June 23, 2017 - Future+ - Call for applicants to Future+Aformal Academy
e-flux Architecture
June 23, 2017
June 23, 2017


Rachel Leah Cohn / Clemens Bauder installation at Shenzhen Biennale Aformal Academy, 2015. 

Call for applicants to Future+Aformal Academy
Advanced Urban Design Program

Application deadline: August 11, 2017

Shangmeilin, Futian District
Cone Space, Block A, No.8 Zhongkang Road

T +86 185 0305 0376


Future+ Aformal Academy is proud to announce the launch of a one-of-a-kind, full-time Advanced Urban Design Program. The program initiates on September 11, 2017 and is based in the Urban villages of the Pearl River Delta, in China.

Future+ Aformal Academy is designed to forge the new leading urban thinkers in city making for the coming century’s challenges. The program is directly tied to the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and it is done in collaboration with the curatorial team of Hou Hanru and Urbanus.

The professors are a mix of international and local talents, who are leaders in practice and in academic realms, including: MRVDV / W?Y Factory [Winy Maas], Turenscape, Joesph Grima [Space Caviar], David Li [Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab], Tat Lam [Shanzhai City], and the Shenzhen Center for Design, with more announced soon. The program is embedded in the unique historic/contemporary urban village of Nantou, Shenzhen. Further, it will work directly with the local citizens and authorities to take action upon the community and its spaces. Providing an intimate learning experience that resides between the academy and the practice, the academy program offers hands on design, research, and making experience with an emphasis on experimentation and freedom for the participant to take the lead in their own learning experience.

Program Structure
The full year program is divided into four, three-month quarters: pre-biennale, biennale, post biennale, and final project (action). Each quarter, one of our five themes is offered: Design, Making, Tools, Research, and Discourse. Further, there are elective courses, that the participant is free to choose from and focus on their interests more in detail.

The five themes are as follows:

Design—a focus not strictly on how to design objects, but also how to think creatively about systems design and its implications on our built environment. The three studios on design will transition in scale from regional thinking, to community scale, to the scale of shared spaces.

Making—these projects of engagement and participation work directly with the community to form a series of elements generating the basics of collective community places. The actions range from public furniture, collective art pieces, cultural programming, to local food production tactics, and further.

Tools—this series of directed learning experiences focus on how to utilize specific tools to research, document, analyze, comprehend, and explain the world around us. The courses teach participants to use a variety of skills ranging from contemporary to timeless – parametric programs, film making, storytelling.

Research—these ongoing research initiatives focus on understanding and speculating on the future of our cities. They include a range of investigations from local spaces to transnational urban development policies.

Discourse—a series of discussions and thinking exercises on the future of the city making. These function to a seminar class but encourage the participants to be part of, and lead the debate about the contemporary urban issues of our time.

The final quarter allows each participant to pursue their final individual work. The work could be chosen as a research or design project, as imaginary? Or as design-build. Each individual leads their own idea and is provided guidance and assistance by the professors of the Future+ Aformal Academy.

For Whom
A background in architecture, urban planning, landscape design or art is not a must, but design experience is valued. We aim at having a diverse array of participants with differing backgrounds, nationalities and experiences.

The program accepts 25 participants. Early registration due July 10. Final application August 11.

Watch an introductory video about the program here.

More information and application here.

info [​at​] futureplus.net.cn
T +86 18503050376

Future+ is an independent academy for urbanism, landscape, & public art in China…
Its pedagogy emerges from the open innovation systems of Shenzhen…
The methodology of the PRD means design and the city is made fast, tested and evolved…
Conventional urbanism was about order; we embrace the unpredictable and the complex…
PRD allows us to form a place for rapid response urban learning…
We mine the gaps of the city to identify integral points for action…
Future+ is a hybrid research institute, community action center, and experimental laboratory.

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