Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
2016-2017 CTBUH-IIT Design Research Studio Students Present at CTBUH 2016 International Conference and Visit Shenzhen & Hong Kong
October 15–22, 2016
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SHENZHEN & HONG KONG – As part of the design research studio themed “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050” taught at the College of Architecture, IIT, by CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Research Professor, and CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor, 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.” Funding for IIT students to conduct this trip was kindly provided by Gensler, via the “Gold + Design Research Sponsorship Package” at the CTBUH 2016 International Conference.
IIT student representatives Zahida Khan and Clinson Poon accept the Student Traveling Design Research Studio Award at the CTBUH 2016 International Conference, sponsored by Gensler.

This field 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 examples of excellent urban planning, infrastructure, and tall building design, along with many examples that are inadequate.

Additionally, students participated in a studio interim review meeting conducted by global leaders at Gensler, including Ray Shick, Regional Managing Principal for Gensler Asia Pacific; Xiaomei Lee, Principal and Managing Director of Gensler Asia Pacific; Elizabeth Michalska, Senior Associate and Tall Buildings Practice Area Leader; Brad Wilkins, Senior Designer and Associate; and Allan Chung, Project Architect, as a special session of the Conference coordinated by Dr. Du. Dr. Du opened with a brief studio introduction and a summary of the studio’s progress. Next, students presented their research and design proposals for future vertical cities in seven different climate zones and terrains including 1) Arid / Desert, 2) Continental / Delta or Marsh, 3) Continental / Plain or Grasslands, 4) Mountainous / Highlands, 5) Ocean / Sea, 6) Polar / Tundra, and 7) Tropical / Rainforest, before receiving thoughtful critiques.

Professor Du introduces the studio theme and progress.
Students present their work and receive critiques from Gensler leaders.
Upon their return to United States, the students will further develop their design proposals. The final review is expected to be conducted at the Crown Hall, IIT, in early December, 2017.

As a two-semester-long studio, Semester 1 is currently focused on addressing sustainability and resiliency in urban environments from the context of accelerating urbanism and climate change, utilizing research and experimental designs in order to recommend where future cities should be located and how they should be planned. Students will continue working during Semester 2 to develop their urban vision in more detail (i.e., at a community/block scale), and specifically to develop the design of one tall building or a cluster of tall buildings within the vision to an advanced level. Gensler will continue supporting the studio throughout the year through a variety of capacities, such as reviews, lectures, tutorials, etc.
Students explore local history and culture at the Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong. The group poses for a photo during the Conference VIP Networking Reception in the Ping An Finance Center, the current tallest building in Shenzhen at 599 meters.