Generative Processes in Architecture and Urbanism

Shenzhen 2019

Three-day Joint Academic Workshop
28 – 30 January 2019, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University

‘DeCoding the City’ was a short and intensive workshop organised for students from CUHK and Shenzhen University, to work collaboratively on the mapping and analysis of high-density urban spaces. Based in Shenzhen, the programme incorporated a set of theoretical and computational tools to engage with the dynamism and complexity of human activities in urban centres. Through field research and collective discussions, we aimed to document and understand the interdependent relationships between the physical and programmatic environment of the city and the social, cultural and economic activities of its inhabitants.

The workshop engaged with a series of high-density urban areas that have a three-dimensional character, that stimulate unique social or cultural life due to the mix of programs, policies and due to the character of the space itself. Students documented the social life of these places through drawing, photography and film and were taught how to create data-driven drawings using a set of computational analytical tools.

The aim of the workshop was to gain an understanding how new types of spatial urban fabric can serve as a catalyst for social-economical or cultural communities. Rather than approaching urbanism and architecture as a finite and top-down design exercise, we studied, discussed and speculated on how new urban centres can stimulate the development of vibrant urban processes evolving through time.


Prof. Jeroen van Ameijde is Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a partner and director at Urban Systems Office, a practice specialising in generative design processes for architectural and urban applications. He has taught at the Architectural Association for eleven years, as well as at the University of Pennsylvania and the Bartlett, University College London. His teaching and research focus on the intersection between urban design and architecture at dense urban locations, and how the organisation and mixing of social, cultural and economic activities can be guided through advanced computational methods for data management and design testing.

Prof. Dr. Alex Zipprich is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Shenzhen University (SZU). Previously, Dr. Alex Zipprich taught as Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). As an architect, Alex has worked on a variety of international design projects, including university campus design, museum-projects and creative spaces, as well as urban design and master-planning concepts. Alex obtained his professional qualifications as an architect in Germany and the United Kingdom prior to pursuing graduate studies at Harvard University and subsequent PhD research in Hong Kong. Alex has been awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture in 2016.