Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs

Shenzhen Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, China


Cities on Wheels: High Density City in Greater Bay Area

Friday 24 July – Sunday 2 August 2020

China has launched the ambitious Greater Bay Area project to be the engine of China’s next wave of national reform and urban re-development. If the past 20 years of China’s transformation was rapid and powerful, the coming 20 years are set to be sophisticated and top-notch. The Greater Bay Area is charged to be the most prospective bay area in the human history, i.e. a city chain including Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai, Zhong Shan, Foshan, Dong Guan, Guangzhou, connected through the HK-Macau-ZH ocean crossing bridge. One of the major challenges is to deliver healthy and sustainable urban life while pushing for higher density of land use and more efficiency in integrating transport systems, such as the Transit Integrated Development (TID).

Shenzhen VS aims to propose visionary concepts of new city habitation, i.e. a Transit Integrated Development (TID) prototypical model based on the study of Greater Bay Area. We will essentially investigate the meaning of data to design innovation upon the emerging knowledge pragmatically. Such data-based design theme includes but not limit to data collection, data visualization, data standardization, data specializing, data conceptualization, and data parameterization into spatial orders. We will initialize design projects on the basis of the current ongoing TOD project, i.e. Xi Lee Station City located in the heart of science and technology urban corridor in Shenzhen. The goal of the project is to experiment the next generation of integrated living and transportation hub that embracing the foreseeable technologies and new life-style in living, working and moving. We will tour around the Greater Bay Area and observe what is happening, followed by thematic researches into the relevant case studies, future transport technologies, and urban life data. In the end, we will address our reflection upon the future of the transport hubs in Greater Bay Area with speculated images and visualized data representation. In response to the culture of ubiquitous computation in the new era of big data, we aim to develop a series of urbanistic concepts to address the question of what to compute for the TID projects, so that the outcomes might inspire the global think tank about the future of the urban and architectural legacies in Asia to other developing counties.

Shenzhen VS’ objective is to continue the platform for cross-disciplinary experiment on design ideas and techniques from the legacy of AA Beijing Visiting School. The course offers great opportunity for the students in the region who want to study architectural design in world leading schools or change the major to architecture. Participants will experience the international learning environment with systematic thinking, computational design and rigorous research methodologies. The pedagogic agenda of the CGB Visiting School is to learn data-based design approaches and techniques that generate design possibilities from the building scale to the urban scale in the context of Greater Bay Area when she is becoming the most powered Bay Area after the rapid urbanization and capitalization in the next decade to come.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • Computational skills including but not limited to Algorithmic Modeling, Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Methodologies in data-based design for large scale projects
  • Theoretic understanding of Transit Integrated Development for high density habit in the future city
  • Professional awareness in the regulatory, technical and social constrains and conditions in urban design, transport design, mixed use development and public space design
  • Benefit from the creative and skillful residence in the VS venue, i.e. Vanke Design Commune where many forward-looking design and technology firms are based in
  • Lecture series to include both global and regional practitioners and scholars according to the theme of this VS, offering participants valuable exposure to their potential professional career in China Greater Bay Area


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the right-hand column of this webpage. If you are not able to make an online application, please contact the Visiting School Office for instructions to pay by bank transfer or by telephone.

2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered onto the programme. Please note that a deposit payment holds your place on the course but does not confirm it. A CV and a statement of why you apply this program are required.

3) Full/ Partial Scholarships are available. To apply please send through a small portfolio (max. 5MB) the Visiting School Office .

The deadline for applications is: 27 Apr 2020.


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, PhD candidates and young professionals. There is no Software Requirements, but applicants with knowledge in Grasshopper, Rhino (SR7 or later) and Programming are preferred.


Vanke Cloud Design Commune
Nanshan District
Shenzhen, China


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Digital Membership fee, payable by all participants.

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.


All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After full payment of course fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop with the needed information from the local host in China.


All participants are responsible for securing their own travel and health insurance. Please ensure that your travel insurance also covers your personal belongings i.e. laptop, equipment, tools, passport etc. The AA takes no responsibility for lost/ stolen property.


Yan Gao is the managing Director & Principal Architect, HCD-iDEA Architectural Design and Research Ltd.

Soomeen Hahm is the director of SoomeenHahm Design Ltd. and of the Design Faculty & Robotic Researcher of Sci-Arc.

Monia De Marchi is a Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK).

Jing Jin is an Associate at EID Architecture.

Hana Huang is an Associate at Aedas Ltd.

Junjie Zeng is an Associate, Head of Parametric Design, QUAD Studio, Hong Kong


Vanke Design Commune, Hua Hui Design Ltd., iDEA Design & Research Ltd.


Programme Heads
Yan Gao
Soomeen Hahm

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads


Social Media


Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.