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china lab for architecture and urban studies

China Lab is both a Laboratory and International Research Network, which conducts research inspired by China’s rapidly progressing urbanization including the production of architecture and urban space.

The Lab’s research framework is build across a multidisciplinary approach, which a full range of urban disciplines, practices and professions of the Participants Universities providing a trans-scalar design vision that represent crucial properties of architecture, settlements and territories.


The long-term goal of the network is to produce a dialogue about the future of design in emerging markets and a framework for studying this new frontier.

Furthermore, one of the main objectives of China Lab network is to strengthen collaboration between Chinese and EU researchers. To cope with this goal, the structure of the Lab offers a collaborative space aimed to create a mutual understanding between international groups of professors, researchers, and students fostering experience and research together.

Since 2014 China Lab has organized and has been frequently invited to participate at numerous research projects, workshops, conferences, Biennales and exhibitions, results of which have been regularly presented and disseminated in various national and international publications as well as in well-established journals in the scientific area.

In 2015, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology awarded China Lab. as Judges’ Choice Winner of the Climate Co Lab Rural resilience contest for the project China’s rural-urban intensification. Envisioning the habitat of the future, given to outstanding international scientists who intend to explore innovative topics in their scientific research fields.

In October 2016 China Lab has been appointed Academic Partner of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme 2017 (10YFP STP). The 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme (STP) is a collaborative platform to bring together existing initiatives and partnerships and facilitate new projects and activities to accelerate the shift to sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in tourism.


China Lab is part of numerous ongoing international projects on two main lines of scientific research: the first one is related to the role of architecture and urban design in the context of Chinese mega-cities urbanization; the second line of research concerns the new urban landscapes and in particular the rural areas on the edge between urbanized spaces and agricultural spaces.


The main research projects currently ongoing are:

- 2017-ongoing: Environmental futures within the  “Shanghai One Thousand Talent Plan” at the College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University

- 2015-ongoing: Rural-Urban and Architectural Intensification. Established within the framework of the PRIN 2011-2013 with Università Politecnica delle Marche, Univeristà di Bologna, Politecnico di Bari and with the partners College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University and Kunming University of Science & Technology.

- 2016-ongoing: Climate action addressing the built environment. Design for smart and sustainable neighborhood with the aim to create a bridge of knowledge between U.S.A.-Europe-China with Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

- 2016-ongoing: Urban transitions. Re-Urbanization, Re-Use and Re-Generation of suburban China for 2050: a perspective of the Yangtze River Delta Region and Shanghai with the Urban and Architecture Theory & Criticism Laboratory of Tongji University and the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Research Group of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.


and network

China Lab. is set in the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at University of Pavia and has a permanent division at College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University, Shanghai.

The research Network is structured in three sections as follows:

research network partners

Prof. Tiziano Cattaneo (Founder),

Members: Prof. Roberto De Lotto, Dr. Emanuele Giorgi, Dr. Giorgio Manzoni 

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at University of Pavia

Prof. Zheng Shiling, Prof. Chen Yi, Dr. Liu Kan and Prof. Hua Xiahong

Architecture and Urban Space Research Institute

College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai

Prof. Alfredo Henry Hidalgo Rasmussen, Dr. Emanuele Giorgi, Dr. Aleksandra Krstikj, Dr. Viviana Margarita Barquero Díaz Barriga, Tecnológico de Monterrey (México) School of Architecture, Art and Design​

Prof. Lou Yongqi and Dr. Ni Minqing

College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai

Prof. Ding Jijun

Art – Design Academy, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou

Prof. Ali Cheshmehzangi, Prof. Wu Deng and Dr. Eugenio Mangi, Sustainable Built Environment Research Group, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Prof. Paolo Ceccarelli. Director of ILAUD and UNESCO Chair in “Urban and regional planning for local sustainable development” and Coordinator of the Mediterranean UNESCO Chairs Network(MUNCH).

Prof. Zhai Hui, Prof. Zeng Qiaoqiao, Prof. Tan Liangbin

Faculty of Architecture and City Planning, Kunming University of Science and Technology

academic collaboration

Dr. Xin Zhan. Centre for Chinese Visual Studies (CCVS) - Institute for Architectural Studies

(Director: Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu), China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

Prof. Jeffrey Johnson. China Megacities Lab, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York

Dr. Arch. Ren Lizhi

Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co.LTD of Tongji University, Shanghai

collaborations and architectural design consultancy

Arch. Federico Parolotto

MIC - Mobility in Chain, Milan

Arch. Ma Chang

Draftarch Studio, Parma and Tianjin

Other collaborators: Francesco Grugni (3D visualisation&video for landscape, architecture and environmental analysis); He Run (research and translation); Peter Giglio (proofreading)  

Prof. Tunney Lee. Dr. Carmelo Ignaccolo. Department of Urban Studies and Planning,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Arch. Feng Fan

LAND.AU Architecture Planning Consultants, Shanghai


I tuoi dati sono stati inviati con successo!

find us in


University of Pavia, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture

via ferrata 3, 27100, Pavia


Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning

room 506, building C 1239 siping road, 200092, Shanghai

send a mail to


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