Designed for Humans

From Álvaro Siza‘s modernism into the digital future

19 August 2019

The International Symposium will be held on 8 September 2019, during the 44th CIFF Shanghai, on the occasion of the presentation of the Camerich Pavilion designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira.

To kick off a public discourse and dialogue, the renowned architect of the China Design Museum of Bauhaus Collection, Álvaro Siza, was invited to design the Camerich showcase pavilion for the China International Furniture Fair, which will be on display between 8-12 September 2019 and complemented by a comprehensive symposium. Coinciding, the current 100-year anniversary of the Bauhaus generates widespread global attention beyond the German borders, also suggesting that the institution’s founders and their ideas of thinking and producing design still have an influence today, as can be seen in Sizas work. The Bauhaus modern approach is adaptable to our times of digital change and the demand for mass production and prefabrication and opens up new opportunities in design, material development and manufacturing. This shift will also influence urban and societal processes. ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, together with the Chinese furniture maker Camerich and the CIFF - China International Furniture Fair, aim to introduce these historical and methodological proceedings and academic strategies into the daily work routine of architects, designers, producers, developers and users.

The symposium will serve as an exchange and networking event to allow insights into global as well as Chinese strategies and applications in terms of design and production.
Taking Alvaro Siza’s approach to modernism as a starting point, seven world-renowned architects will discuss new paths into the digital future, comparing their views on contemporary design: Sou Fujimoto, founder of the Sou Fujimoto Architects Japan; António Choupina, Portuguese architect and founder of CH.A Architectural Design Firm; Martha Thorne, Pritzker Prize Secretary; Anouk Legendre, Co-founder of XTU architecture and design firm in France; Philip Feng YUAN, Professor of College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai; Mario Carpo, Professor of University College London, and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Professor of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

In his architecture, his objects and furniture designs, Siza continues to refer to the principles of the Bauhaus school, although digital production techniques are already part of his design developments and fabrications. Also, current developments worldwide, and in China especially, related to producing basic commodities and items of daily use, lead to new policies for an increased use of prefabrication in architecture, industrial and urban design. Implementing these policies holds numerous consequences regarding production, acquisition, design and user phases. Thus, digital tools will increasingly enable industries to produce on a mass scale and yet be versatile, flexible and able to create customized components.

The symposium will further examine, how against this background, the Bauhaus way of thinking interdisciplinary design and fabrication processes can hold a key for a new type of digital craftsmanship to trigger innovations in design. We ask: Can the haptic thinking-through-drawing (and model-making) approach to design, implicitly acquired in architecture schools and perfected by experience in practice, still be considered the true design method. What threats and opportunities are embedded in this altered process for whom? Are there new trends in education on the horizon? Who will be the stakeholders to deliver prefabrication based on new design processes? Will this be accomplished by the traditional industry/building sector or a new disruptive industry or business model?

Hosted by:
China International Furniture Fair
China Foreign Trade Guangzhou Exhibition General Corp.
Red Star Macalline Group
China Foreign Trade Macalline Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Conceptualized by:
ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin
Supported by:
ASSC Architectural Society of Shanghai, China
CHHE Council on High-rise Building and Habitat Environment, Shanghai
Academic Partners:
Tsinghua University, School of Architecture, Beijing
Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shanghai