Fujian, Hong Kong, Munich, Zurich, Nanjing, New Delhi, Santiago, Atacama Desert and Seoul

Fujian, China

Studio leader: Qinghua Guo

Architectural documentation is essential for conservation, restoration and preservation of historic buildings.

This studio includes:

  • Seminars on methods, techniques and types of architectural drawings used in pre- modern times; and basic concepts of conservation.
  • Projects to measure and document a historic building in situ on the current situation, to identify the building typology, to investigate construction methods and techniques. Students will complete a full set of drawings in appropriate details and scales.
  • Site visits to conservation projects in Fujian Province, China Project: Pingzhai Weiwu

The Weiwu in Pingzhai is a property of more than 260 rooms (3600 sq. m building area), built during 1870-85 in central Fujian. They are timber-framed earthen houses, single-storey, rectangular in site plan (ca. 7000 sq. m) as housing for 36 families and 168 people. The houses functioned as village units, housing the whole Xiao clan.

The student work, measured drawings, will be published as a book.

The studio is focused on not only measured drawing but design history, architectural conservation and history of building technology. The students of architectural design, history and conservation, and building construction are all welcome. The studio is a part of history, conservation, design and construction training.

Hong Kong

Studio leader: Justyna Karakiewicz

The Studio will be designed in three parts and will engage students and staff on three different continents: Asia, Australia and South America, all located in South Pacific region.

Part one of the studio will be develop in all three locations and it will concentrate on detailed analysis of metabolism and morphology.

In all living forms metabolism and morphology are intricately linked and operate through surfaces and networks. We will start with analyzing 9 different morphological conditions, three from each location. All the 9 different areas chosen will occupy the same area of one hectare (100 x100m). The urban surface will be modeled using nine parameters:

  1. rugosity (the amplitude of the variations in height of a surface)
  2. porosity (the proportion of open space to solid)
  3. sinuosity (the orientation of those open spaces to a particular axiality such as wind direction)
  4. compacity (compact density: the contained volume relative to surface)
  5. contiguity (the closeness of buildings to each other)
  6. occlusivity (the ratio of built perimeter to horizontal surface cuts)
  7. solar admittance (the surfaces exposed to sun)
  8. mineralization (the surface material that is not water or grass
  9. density (built area proportion to unbuilt)

Parallel to this exercise a series of studies, again in the same nine areas, will try to illustrate connectivity in the networks of spaces, from private, to semi private, semi public and public. The networks will be analyzed using nine parameters:

  1. Nodes (number of nodes within the area)
  2. Nodes (number of activities taking place, other than circulation)
  3. Path (number of path)
  4. Path (number of activities taking place other than circulation)
  5. Accessibility (distance in minutes to nine major activities: work, school, shopping, clinic, entertainment, public transport, pharmacy, restaurant, free Wi-Fi
  6. Open Space (private vs public)
  7. Open Space (size and activities that can take place)
  8. Connectivity (single use)
  9. Connectivity (multi-use)

From analysis described above students will be able to determine waste that exists within urban structures. On their return to Melbourne students will be asked to produce an alternative in order to minimize waste.

Skype and on line discussions will be carried out during the first stage of the studio. The Second part of the studio will focus on 3 specific sites within Hong Kong. Students from three different institutions will be mixed and divided in-between three different sites. In the two weeks following the Hong Kong experience, students will complete their design proposals.

This format can be repeated in the two other locations, Melbourne and Santiago. We will be seeking to repeat this in 2014 in Melbourne and in Santiago de Chile in 2015 with the same three institutions.

Munich, Germany & Zurich, Switzerland

Studio leader: Dr John Stone

In many cities and towns in German-speaking Europe, you find examples of large ‘brownfield’ redevelopment projects in which the private car is a minority mode for travel by workers and residents. A simple question is often asked: “Why can’t we do the same things in Melbourne?” Like all good ‘simple’ questions, the answer is complex.

This studio takes us to sites of recent urban and suburban re-development in Munich and Zurich. These will include Zurich West and Neu-Oerlikon, and Parkstadt Schwabing and Prinz-Eugen Barracks in Munich. We explore the many factors contributing to positive changes in the way people move in and around these new development sites and around the city more widely. A unique body of knowledge and craft informs the professional practice of transport planners, urban designers, architects and property developers in German-speaking Europe. Through this studio, you will discover the key elements of this practice; and the social, institutional, and legal contexts in which it occurs.

Preparation for travel will include orientation to the study sites; comparative analysis of the political and institutional context for urban redevelopment in Munich, Zurich and Melbourne; and identification of likely barriers to successful policy transfer with reference to recent research on this question. In Europe, students will use investigatory tools appropriate to their discipline to understand how the use of sustainable transport modes is encouraged. There will be many opportunities for formal and informal interactions with local professionals, academics and students, who will offer their perspectives on the context and content of the redevelopment processes.

The aim of the studio is to ‘unpack’ European practice and make it accessible to practitioners, politicians and the public in Melbourne. In order to make the studio practical, the lessons of the European experience will be applied to a real example in Melbourne: the Fisherman’s Bend Urban Renewal Project.

On returning to Melbourne, students will prepare presentations for a public seminar with important opinion leaders and decision-makers as invited guests.

Nanjing, China

Studio leader: Dr. Marcus White

This will be an intensive design studio focused on the rapid urban renewal of Chinese cities, in particular, the city of Nanjing.

Nanjing is a growing city with a population of roughly 8 million. Nanjing (“southern capital”) is the capital of the Jiangsu Province and has a rich and colourful history having been the capital of China on a number of occasions and being the site of many atrocities during the Second World War. Like many cities in China, Nanjing is undergoing radical growth and change and is grappling with challenges of retention and engagement with its ancient and recent history with the growing need to accommodate its immense population.

