How can data visualization and mapping reveal hidden patterns in the urban environment?
How can citizen participation allow us to design urban infrastructures that respond to citizen and the environmental inputs?
How would Shenzhen’s neighborhoods change if their mobility system became responsive to the needs and patterns of pedestrian flows instead of cars?


Over the last decades a new generation of cities and urban planning paradigms have emerged. Technology has risen as a driving force defining new urban developments and government’s decisions. Cities have started to implement technology at different scales, providing more accurate models describing its functions, organization and relationships. 

GSS Shenzhen is a 2 week studio-based course, from 2nd to 14th of July, which focuses on the intersection between urbanism, ICT technologies and digital fabrication, with the aim to explore the application of new paradigms on the alteration of the urban environment.

The participants will explore how Shenzhen’s mobility plans can be dynamically and responsively optimised through the introduction of alternative ways of transportation, the use of real time data and systemic analyses of the application of ICT in order to tackle the growing issue of pollution in China.

The course aims to challenge the traditional static representation of the city and to understand it as an environment in continuous fluxes and dynamic change. In this way urbanism becomes a dynamic entity which responds to the forces which shape its growth, evolution, and transformation over time.

By analysing and visualising data through coding and mapping techniques and by using the latest digital fabrication methods, the GSS Shenzhen participants will inform their strategic decision making and use it to design and visualize solutions to improve the efficiency of mobility and accessibility in the neighborhoods of Shenzhen. The participants will explore the ways in which the combination of these tools can redefine the way in which we move in the city and interact with public space by shaping a new digital relationship with the urban environment.

Projects can explore different methodologies that integrate data analysis and mapping, design of public space and modes of transportation, service infrastructure, user interaction, technologies of information and digital fabrication. This will allow the participants to develop a new vocabulary of city services and new models of city management that push our common understanding of public space.









IAAC Global Summer School is a full-time two weeks course, 2-14 July 2018, that provides both practical and theoretical knowledge. The program is led by expert tutors, combined with lectures by renowned professionals and academics relevant to the topics to be treated during the course. These will be broadcasted in the different node-cities, all globally connected. Participants will join a global agenda and an international laboratory at their disposal to test their design hypothesis, understanding how design conclusions derived locally can be tested and evolved globally in the different cities where other teams reside. The course will be comprised of modules that will include the topics of data analysis & visualisation, GIS mapping, 3D modelling, and digital fabrication.







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Alex is a Greek-French Architectural Designer and Master in City and Technology researcher, whose focus is on projects that produce creative and radical applications of new technologies in the urban environment, as well as spatial and material experimentations that push the known technological and architectural limits. His interests lie in what will most affect the future of humanity: the internet, sustainable energy, the permanent extension of life beyond Earth, artificial intelligence and genetics. He is currently the coordinator of the Master in City and Technology programme at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). In 2014 he was the architectural assistant of the Head Architect at the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens and in 2015 he collaborated with the Architectural Association’s Design + Make programme for the construction of the robotically fabricated Wood Chip Barn project. During his academic career he participated in several research projects related with information and communication technologies in the urban environments such as IAAC’s “SUPERBARRIO” a video game that is designed to allow citizens to make proposals for their city and “FabHood” a digital platform for the FabCity movement that aims to create a new information network for the circulation of materials inside a city. He has also participated in the publication of architectural research such as “From Now to Then: Between Man-Kind and Robot-Kind” in collaboration with IAAC and The Why Factory, as well as “Cinematic Architecture: Cinematic Concepts and the Architectural Praxis” with scientific coordinator Prof. Arch. Angelos I. Psilopoulos at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens.

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Alvin, Registered Architect in Hong Kong and Denmark; Lecturer, HKDI, engages in cross-disciplinary practice and education ranging from landscape architecture, BIM and product design. He was educated at UC Berkeley and Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona, before his Master at CUHK. His works have been presented in numerous exhibitions and symposiums in Venice, Barcelona, Taipei and Shenzhen. Alvin also received international and local design recognitions including Gold Award, Design for Asia Awards; CreateSmart Young Design Talent Award 2016; Young BIMer of the Year 2014; First Prize, FuturArc Prize and shortlist in HKIA Young Architect Award.




Founded in 1920, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) has remained on the top 10 list of the Best Universities in China. HIT enjoys the fame as the leading engineering school in China.

In 2002, HIT and the Shenzhen Municipal created HIT Shenzhen Graduate School in the University Town of Shenzhen. Together with Graduate Schools of Tsinghua and Peking University, HITSZ is an indispensable part of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong research and innovation base. We strive to maintain the academic excellence of HIT, and we are dedicated to top quality, innovation and internationalization.

Address of Exact Location: XX, HIT Campus of University Town of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China






Eligibility | ??

IAAC GSS is open course for students and professionals interested in architecture, urban planning, digital fabrication, design, etc. No previous skills are required, although CAD design, programming and digital fabrication skills are welcome. The official language of the course is EnglishAfter the course, the participants will become familiar with parametric software, data visualization and the use of digital machines. 


Credits | ??

After the course, the participants will have gained theoretical and applicative knowledge about advanced design strategies. They will be familiar with parametric software, data visualization and use of digital machines. The last day of course participants will join a presentation of developed projects reviewed by a renown jury and will receive a Global Summer School Diploma.


Visa | ??

Each participant is responsible to investigate which documents are required via the embassies in their country of origin. The school will provide a confirmation letter regarding the participation to the course, and will assist where possible the visa process.


Fee | ??

Fee for Shenzhen is 10.000 CN¥  (134O€) and includes all material costs needed for the course. No additional registration fee is required. Flight tickets, accommodation and food are not included in the fee. Each participant should bring his/her own computer with the software installed. Further details about the software will be given to the participants upon acceptance.




In order to register to the Global Summer School, participants need to submit the online application form, where they will be asked to fill their personal details and to upload a CV. Portfolio is not required. GSS18 dates are from 2-14 of July 2018 and applications are open until the 27th of June 2018.