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    Tsinghua Initiates 24h Workshop: 5 universities, 3 continents, 10 lecturers..

    Martijn de Geus
    Nov 9, '12 1:02 PM EST

    24h Workshop: "Beyond the City", also see

    The 24h Workshop is an independent international workshop that takes place simultaneously in five urban regions (Beijing, Istanbul, Turin, Delft, Pennsylvania) across three continents (Asia, Europe, North America), for a continuous 24 hours on nov 10/11th this year. The 24h symbolizes how nowadays architects and their studios work around the clock, around the world. It is an unprecedented event that has the intention to become an annual workshop format.

    Our minds and working methods become Globalized as information, travel and networks
    connects us everywhere. But our architectural interventions still require local specificities
    (site, client, users) and thus a local understanding. Our goal is to create an environment for academic exchange to discuss contemporary global trends, in relation to local
    implementations in various parts of the world. Secondly, this goal and development in
    architecture discourse can be supported by the technologies that enabled contemporary
    globalization. As seen in history, it shows that new media has great potential for the
    development of architectural discourse as all significant architectural evolutions are
    supported by a new media invention (the manuscript - Vitruvius/ book printing press -
    Renaissance/ the periodicals - De Stijl/ Bauhaus). The significant aspects of contemporary ‘new media’ are two fold. First of all, its important in the creation and processing, with the possibility for a real-time, engaged, international debate, addressing complex global issues with localized teams. Secondly it generates new ways of spreading and discussing the final output. All in all, we can interactively share data, debate and conclusions real-time. It can create a global knowledge network, linked to localized, physical implementations. And thus generate unprecedented opportunities for the advancement of the discipline of architecture.


    Connect, create, share. Reiterate.
    We CONNECT various groups of students and experts in regions across the globe by using open-source, new-media, hard- and software (webcams, broadband internet, google hangout, skype, youtube, etc). During the 24h we CREATE design strategies for local problems in the framework of our global theme. In this process, a group of 12 students is guided by a promising generation of local experts. To get inspired, stay in touch, get involved, inspire us; we SHARE the content, expertise and connections amongst each other. Both during, before and after the workshop. We thus create knowledge and references for the understanding of global issues and establish a network of engaged individuals. Last but not least, the 24h Workshop evolves as we REITERATE; by making it a yearly event with a fresh team of local participants.

    This initiative is co-founded by Martijn de Geus and Arturo Pavani but, it’s no two-menshow; the 24h Workshop is an integral network initiative, hosted by a variety of institutions world wide, and support by their local representatives, organizers, tutors and lecturers. The first edition includes: Tsinghua University - Beijing, Istanbul Polytechnic University, Politecnico di Torino - Italy, Delft University of Technology, Penn State University, USA.

    THEME Beyond the City
    1. The Urban Globe
    Over the past decades the focus of architectural discourse has become ‘the City’
    A very logical step, as our world is heading for urban domination with architecture as the
    discipline that shapes the environments we inhabit. For the first time in human history, more then 50% of humans across the globe live in cities. A first observation is regarding the role we as humans play in the forces that shape our habitat. Traditionally, species (including our ancestors) had to always adept to the environment in which they evolved. Specialization lead to the establishment of a diverse range of species, specifically suited for their respective habitat. (see Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’). More recently we can witness a new kind of phenomena. For the first time, since we can trace back the evolution of species, there is a species that is able to drastically shape the environment it inhabits. Unwanted sometimes, uncontrollable perhaps.
    We have entered the Anthropocene, the age of man, in which we humans (ie. “anthropos”, have become the name givers to a new geological era, as we now define the global ecosystem we inhabit. The Urban Globe defines our very own ecology. In this sense we can state that we can have an unprecedented impact with the actions we take; good or bad. And that, for the sake of the species, we should take responsibility in the way we influence our environment. This is where we as architects can play a vital role. Designing our future habitat.



    2. The After City
    But, as we move towards the Urban Globe, what exists beyond The City?
    In order to create a lasting ecology we should consider a balance between the Urban Globe and the Natural Environment through a careful consideration of the man-made interventions that link the two. Currently we only hear about the urban, about the success of the city as a self contained entity; but what happens in the non-urban? The ex-urban? The post-urban?
    What is out there, beyond the borders of our city focus? What (be)comes after the city?
    How doe we define the edge? What happens on the fringes of the city?

    3. The Global Local
    Each of the participating regions has particular problems that relate to the question ‘what is Beyond the City?’. These specific issues are related to the local conditions, such as the
    state of urbanization, cultural identity, environmental aspects, etc. Together they form a
    wide variety, expressed in strategical keywords, that address the relation between urban
    and non-urban. The themes per region are:

    - Beijing ESCAPE site: Cuandixia
    - Istanbul EXPAND site: new bridge accross Bosphorus
    - Turin CONNECT site: Milan-Turin Metro region
    - Delft RELATE site: Randstad/ Westland
    - Pennsylvania INTERSECT site: the state of Pennsylvania


    Also see for the live-stream from Saturday 8pm Beijing time (see time schedule for local times).

    Video introduction to 24h Workshop and theme 'Beyond the City', from Beijing

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About this Blog

In the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University, Beijing, the English Program for Master Architecture (EPMA) provides a nationally accredited post-professional program in integrated architectural design. It combines a global network with local implementation. The program is focused on the construction of the human habitat, and the application of advanced building technologies.

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