Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp MisselwitzHannes Langguth

Studio Rural+
Chinese Villages Revisited

Today, urbanisation has become a key driver of societal transformation on a planetary scale never before seen in human history. This implies fundamental economic, political and environmental changes across places, territories and scales. Especially in China, material conditions, life-styles, economies and ecologies alike have been deeply affected. Architects and urban researchers alike have been focusing on China’s rapidly expanding mega cities. Studio Rural+ will instead look the territory beyond the vast urban concentrations – the formerly rural countryside whose population were mostly rural farmers cultivating collectively owned land only thirty years ago. Today a completely new and increasingly complex spatial logic is at work here: Expanding industrial parks are situated next to shrinking villages, farming land next to new tower blocks, or informal settlements next to golf courses.

Studio Rural+ will visit and investigate the beautiful yet partly abandoned Wuyantou Village and its surrounding territory in Zhejiang Province south of Shanghai. Through a joint workshop with Master Degree Students from Tongji University we will analyse the contradictory dynamics of urbanisation processes at work, actor networks, local-global challenges and transformation potentials. Back in Germany, we will develop design proposals for the exemplary study area, which can range from specific architectural interventions, direct actions or re-use, concepts to reshape local economies to planning concepts and development strategies on a broader scale. Based on a new understanding of urbanised post-rural territories, the proposals will explore how architects and planners can trigger change processes through strategic interventions and the design of actor-based processes.

WS 1516 - Studio Rural + - Poster

The studio is accompanied by several external guest inputs and comprehensive workshop sessions. An integrated PIV is offered by Tongji University. The trip to China will be subsidized with a travel grant from the Institute of Architecture as well as the DAAD PROMOS Program.

Course Information+

Design Studio, 15 ECTS
MA Arch: Arch M E. 03
MA UD: PJ 1-3 EP
MA SRP: PJ 1-3

Teaching day
Friday, 10 am - 2 pm, A 202

First meeting
October 16, 2015, 10 am, A 202

Open Studio
October 6, 2015, 5.30 pm, A 202

Final Review+

February 12, 2016
2 – 6 pm, Studio A 205

Guest Critics: Diane Barbe (Fellow, Habitat Unit), Josefine Fokdal (Senior Researcher, University of Stuttgart), Valentina Karga (Artist & Architect), Eduard Kögel (Architect), Áine Ryan (Researcher, ANCB Berlin), Andreas Willisch (Thünen-Institut für Regionalentwicklung)

Institute for Architecture, TU Berlin
Strasse des 17. Juni 152
10623 Berlin


Hannes Langguth

Room A 621 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907