Symposium: Shape of the Future —Urbanism and Architecture in the Age of Industry 4.0

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New technologies are not only changing lifestyles and needs, they are also impacting cities and buildings in materialistic forms, as well as the methods for their production. As global and digital forces become an important part of the urban condition, architects, planners and craftsmen are increasingly confronted with new challenges and opportunities. The symposium brings together experts who will discuss theoretical approaches and present built examples from Europe and China, with a focus on Shenzhen—a megacity where Industry 4.0 is already increasingly affecting the urban living environment.

The future is shaped by intertwining complexities and uncertainties as to where city and buildings will be taking people. Large-scale urban and community developments in the past addressed the shortage of housing and the improvement of living standards in our cities. This goal, in relation to the demands in the fast-developing industrial era, caused not only an increase in related industries and technologies, but also raised discussions about tradition and modernity.

Today, the goals are manifold and the digital age—surrounded by virtual realities, internet, connectivity, social media and IT developments—has disconnected people from materiality and fragmented their knowledge. Current urban developments in China include new policies for an increased use of prefabrication, for example in Shanghai, but also Shenzhen. Implementing these policies holds numerous consequences regarding design, production, acquisition and user phases. Who will be the stakeholders to deliver prefabrication on a large scale, which is required for the new housing developments most cities have to build? Will this be accomplished by the traditional building sector or a new disruptive industry or business model? And what role do new types of craftsmanship play in developing innovations in design, such as ‘intelligent building kits’?


Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Director, ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin

Miriam Mlecek, Programme Manager, ANCB
Doreen Heng Liu, Architect, NODE Architecture & Urbanism, Shenzhen

Short Lectures
Wang Zejian, Urban Planner, China Academy of Urban Planning & Design, Shenzhen
Shenzhen: The Formation of a Chinese Contemporary City
Yang Xiaodi, Founder of Projective Architecture Office, Co-founder and COO of Xkool tech., Shenzhen
Liu Xiaodu, Principal and Co‐founder of URBANUS Architecture & Design, Shenzhen
DenCity: Live with Density
Song Dong, Artist, Beijing
Min Yi Shi Wei Tian (Food is the Primary Necessity of the People)
Raoul Bunschoten, Professor of Sustainable Urban Planning and Urban Design, TU Berlin
Intelligent Prefabrication for City Making
Ou Ning, Activist, Writer, Curator and Artist, Shenzhen
The End of Arrival City
Feng Jiang, Architecture Historian and Critic, Guangzhou
Rethinking the Design in Pre-industrial China

Liu Xiaodu, Principal and Co‐founder of URBANUS Architecture & Design, Shenzhen
Hubert Klumpner
, Architect, Co-founder and Co-director of Urban-Think Tank (U-TT), Zurich
Doreen Heng Liu
, Architect, NODE Architecture & Urbanism, Shenzhen
Gereon Uerz
, Sociologist, Associate and Europe Lead Arup Foresight, Berlin

Moderator: Raoul Bunschoten, Professor of Sustainable Urban Planning and Urban Design, TU Berlin