Shanghai Summer School Unit 2, Spontaneous Order, Soomeen Hahm and Zed Huang, AAVS Shanghai 2016

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Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.

Shanghai Summer School

City Smart

Friday 7 – Saturday 15 July 2017

In an era of unprecedented city building, the 11th consecutive AA Shanghai Summer School continues to focus on issues related to urbanization in China. The Yangtze River Delta Metropolitan Region, (pop. 90m), which comprising Shanghai, is the laboratory for the study of the complexities of the contemporary city within this context of massive urbanisation. AAVS Shanghai has persistently championed computational approaches applied to the problematic of the twenty-first century city. This year, the programme shifts towards speculations of an Intelligent Urbanism, shaped and materialized through flows of information through responsive infrastructure, interfaces and the Internet of Things. This year’s new agenda, City Smart, will investigate the potential for design intelligence to be transferred towards the materialisation of information in urbanism. As an intensive nine-day studio-based course, clusters of tutors and students will engage experimentally with computational simulation, analysis, design, production and fabrication, to query the design repercussions of these information-based technological methods for urbanism. Given the aim to discover the cultural, social and spatial repercussions of today’s quickly advancing technologies upon the city, AAVS Shanghai will introduce students to skills and concepts with which to harness the complexities of quickly changing Chinese cities.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

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

Students will be introduced to expertise in generative, algorithmic and parametric design approaches and their immediate materialisation as urban prototypes. The main computational tools are Rhinoceros and a series of plug-ins and add-ons, Maya, Processing, and others. Students will gain expertise in fabrication technologies, including robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting, cnc milling and virtual reality, 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. 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, City Smart. The programme is hosted at the new China 3D Printing Museum in Boashan, Shanghai.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions to pay by bank transfer.
2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required.
The deadline for applications is: 6 July 2017.
All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.
Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Rhino (SR7 or later), Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Processing.


Tom Verebes is the Provost of Turenscape Academy and the Director of OCEAN CN, based in Hong Kong and Beijing. In 2016, he had held Visiting Professor roles at University of Pennsylvania, RMIT, Singapore University of Technology & Design and University of Tokyo. Former roles include: Associate Dean (2011-2014), and Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong (2009-2016); Co-Director of the DRL at the AA, where he had taught from 1996 to 2009; and, Guest Professor at Akademie der Buildenden Künste ABK Stuttgart (2004-2006). Verebes has published over 150 books, chapters, articles and project features; has exhibited in over 50 venues worldwide, and has lectured extensively in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East.


China 3D Print Cultural Museum, Baoshan District, Shanghai
Xuberance, Shanghai


Programme Head
Tom Verebes

AA QQ Account: 361242585

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Programme site



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