October 3, 2018 - Aedes Architecture Forum - Regions on the Rise: Culture and Architecture as Drivers for Rural Development
e-flux Architecture
October 3, 2018
October 3, 2018

Aedes Architecture Forum

Shimen Bridge, Shimen Village. Photo: Han Dan.

Regions on the Rise: Culture and Architecture as Drivers for Rural Development
International Conference in Songyang, China
November 8–10, 2018


Regions on the Rise: Culture and Architecture as Drivers for Rural Development
International Conference in Songyang, China
November 8–10, 2018


Rethinking strategies for rural development is a critical global issue today. Dynamic urbanization processes shape large areas of the world, while the revitalization of rural regions has been neglected for a long time. This has consequently given rise to pressing socio-economic and political challenges all over the world. To stimulate an international discussion, Aedes Architecture Forum and Network Campus Berlin initiated the conference Regions on the Rise. Culture and Architecture as Drivers for Rural Development.

The conference will focus on the duality and interrelations between the urban and the rural, seeking to explore what culture and architecture can contribute to rural renewal in interplay with economy, spatial planning, infrastructure, and ecology. The goal of this international knowledge exchange of holistic strategies and best practice examples is to discuss new concepts, which might ultimately establish a new rural confidence and identity as well as economic progress and reliability as major incentives to make people stay in or even return to the “hinterland.” Against this backdrop, the conference is structured around three main sessions complemented by excursions into the region to illustrate the topic and to offer opportunities for exchange: (I) a cluster of ten impulse statements to boost the conference with a wide range of positions by stakeholders from the various fields of practice and research in the rural context, as well as panel discussions on  (II) "Culture + Architecture” and (III) "Ecology and Economy + Architecture."

The conference is part of the long-term international inquiry program Regions on the Rise by Aedes Network Campus Berlin. In various formats and places it brings together policymakers, architects, planners, researchers, economists, curators and related professionals to share and archive experiences, strategies and new ideas for the development of the "global rural region" of the future.

The Songyang conference in November was born out of the very successful Aedes exhibition Rural Moves – The Songyang Story recently presented in Berlin and currently on show in the official program of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition displays a series of carefully balanced architectural “acupunctures” in Songyang—a region in the southwest of Shanghai that became a pioneer in the sensitive redevelopment of rural areas. They were implemented by the committed Beijing-based architect Xu Tiantian in close collaboration with Songyang’s magistrate and locals.

Confirmed lecturers
Distinguished protagonists from many regions of the world and from China promise an intense, controversial, and multi-layered dialogue.

Hitoshi Abe Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA; Principal, Atelier Hitoshi Abe, Sendai, Japan
Lina Annab Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Amman, Jordan
Aric Chen Curator-at-large, M+, Hong Kong
Hans-Jürgen Commerell Director, Aedes Network Campus Berlin and Architecture Forum, Germany
Nuria Costa Mexican Women’s Network, Civic Society, Morelos, Mexico
Farrokh Derakhshani Director, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Geneva, Switzerland
Kristin Feireiss Director, Aedes Architecture Forum and Network Campus Berlin, Germany
Angel Luis Fernandez Head of Research Center for Urban Design, ESNE. School of Design, Innovation and Technology, Madrid, Spain
Angelika Fitz Director, Austrian Architecture Museum, Vienna, Austria
Huang Yung Sung Art Director, Han Sheng Magazine, Taiwan
Adrian Iredale Director, Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, Perth, Australia
Erhard An-He Kinzelbach Professor, Founder KNOWSPACE, Berlin, Germany
Eduard Kögel Architecture Historian, Berlin, Germany
Li Xiangning Professor, Tongji University, Curator Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018, Shanghai, China
Liu Shouying Economist, China 
Juan Mayr Maldonado National Commission for Conciliation, Bogotá, Colombia
Miriam Mlecek Researcher, formerly Leibniz University Hanover; Programme Manager Aedes Network Campus Berlin, Germany
Andreas Ruby Director, S AM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel, Switzerland
Remy Sietchiping Leader, Regional and Metropolitan Planning, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya
Wang Jun Magistrate Songyang County, China
Xu Tiantian Architect, Beijing, China
Zhang Ke Founding Principal, ZAO/standardarchitecture, Beijing, China; Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, USA
Zhang Lei Professor, Founder & Chief Architect, Nanjing University; AZL architects, Nanjing, China
Zhang Yue Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China    
Zhu Jingxiang Professor, Hong Kong University, China

Confirmed front-row peers

Maria Auböck Guest Professor, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria
Winka Dubbeldam Assoc. AIA, Miller Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Kerstin Faber Project Manager, IBA Thüringen, Apolda, Germany
Julio Gaeta Dean ISAD. Institute of Architecture and Design, Chihuahua, Mexico
Nadine Godehardt Deputy Head of Research Division Asia, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin, Germany
Annette Heimann Managing Director, Asia-Pacific-Forum, Berlin, Germany
Katja Hellkötter Founder/Director, Constellations International GmbH; Curator, Citymakers Germany-China, Berlin/Shanghai, Germany/China
János Kárász Co-Founder, Auböck + Kárász, Landscape Architects, Vienna, Austria
Hubert Klumpner Co-Director, Urban-Think Tank; Professor for Architecture, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Hannes Langguth Researcher and Doctoral Candidate, Habitat Unit, Chair of International Urbanism and Design, TU Berlin, Germany
Luby Springall Principal, Gaeta Springall Arquitectos, Mexico
Eva Sternfeld Science Advisor, German-Sino Agricultural Center (DCZ), Beijing, China
Christoph Stroschein Managing Director, GESI Deutsche Gesellschaft für Systeminnovation mbH, Berlin, Germany

Participation in the conferencee
The conference is open to the public. Participation is free of charge and includes guided excursions, transfer shuttle from the nearest airports, and meals. Participants have to cover their own flight and accommodation costs. Only a limited number of seats is available to the public. Registration deadline: October 8, 2018.

Detailed information on the conference program and on how to register can be found here.

Additional information

Conference proceedings
The contributions and results of the conference will be compiled in a publication and in the Aedes online archive to deepen and expand the international discussion on the redevelopment of rural regions and to make the content accessible for those not able to follow the event in person.

Host: CPC Songyang County Committee, Songyang County People's Government

Conceptualized by: Aedes Architecture Forum & Network Campus Berlin

Rural Moves and Songyang as Case Study
Aedes is invited to present the exhibition Rural Moves – The Songyang Story at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair from October 10-14, 2018.

In 2019, an updated version of the exhibition will be shown at:
Austrian Architecture Museum, Vienna (Az W), March 14-April 23, 2019
S AM Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel, September 28-November 10, 2019

For further information please contact:
Dunya Bouchi, Aedes Architecture Forum
Christinenstr. 18-19, 10119 Berlin
T +49 30 282 70 15 / db [​at​] ancb.de

Aedes Architecture Forum
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