Though Nanjing superficially seems to be built in an ad-hock fashion with no system of rules for building heights, sizes, uses etc. a strict set of rules and codes exists. The studio will investigate these rules in a critical manner and engage with the codes as part of a generative design process. Students will begin research design projects in groups in Melbourne before embarking on the travelling component of the studio with a series of speculative urban design proposals. The proposals will interrogate potential “heroic” or “radical” urban propositions in direct response to past and present proposals for the site area.

The specific site for our investigation will be in the Xiaguan area along the Yangtze River to the south of the Nan Jing Chang Jiang Da Qiao (bridge) near the now decommissioned Nanjing West Railway Station and Lion Rock Park. In Nanjing, students will engage in detailed site analysis assessing the existing urban form and land use (currently earmarked for demolition) and attempt to weave current urbanism into their own propositions. Students will work at the University of Nanjing with lectures and feedback from University of Nanjing staff. Students will potentially work with Nanjing Students (TBC).

New Delhi, India

Studio leader: Hemanta Doloi

In 2014 summer semester, ‘New Delhi Travelling Studio’ aims to investigate the booming Indian construction industry, with an emphasis on the development of particular understanding on the selection of construction technologies and methods, procurement practices, site planning and labour management, construction supply chain and project management vis-a-vis the country’s traditions as well as its specific social, economic, legal and technological contexts.

Through class briefings and discussions, group assignments, individual research and site visits, subject participants will be asked to study and reflect on the characteristics of the Indian building sector, while developing an India-based case study highlighting similarities and differences of the key aspects with respect to Australian practices at different scales.


Studio leaders: Chris Ryan and Michael Trudgeon

Students will take part in an international studio in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in collaboration with students and academics from the Technical University of Delft and the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. The project applies the VEIL Eco Acupuncture approach to the study of two significant precincts in Rotterdam; Hoboken and Pernis, asking ‘How can reimagining the city’s metabolism, infrastructure, built form and urban programs help create visions for a sustainable Rotterdam in 2035? - What steps must be taken today to get there?’ The aim is to identify opportunities that can become sites of design intervention to shift the path of innovation on a new trajectory: towards sustainable, resilient conditions.

The near future brings with it impending threats from climate change, extreme weather and the need to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy systems. With these environmental forces at play, all cities will need to transform at a much faster rate than has traditionally been the case. For Rotterdam, significant precincts have been left behind in the process of urban and social renewal. Rotterdam is a complex city with an extraordinary industrial past. As global production patterns change the city needs to transform to keep pace with new social expectations and the challenges of climate change.

The city government is searching for ways to preserve the unique character of districts that have fallen into disuse. How do we harness the creativity and character of the past to negotiate a form of transformation that would ensure a dynamic and resilient – living – future. Rotterdam presents an ideal site for the Eco Acupuncture process.

The complexity of the challenges requires a multi-disciplinary perspective. The studio brings together students and professionals of architecture, landscape architecture, building technology, urban design and planning from Australia and Europe. It builds on VEIL’s well established academic and professional network.

Through workshops, students will develop a general understanding of Rotterdam’s current situation and the challenges facing the city. They will then develop a design vision for a sustainable Rotterdam in 2035, focusing, in smaller groups, on specified sites as potential locations for this round of Urban Eco Acupuncture interventions

This traveling studio is the second in a series and builds on the lessons and knowledge developed in the first. Students will present their design concepts to key Rotterdam stakeholders at a seminar in Rotterdam, during and at the end of the on-site travel period.

Santiago & Atacama Desert, Chile

Studio leaders: Dr Gini Lee, Pedro Alonso and Thomas Weaver

The 2014 AA/MARQ Visiting School, Wandering above a sea of fog, will return to the extreme climatic and geographical conditions of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. This time we will look at the environmental conditions of Alto Patache, an outpost of the Atacama Desert Centre (CDA) located in the Tarapacá Region, approximately 65 Km south of the city of Iquique. This extraordinary site includes sectors of coastal plains, coastal cliffs and a coastal mountain range, all conditions that allow for the formation of a large cloud of mist on the edge of the cliff transforming the desert into a fog oasis. Because of this unique condition, for the last 15 years the CDA has been conducting research in the use of mist catchers, representing a comprehensive body of knowledge in methods of water harvesting from the driest desert in the world.

Organised in collaboration with the Atacama Desert Centre (CDA), the course will be taught by tutors from the AA, the Catholic University and the University of Melbourne who will offer lectures and seminars within the workshop. The ten-day course is open to engaging students, recent graduates, young designers and architects as well as professionals from other related fields interested in exploring alternative forms of practice.

Seoul, South Korea

Studio leader: Dr. Peter Raisbeck

This studio will interrogate the complex urban systems, urban densities, patterns of urban growth and their implications on forming’ public space.  Students will apply methods of physical mapping and social analysis of multilayered data gathered from the urban context, to provide a framework and set of rules by which to make design decisions

How can we use these complex and multi layered systems to enrich our understanding of the city and contribute to protecting, enhancing and creating provision for public space?
Students will be actively pursuing an understanding of the city’s complex development systems comprised of many competing factors and forces.

Using the research and interventions produced within Melbourne students will begin to interrogate, and spatialise the local context in real terms, with the assistance of a local student body.

Designs will be critiqued by local students, academics and community members in the aim to understand the issues affecting this society.  A design revision is then proposed where students are to change/alter their designs based upon the learning’s of an embedded field experience.

See all past travelling studios

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