings within the vision. Gensler will continue supporting the studio throughout the year through a variety of capacities, such as reviews, lectures, tutorials, etc.