51st IFHP Students Congress
Emerging Urbanisms, Emerging Practices

23 - 26 September 2007

Speakers: Carsten Primdah, Liang Wei, Tue Foged and Vanessa Carlow
Moderator: Henrik Valeur

Excerpt from the conference program: Co-evolution is the title for the prize-winning work of young Danish architecture offices in collaboration with Chinese universities for the 2006 Venice Biennale. The session will focus on a discussion of the proposals by the four offices dealing with the issue of sustainable development in rapidly urbanizing areas in China.

2006 Xi'an International Conference of Architecture and Technology
Architecture in Harmony

22-25 September 2006

Architecture: Continuity and Harmony (Session One)
Speakers: Fudong Dai, Zhaoye Guan, Henrik Valeur, Jianguo Wang and Jiaping Liu
Moderator: Thomas Campanella

Abstract: The processes of rapid and extensive urbanization have greatly improved the living conditions for a vast number of Chinese people during the past decades. But it has also put tremendous pressure on the environment, which can be experienced as increasing pollution and lack of natural resources. The project “CO-EVOLUTION” confronts the challenge of how to improve living conditions without exhausting the very resources needed to sustain a better life. It does so through international and interdisciplinary collaboration. For six months, four offices of the most talented young Danish architects have been working together with professors, PhD and postgraduate students from four of the most prestigious Chinese universities. In teams consisting of one Danish office and one Chinese university they have developed proposals for sustainable urban development in the four Chinese cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai and Xi’an. Proposals which at the same time describe a cross section through “urban China” – from its historic centre via the Central Business District and the post-industrial periphery to the post-modern sub city. The collaboration has revealed different cultural values, working methods and professional interest among the participants. But the teams have acknowledged and learned from these differences. In combination with the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge, it has sparked creativity and imagination, resulting in four highly visionary projects. The collaboration has not only opened the participants’ minds to different cultures but as well to the importance of sustainable thinking. In addition, it has created the basis for long term relationships among the participants. Thus, it is our hope that the four projects are not merely the end products of a process but as well the starting point for more collaboration, which we believe is essential to meet the challenges which really concerns us all. Henrik Valeur, 2006

Thesis [84K] pdf