Digital Ruralism | Workshop 2

MetropolitanCamp City. MAPS. 2014
MetropolitanCamp City. MAPS. 2014


Host: Turenscape Academy (TA)
Technical Support: Turenscape Beijing, MAPS
Workshop Location: TA Xixinan Campus
Project Site: Xixinan Village, Huangshan City, Anhui, China
Date and Time: 3.06.2017-3.12.2017 (7 days)
Deadline to apply: 2.24.2017 (Early Bird prices before 2.12.2017)


Curriculum Background

In the age of cities, the world continues unrelentingly towards urbanization. Massive migration to established cities in China, acting as hyper-dense attractors, has led to the hinterland and natural resources to be increasingly overtaken. Currently, rural territories are depicted through nearly vacated villages, sparse industry, ineffective agricultural production and older generations without the capacity to relocate. What if the future would depend on the rural context and not the current models of growth dictated by rapid urbanization processes? Rural landscapes can potentially seed potential new models of growth encouraging symbiotic relationships with nature.


AAVSShanghai. Wu Wenjing, Wang Yadian, Chloe Haentjens. 2016
AAVSShanghai. Wu Wenjing, Wang Yadian, Chloe Haentjens. 2016



The main aim of this intensive design workshop is the learning of analytical tools applied to grasping geographic, environmental and social potentials of rural contexts, to explore how villages can expand through models of adaptation. This research will be led through a design methodology based on GIS analysis, generative approaches and data-driven experimentation.

建筑联盟学院上海访问学校. Wu Wenjing, Wang Yadian,Chloe Haentjens. 2016
建筑联盟学院上海访问学校. Wu Wenjing, Wang Yadian,Chloe Haentjens. 2016

The site of TA’s academy, Xixinan village in Anhui Province, will serve as the context for design proposals. Students will be introduced to the use of drones (UVAs) for landscape surveying and 3d mapping in order to generate a comprehensive digital model of Xixinan. Through computational methods, patterns for intervention will be developed at the territorial scale, followed by a more detailed study, to be selected and developed through environmental analysis and digital modeling. Design proposals will explore the specific circumstances of the context through simulations of microclimate and their relationship geometries. The outcomes will be a blend of social and environmental patterns aiming for hyper-contextualized models of growth.

Drone Landscape Surveying. MAPS. 2017
Drone Landscape Surveying. MAPS. 2017

Mavic Pro. DJI. 2016
Mavic Pro. DJI. 2016





Workshop Director


Mary Polites & Ignacio Lopez-Buson

Mary Polites and Ignacio López-Busón hold master’s degrees in Landscape Urbanism and Emergent Technologies and Design from the Architectural Association (AA) in London. In 2014 they formed MAPS (Methods for the Architecture of Patterns and Systems) with their colleague Du Chen, to start a research, teaching and design initiative in Shanghai. MAPS primary focus is to analyze the complexity of current social, economic and natural systems and articulate their logics into diverse and livable environments in China. Their teaching experience relates to landscape, urbanism, GIS and computational design, and includes positions at the London Architectural Association (AA), AA Visiting School Shanghai, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Tongji University in Shanghai, and Turenscape Academy.


Mary Polites

Master of Emergent Technologies at AA, Assistant Professor at Tongji University Design & Innovation College and Co-Director of BiDL (Biomimetic Design Lab)



Ignacio López-Busón

Master of Landscape Urbanism at AA; Director and Co-Founder of MAPS


Guest Lecturers



Neville Mars

Director,Mars Architects, Shanghai



Tom Verebes

Provost, Turenscape Academy; Director OCEAN CN Studio; Director AA Visiting School Shanghai



Gina Xiong

Academic Director, Turenscape Academy; Master of Landscape Architecture, ASU


How to Apply

Contact us: 18201521972; 15712966956 (Numbers for both Mobile and WeChat)
Apply: Email with “Name+Workshop Name” in the subject line. Please specify your name, age, gender, major, school or employer, phone number, email address in the body of the email. TA staff will get in touch with you ASAP about workshop details and logistics.



Apply through QR Code:



Past Workshops





In general, the rural landscape is defined relative to the urban landscape. Rural areas mainly refer to agricultural land in which the proportion of the natural environment is far greater than that of urban areas. In addition to settlements, most of the land in rural areas is used for crop cultivation, aquaculture, or grazing, ecological spaces that interact with factors such as the lifestyle, production conditions, and socio-cultural background of residents in specific rural areas.

The settlement landscape is one of the main subjects of the study of rural landscapes in China, which is also the core content of rural geography research. Before the 1990s, the study of rural settlements in China was mainly based on six aspects: form, location, function, evolution, layout, and planning. In recent years, research on spatial structure, characteristics, distribution laws, and diffusion has expanded with advances in technologies and tools. GIS, for example, is being increasingly applied to the design of rural landscapes.



Start Time

9:30 am

Monday, March 6, 2017

Finish Time

5:30 pm

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Huangshan Turenscape Academy 黄山土人学社