China Megacities Lab Summer Workshop 2014: Future of the Museum in China

FACULTY: Jeffrey Johnson, China Megacities Lab

DATES: Aug. 4 - Aug. 24, 2014

LOCATION: Studio-X Beijing


Workshop Description:
Concurrent with China’s rapid urbanization is a museum building boom which is producing an average of approximately 100 new museums a year across the country, with even greater numbers most recently. These often iconic structures act as landmarks for newly planned government and civic centers, CBD’s, cultural districts, and even in some cases, residential and commercial developments, symbolizing the value of culture in the identity of a new China. With this proliferation of new museums, are there trends that can be identified that might mark a paradigm shift in how the museum project is defined? Are there new roles – socially, culturally, politically-that the museum is playing? And what new architectural forms and spatial organizations are being invented to accommodate these new ambitions?

For additional information click here

ACW Radio Show @ Studio-X Johannesburg


Great ACW Show at Studio-X Global Network for Contemporary Urban Developers and innovators alike, were chatted with the Director of the Johannesburg based workspace Dr. Mpho Matsipa and Creative Visual Artist Rendani “Missblacdropp about Contemporary Urbanism and the impact it has in the postmodern society.” The ACW Radio Show is hosted by Mongezi “Mongz” Sikiti and Thando Bam who pick the brain of the Global citizen with progressive, controversial and intellectual topics that get listeners thinking and fascinated in the world around them. 

i2a - Swiss International Workshop – Lugano – 2014

Columbia University – New York
Tonji University – Shanghai
Milan Politecnic - Milan

Lectures Schedule:

Monday July 28
2:00 PM Flavio Canonica - New ways of banking in urban spaces

Tuesday July 29
2:00 PM Virgilio Fidanza – Visual Archeology

Wednesday July 30
2:00 PM Branimir Brkljac- House of Ideas – an Architectural think tank
9:00 PM Frederic Levrat – Virtual/Visual/Physical Environment

Thursday July 31
9:00 PM Oliviero Godi – The reproduction of black squids in North Sea

Saturday August 02
2:00 PM Final Presentation – Student’s projects

The Workshop and the lectures will be presented at the Franklin University Campus, in Lugano
Via Ponte Tresa 29, Sorengo, Switzerland


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Echoing Borders: The Shelter, The Camp, The City, and The State. The Spatialization of Forced Migration in Jordan and Turkey

imageThe workshop ECHOING BORDERS: THE SHELTER, THE CAMP, THE CITY, AND THE STATE addresses the necessity for understanding and analyzing the evolution of ‘temporary settlements’ in relation to the place of the refugee in contemporary migration politics in the region.

Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in March 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes taking refuge in neighboring countries or within Syria itself, leaving more than 40% of the Syrian population uprooted. So far 600,000 Syrian refugees fled to Jordan and 800,000 to Turkey. Since 2011 Turkey established 22 camps for 200,000 Syrian refugees, Jordan just opened its third camp for Syrian refugees, Azraq camp, with a capacity of 130,000 people.

 While other important academic endeavors attend to the urgent need for improved planning methodologies and design approaches of temporary settlements in response to war and conflict, in this workshop we will focus on the architectural typologies of temporary refuge (both in the camp and in the city), as reflections of the shifting notion of citizenship.

Participants will work with architects, geographers, anthropologists, lawyers, journalists and graphic designers on mappings and data visualization exercises of migration patterns in the region, and of the trajectories from the border to the camp or to the city, operating according to a joint timeline for both Jordan and Turkey based on the main events of war and conflict causing forced migration to both countries.

The workshop will contribute to the GSAPP Studio-X global research series on Security Regimes, which examines global spaces of exception.

Echoing Borders Public Programming:

Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Housing Solutions and Living Conditions
by Alice Massari, Un Ponte Per…
Thursday, August 7, 2014 
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Forgotten Migration: The Impact of Media Focus on Refugee Status and Settlement
by Alice Su, freelance journalist/Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting
Friday, August 8, 2014
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

A Lasting Temporariness: Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan
by Luigi Achilli, Institut Français du Proche-Orient Amman
Friday, August 9, 2014 
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Migration and the Evolution of Amman  
by Saba Innab, Architect/Artist
Saturday, August 10, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Visualizing Impact: Infographics with a Cause
by Ahmad Barclay, Visualizing Impact
Monday, August 11, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Transnational Livelihoods and the Iraqi Displacement in Jordan
by Vanessa Iaria, British Institute in Amman / University of Jordan
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Public Seminar / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Prefiguring the State: The Refugee Camps of the Western Sahara
by Manuel Herz, ETH Zurich / Manuel Herz Architects            
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

