Modern Architecture and the Modern City Info Meeting

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Learn about this summer's architecture and urban design study abroad experience.

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The 2014  Modern Architecture and the Modern City Program examines the modern and contemporary city in Asia and its urban design, architecture, and landscapes. The study begins by reviewing the emergence and development of the modern city in the second half of the 19th Century, when modern urban reform movements began, primarily in Europe and North America. These reform movements coincide with and propel the emergence of modern architecture and modern urban design in the 20th century, first in Europe and North America, and then across the globe – Asia, Latin America, Africa. This first generation of globalization was based in the design ideologies and conventions of modernism. The second generation – occurring since the late 1980’s - has created an additional layer of contemporary projects, fully visible in North America and Europe and now becoming dramatically visible across Asia.



In depth exploration of all destinations noted with two workshops

Orientation in Atlanta – May 8-9

Depart Atlanta for Beijing – May 13

Beijing – May 14 – May 21 (7 Days)

Depart Beijing for Shanghai (1 Days)

Shanghai Program – May 22-June 4 (15 Days)

Travel to Hong Kong – June 4

Hong Kong Program – June 6 –June 24 (18 Days)

Travel to Tokyo – June 25

Tokyo Program – June 26 – July 6 (10 Days)

Program Ends – July 7

Free Travel - Return to Atlanta – July 28

Final Projects and Papers Due in Atlanta – July 30.

Final Seminars and Presentations – July 30-August 3


Students in architecture, urban design, and planning study modern and contemporary projects in their normal academic coursework and recognize their importance in contemporary theory, research and professional practices. However, classroom instruction, using texts and slides, can never substitute for direct observation and immersion in their full cultural and environmental complexities. The primary purpose of this summer program, therefore, is to focus on learning through students’ direct observations and experiences.


The program has four main learning outcomes:


·         To expand graduate students’ understanding of contemporary architecture, urban design  and landscape architecture through lectures, seminars and visits to important buildings, urban projects and landscapes, as well as significant examples from the visual arts, including,  painting, drawings, sculpture, and film. 

·         To deepen the students understanding of the complex relationships of 20th  and 21st century architecture and urban design to specific cultural settings, historical events, and political movements through lectures, seminars and visits to cultural and historical museums and exhibitions, as well as direct observation and experience  in urban spaces and projects.

·         To immerse the students in contemporary architecture and urban design practices and issues of contemporary global urbanization through visits to major architecture, urban design and landscape architecture offices.

·         To engage the students in two, two-week collaborative design workshop experiences in two cities – Shanghai and Hong Kong – with students from partner universities focusing on a significant contemporary design issue in each city.



Program fee includes housing; city travel including metros, bikes, light rail, maps; lectures and tours.  Students responsible for meals, incidentals, and airfare



ARCH 6153: History and Theory of the Modern City.

(3 Credits – Letter Grade Only).

ARCH 8813: Special Topics - Contemporary Architecture and Urban Design in Asia

(3 Credits –  Pass-Fail Only).

ARCH 7045  : Urban Design Workshop

(6 Credits – Letter Grade Only).



Three teaching strategies are employed in the summer program.

First, excursions are a primary way to achieve the program’s objectives for direct observation and experience to support classroom learning. These excursions include (1) formal lectures and seminars held at  buildings, landscapes and urban projects with group visits, led by the Georgia Tech faculty and supported as appropriate by lectures and tours by local authorities; (2) laboratory sessions involving visual and technical analysis through photography, drawing, journal sketching, etc., of buildings, urban projects or landscapes, under faculty supervision, and (3) field trips, where the faculty lead students on walking tours of significant landscapes, urban projects, or exhibitions to understand the urban and cultural context.

Second, the collaborative workshops focus on a contemporary urban issue in two different cities in two different cultural situations. These workshops are directed by Georgia Tech faculty in collaboration with local faculty.

Third, activities that are not required and do not earn credit hours; these include concerts, films, art exhibitions in museums and galleries, and other events that support the cultural understanding in the different locations.


The Collaborative Workshops provide direct contact with host country architecture, urban design and planning students. The previous workshops with Tongji students in Shanghai produced exceptional results in terms of design projects and enduring friendships. In addition, students stay in university housing or small hotels in each city. This requires them to engage day-to-day life in each city by traveling by public transit, shopping in public markets and stores for food and supplies, and dining out individually or in small groups. Only one group meal is included in each city.  Because the average student age is typically 24 to 30 years old, the program encourages independent activities to supplement the program of group site visits.


In Shanghai, students will be staying in the Tongji University International Dormitory on  the campus. This will be the meeting point in case of any emergency. Dagenhart will stay in the Tongji Campus Days Hotel. They will have cell phones,  and faculty and all students will have cell phone numbers of the participating Tongji faculty. All students will have information for the U.S Consulate Shanghai:  (86-21)3217-4650, and emergency numbers: Police 110 and Fire/Ambulance 119.

In Beijing, students and Dagenhart will be staying in the same hotel. This will be the meeting point in case of emergency. (The specific hotel has not yet been determined).  Excursions will be made as a group and led by Dagenhart. All students will have information for the US Embassy Beijing: (010) 8531 4000), and emergency numbers: Police 110 and Fire/Ambulance 119.

In Hong Kong, students will be staying in the City in a dormitory. Gamble will be staying in a nearby hotel, if guest housing is not available on the campus. Excursions will be made as group and led by Gamble. All students will have information for the

US Embassy Hong Kong:  26 Garden Rd, Hong Kong; Phone:+852 2523 9011

and emergency numbers: Police 999, Fire and Ambulance 999, Medical 999

or alternate:

In Tokyo, students and faculty will be staying in the same hotel. This will be the meeting point in case of emergency. (The specific hotel has not been determined). Excursions will be made as a group and led by Gamble. All students will have contact information for the US Embassy: (03) 3224 5000, and emergency numbers: Police 110 and Fire and Ambulance 119.


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