Nantou Old Town, Shenzhen
Jan 26, 2018 – Feb 8, 2018
The theme of 2017 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Shenzhen, (UABB), “Cities, Grow in Difference”, provided a creative platform for discourse with the public on pressing urban issues. Through exhibitions, symposiums, workshops, guided tours, and villager participation, the Biennale sought to inspire reflection and new discoveries for urban living. Its unique venue, located in Shenzhen’s historical Nantou Old Town, brought the discussion into real life.
The 1,700 year-old Nantou Old Town is located within the Pearl River Delta region. Currently, the densely-populated town is home to countless migrants from all over China; each enclave of inhabitants still maintains the dialect, culture, and customs of their birthplace. This social phenomenon creates numerous 城中村 or natural urban village (village within a village). In the context of such coexistence, Turenscape Academy hosted a studio-based Design Workshop in Nantou Old Town during the UABB.
The two-week workshop examined lost legacies of Shenzhen’s urban villages and discovered new futures in which they could thrive. The workshop considered the social and economic history of Shenzhen’s urban villages and investigated sites in both Nantou Old Town and Shenzhen. Following the “Learning by Doing” philosophy, the instructors emphasized practical application of the workshop’s conceptual findings. These insights, which called for balancing urbanization with social responsibility , are now stored in the UAAB library in Shenzhen and have been made available to governmental agencies.
Hana Huang Qijin | Workshop Leader
Project Urban Designer, AECOM DP+E
M.A. (Landscape Urbanism), AA, London
B.Arch. Architectural Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
AA Visiting School Beijing, Tutor since 2015
Hana Qijin Huang’s expertise includes comprehensive master planning, innovative urban design, green infrastructure, and digital data analysis. She has been involved in many award-winning projects. Hana’s teaching methodologies emphasize design implementation and integration, developing design approaches enabling multiple solutions in which design proposals are intrinsically linked to their natural environment, urban settings, and human activities.
Chen Jie | Workshop Tutor
Director, Evolve Design
MSc (Emergent Technologies & Design), AA, London
M.Arch., University of Nottingham, UK
Chen Jie is a Shenzhen-based architect and designer. Jie has worked in the offices of Alsop Architects and Arup. In 2010, he founded Evolve Design in London, and 5 years later, he founded 涌现建筑 Evolve Design, in Shenzhen. In practice, he has worked on a wide range of projects, ranging from art installations, interior design, architecture and urban design. His major focus is on public buildings and open spaces. Since completing his studies at the AA, Jie has developed design research processes influenced by digital morphogenesis and biological growth logics in nature, applying emerging technologies, such as computational analysis and optimization of building physics, simulation of material properties and, geometric form finding.
Casey KELL | Workshop Tutor
Architect, MAD Architects, Beijing
B. Arch., University of Arizona, US
Originally from Los Angeles, Casey currently works as an architect at MAD Architects in Beijing. Casey is a founding member and current leader of the MAD Parametric Team, which over the course of the last two years, has built a grasshopper plug-in that works as a toolset for incoming employees as well as an archive of knowledge for the MAD design process. His past experience includes working in the field of digital fabrication at Situ Studio in New York City, and as an instructor in workshops in China, including the AD School.