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The Politecnico at the third Art & Design Education FutureLab: a successful academic forum

9 December 2021

Thanks to the PoliTO China Alumni Association (PCAA), on November 29 the Politecnico participated in the 3rd Art & Design Education: FutureLab" (a.k.a. FutureLab) in Shanghai, China. The theme of this year’s exhibition was Potential of Living in Technological Orientation.

Within this year’s FutureLab, PCAA and PoliTO organized a successful academic forum entitled Technological Orientation Base on Education and Practice, and invited excellent alumni and collaborators of PoliTO, who are engaged in design-related education and practice in China, to express their views on the relationship and development between architectural education and design. The forum, moderated by Prof. Roberto Pagani, was held in person, but it also included remote talks from those who could not attend in person. Consolato Generale d’Italia in Shanghai strongly supported the event.

The forum included two sessions. First, Prof. Carla Fabiana Chiasserini, the PoliTO Rector’s Delegate for Alumni, delivered an online speech, and, on behalf of PoliTO, she welcomed all attendees and thanked the PCAA for organizing the event. Then, Francesco Polistena,President of the PCAA, gave a speech to introduce the Alumni Association in China. The second session included academic keynote speeches by the following selected PoliTO Alumni who active in China and are experts architecture designers: Li Bao (professor, PhD tutor, vice dean of School of Architecture of Southeast University); Wei Yu (Senior Design Manager, HongKong Land); Kan Liu (Associate professor, PhD tutor, Tongji University; Michele Armando (Co-founder, Architect at Quarta&Armando); Mauro Berta (Associate Professor, Politecnico di Torino); Lingyuan Meng (Chief Architect, Architecture Design and Research Institute of Shenzhen University); Yu Zhang (Associate professor, PhD tutor, Harbin institute of Technology); Matteo Malandrino (Senior Partner & Creative Director, S.H.D. Group).

In addition, within FutureLab, the PoliTO booth hosted for 8 days (Nov. 28-Dec. 5) an exhibition on the theme Potential of Living in Technological Orientation at the Dome Art Center on the West Bund, Shanghai. The exhibition has been curated by the PCAA - in particular by Prof. Yu Zhang and Michele Armando - and it consisted of three parts: first of all, an overall introduction of PoliTO, focusing on the teaching and research characteristics of the School of Architecture and the structure of the PCAA; then a design practice of the visitor center in Shougang area of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games participated by PoliTO professors, supported by the China Center. In the end came the presentations by outstanding PoliTO alumni in Architecture and Design, who are working in China, and their achievements: Wei Yu, Yu Zhang, Lingyuan Meng, Michele Armando, Matteo Malandrino, and Gianmaria Quarta.

FutureLab has attracted the attention of many media in China and abroad. The initiative started in 2019, with the aim to bring together international renown art and design professionals and academics and create a forum on innovative practices and the latest challenges of today’s education. The Politecnico has been taking part to the exhibition since 2020.

As an invited university, the Politecnico witnessed its high-quality teaching and scientific research at international level, and further expanded its influence. In addition, through the excellent coordination activity of PCAA, this event has played a great role in maintaining the strong relation between PoliTO alumni in China and their Alma Mater, in the current pandemic situation.