5 educational institutions, 30 students, 10 tutors and 11 city visions developed on four different sites. This is the result of one year of research. The project previews are now available online. More content and videos in the exhibition opening next 27th in Beijing.
Beijing – Dashilan
October 3rd 2012 – 2 p.m.
The sheer size and rapidity of the changes in asian cities often leave open questions related to the quality of life in the new settlements, issues related to preservation and problems related to identity. In this context the city of Beijing presents multiple chances to consider alternative strategies for the urban planning discipline.
Ideas and projects that steer away from the conventional approach to the development of the urban environment will be discussed at the “How to generate an urban evolution?”.
Luis Aguirre, Giannantonio Bongiorno and Eugenia Murialdo will introduce “Hutopolis: city visions”, the exhibition that collects one year of research, experiments and events organized in China and Europe by the Hutopolis research program. “City visions” wants to explore how the re-use and enhance of the traditional city patterns could lead towards a new evolution of the city.
Nikolaus Wabnitz and Xu Feng will introduce LCD (Laboratory for Computational Design) and the recent research developed within the Dashilan Area.
Following “Next step: Hutopolis”, presented during Beijing Design Week 2011, “City visions” wants to understand how the re-use and enhance of the traditional city patterns could lead towards a new evolution of the city.
The social and economical transformations which are happening in both Russia and China are parallel in many ways and both countries are experiencing the shift from a planned economy to new models of development. Cities of both countries are changing and a new evolution is shaping the urban environment: in megalopolis such as Moscow and Beijing this leaves unanswered questions related to quality of life, preservation as well as social and economic contrasts.
During a 6 days workshop the participants will develop new solutions to common sets of problems that afflict both capitals with projects that link the field of urban development, architecture and new media. After comparing sites in both cities and using the tool of “soft urbanism” we aspire to answer this question:
How can a new approach to urbanism (“soft urbanism”) contribute to the city and to urban development?
The projects will consist in ideas to convey new values for specific sites in both Moscoe and Beijing, like: services, new functions, installations and urban games, represented through analogic, digital or hybrid digital/ analogic presentations.
The workshop will be led by the “Hutopolis” team (Giannantonio Bongiorno, Luis Aguirre, Eugenia Murialdo) with prof. Frans Vogelaar and Elizabeth Sikiaridi and the support of other lecturers and researchers.
Organized by ‘Beijing Design Week’, Dashila(b) and Capital M, the event included several speakers: Kenya Hara, designer from Nippon Design Center and director of design for MUJI, Fang Zhenning, curator of the Chinese pavilion of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Liang Jingyu, architect from Approach Architecture, Giannantonio Bongiorno, curator of Hutopolis and Luis Aguirre from AQSO.
Aric Chen, BJDW creative director was the moderator of the debate in which issues related to the preservation, the soft-urbanism interventions, and the economy of this ancient and distinctive Beijing district were discussed.
Hutopolis will participate in the 2012 Beijing Design Week Exhibition showing the results of the research program and the work developed during the past year. More information coming soon.
Students from Europe and Asia are already working on the development of the projects to be presented during the next fall in Beijing. The institutions and universities on board will work in a collaborative platform and a virtual space for the researchers to be in contact.
The projects will be based on four different areas of the Chinese capital, two of them located in the historic urban fabric and two of them on the boundaries of the modern city. As presented during the last exhibition, four principles will guide the experimental projects: social, green, mobility and density.
“Planners, architects, urban designers, – “urbanists” in short – all face one common problem: how to plan the construction of the next layers in the urban palimpsest in ways that match future wants and needs without doing too much violence to all that has gone before. What has gone before is important precisely because it is the locus of collective memory, of political identity, and of powerful symbolic meanings at the same time as it constitutes a bundle of resources constituting possibilities as well as barriers in the built environment for creative social change. There is rarely now a tabula rasa upon which new urban forms can be freely constructed.”
(Harvey, D. 2000. Possible Urban Worlds. The Fourth Megacities Lecture. The Hague)
Meaning an utopian city of Hutongs, Hutopolis (h-uto-polis), is a fictive collage of words coming from different backgrounds that reflect the cultural openness of the project. This research program is conceived as a generative process where discussions, exhibitions and workshops are organized to exchange ideas, define next steps and create new visions.
The HUTOPOLIS network include educational institutions from Europe and Asia.
The projects will range from new urban planning solutions to architecture focusing also on the development of “soft-urbanism” strategies.
The research program schedule:
Short movie by Anouchka van Driel presented on the exhibition ‘Next stop: Hutopolis’ during the 2011 Beijing Design Week. Anouchka is of mixed Dutch and Serbian heritage and has lived and worked in Beijing since 2004. Drawing from methods of urban sociology, she is interested in the personal stories of the inhabitants of a city, and how we experience the places and spaces we move through.
Updated information about the research can be now found on our press area.