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Travelling Studio (Shanghai) (ABPL90296)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90296
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Travelling studios are working laboratories for design thought and production, and involve the exploration of complex, real-life issues. They expose students to unfamiliar cultures, places and people, and stimulate their ability to think creatively and solve problems. These studios aim to bring together students from architecture, urban design, landscape and planning streams and encourage an interdisciplinary focus. Pre-trip briefings or seminars will precede the travel component of the studio. The studio will incur travel costs, in addition to tuition fees. Faculty subsidies will, however, be available.



This studio will be an intensive design studio focused on the rapid urban renewal, pedestrian connectivity and accessibility of Chinese cities, in particular, the city of Shanghai. Shanghai is a growing city with a population of roughly 24 million. Like many cities in China, Shanghai is undergoing radical growth and change and is grappling with challenges of retention and engagement with its ancient and recent history, dramatic increase in car and e-bike ownership, conversion of traditional walkable Chinese urbanism to car dominated and increasingly un-walkable and un-cycleable urban environments.

Students will begin research design projects in cross-disciplinary groups in Melbourne before embarking on the travelling component of the studio with a series of speculative urban design and architectural proposals focused on increased connectivity, accessibility and urban comfort. In Shanghai, students will engage in detailed site analysis assessing the existing urban form and land use and attempt to weave current urbanism into their own propositions. Students will work at the Tongji University with lectures and feedback from Tongji staff and will work with Tongji students.

The studio is most suitable for Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or Urban Planning students with an openness to urban experimentation, strong conceptual three-dimensional thinking, and a high level of communication skills (drawing and modelling, either digital or physical and/or GIS).


Return Flights: $1,000
Living expenses (meals and incidentals): $500
Local Travel: $300

Note: Participating students will receive a one-off subsidy of $800 from the Faculty - utilised towards student’s accommodation costs. Prices listed are subject to change.


For further information please check the following link: http://edsc.unimelb.edu.au/travelling-studios

Intended learning outcomes

  • To provide students with an experience in international collaboration.
  • To encourage students to identify and engage critically with specific cultural practices, industrial contexts and socio-technical traditions.
  • To stimulate systematic/creative thinking and problem solving within students through their experiences of how local issues govern planning, design and construction processes in a particular location.

Generic skills

  • Interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Understanding and navigating social and cultural difference
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Organisational collaboration
  • Managing risk

Last updated: 23 January 2019