The Adaptive City

This seventh consecutive AA Shanghai Summer School will be hosted at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture Shanghai Study Centre. As an intensive nine-day studio-based course, we will investigate new computational design approaches in architecture and urbanism, within the context of Shanghai, one of the world’s most rapidly growing, emblematic twenty-first century cities. This year’s topic for the summer school concerns the challenges facing the megalopolis of Shanghai, and indeed all cities in the twenty-first century, the capability for cities to adapt to the changing forces which shape the city. We will experiment with design technologies associated to evolutionary approaches to urbanism and architecture, through a variety of time-based, dynamic models of complex growth and change.

The course will be taught by tutors from the AA School, HKU, and other visitors, 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. The aim of these design exercises is to introduce expertise in generative, algorithmic and parametric design approaches to adaptive urbanism. In a second stage of the workshop, students will develop design proposals responding to studio briefs focusing on developing new models of urban evolution. Students will apply code-based modelling, simula­tion and fabrication techniques, towards multiple, variable and recursive prototypes for a range of urban systems, driven by scenarios of future incremental, adaptive growth and change.

Alongside studio-based design tutorials, seminars, and a series of lectures, a public symposium will address contempo­rary topics related to the theme of the workshop.