The Physicality of Displacement – ‘A Place of Impossible Space’
by George Katodrytis, American University of Sharjah
Friday, August 15, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Wild Jordan

Turkey’s Law on Refugees
by Bertan Tokuzlu, Faculty of Law, Bilgi University
Sunday, August 17, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Mobilities, Social Networks and Urban Space: The Case of Iraqi and Syrian Migrants in Istanbul
by Didem Danış, Department of Sociology, Galatasaray University
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
X-Talk / Echoing Borders workshop
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Supporting Refugees in Turkey
by Emel Kurma, Helsinki Citizens Assembly. Response by Ayşe Çavdar, Journalist
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

A Conflictual Architectural Language: Notational Systems as Productive Destabilizer in the Socio-political and Human Rights Field
by Nina Kolowratnik, GSAPP, Columbia University
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Liminal Space: the Complexity of Displacement
by George Katodrytis, Faculty of Architecture, American University of Sharjah
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Reporting from Amman
by Nora Akawi, Studio-X Amman
Friday, August 22, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Towards an Architecture of Peace
Lilet Breddels, ARCHIS
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Camp City: Urbanization of Refugee Camps
by Philipp Misselwitz, Faculty of Architecture, TU Berlin
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Location: Studio-X Istanbul

Studio-X Open Memory Project

The Studio-X Open Memory library is now live:

‘Open Memory’ contains over 100 books on subjects perceived as taboo in the life of cities. With books on the themes of history, memory, and space from Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Mumbai, and New York, the collection surfaces narratives usually excluded from conventional discourses.

‘Open Memory’ was developed within the ‘Compressed: Guantánamos’ exhibition at Studio-X Istanbul April 4th - May 9th 2014, which presented Guantánamo as a starting point to reflect on states of exception and ambiguities when the rule of law is suspended.

With special thanks to Selva Gürdoğan (Studio-X Istanbul) for initiating the project and  to Chris Sala (Avery Library) for making this platform possible.

Visit the site: We look forward to receive your suggestions. Please share them here:


ClassAct: Active School by actLAB NYC

GSAPP alumna and faculty Aya Maceda took the AAD Program at GSAPP after 12 years of working professionally as an architect. Her aim was to engage, once more, in what drew her to architecture in the first place: her belief in “the bigger role that architects must play in society.”

"Coming from the Philippines, where inequality in opportunity is blatant," Aya explains, "I felt compelled to contribute a small solution in bridging the gap through architecture."

In 2013 Aya received The Goodman Fellowship. It allowed her to invest in a design-research exploration on the typology of a classroom for rural communities. 

After a year, and through a collective effort, Aya has formed a foundation with local partners to rebuild classrooms in devastated areas of the Philippines, transforming them into open air, and flexible spaces that facilitate vocational classes and community activities afterhours. The team has produced a scalable model for “formal” and “informal” education network for marginalized communities: ClassAct: Active School (by actLAB NYC)


Active School is a transformative low-cost school prototype that innovates local construction methods and suits the socio-cultural fabric of rural communities in the Philippines.

In October 2013, both an Earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan struck the island of Bohol, Philippines, within a three-week span. These disasters destroyed homes and infrastructure, killing over 200 while displacing tens of thousands more. Nine months later, thousands of children remain in temporary schools, increasingly vulnerable to the same natural disasters, with Typhoon season fast approaching.

Spurred by the urgency of this crisis, the ClassAct Foundation, co-founded by Aya Maceda, has taken action to return 150 children to safe learning facilities, not only rebuilding schools in the devastated areas of Bohol, but also transforming classrooms into improved, more efficient learning facilities.

Click here for more information on the project

The Future of the Interior at Studio-X


This July, Studio-X Rio and Woods Bagot launch The Future of the Interior initiative, a research workshop and vibrant forum for engaging regional and international experts in rebooting global perceptions of interior spaces.

For the first workshop, Studio-X Rio started with the conceptual qualities of the veranda as a strategy to design spaces for social interaction in social relevance context.

Monday, July 21:

The Urban History of Praça Tiradentes

Domesticity and the Varanda

The Work of Hélio Oiticica

Tuesday, July 22:

Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (FKAA)

Wednesday, July 23:

The Future of Heritage

Thursday, July 24:

Metropolitan Rio

From the Varandas to the Pilotis