Development of Research Links in China

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:18:00 GMT

Professor Adrian Pitts and Dr Yun Gao of the Department of Architecture and 3D Design and CUDAS Research Centre were keynote presenters at the launch event on 10 January for a new International Research Centre being set up in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Chongqing Jiaotong University. Adrian made a presentation on ‘Design of Climate Sensitive Green Buildings’ whilst Yun discussed her interests in ‘Building Environmental Assessment Methods in Rural Development’ which included Chinese case studies. She also spent some time describing the architecture and associated courses at Huddersfield. The aim of the research centre is the development of more unified urban and rural approaches to the environment. The centre is expected to be a major base for research and staff development including international research conferences and establishment of extended academic relationships with other universities, including Huddersfield.

China Research Launch - Adrian Pitts

Photo (above): The launch of the research centre with the formal unveiling of the plaque (Prof Pitts with Prof Ling Tianqing, Dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning)

China Research Launch

Photo: The opening ceremony (Prof Pitts centre front row, Dr Gao centre right)

The Chongqing research centre will exploit developments associated with revised interest in the so called ‘Southern Silk Road’ in China, and the enhanced communication and trading routes being developed to and from the linked countries of China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, Bangladesh and India. The announcement of the centre is described at A Huddersfield PhD student, Guo Chen (being supervised by Prof Pitts and Dr Gao) also made a presentation about his experience of British architecture.

The Huddersfield researchers have each recently been appointed visiting overseas experts at the University covering rural cultural issues (Dr Gao) and sustainable green design (Prof Pitts), having collaborated on research projects with Associate Dean Professor Lili Dong in Chongqing Jiaotong University. The Chongqing city itself is at the heart of one of the world’s largest conurbations of over 30 million people and is one of the four independently governed municipalities in China, and the only one remote from the east coast. During their visit they had the opportunity to visit sites which include village scale redevelopment for an old coal mining community which is being targeted for tourist oriented activities and also to visit the UNESCO listed site of Dazu Rock Carvings.

China Research Launch - Dr Yun Gao

Photo: Dr Gao delivering her presentation which included description of the Huddersfield Architecture courses.

This important international link is a field which draws together Yun’s and Adrian’s separate interests and also those of staff at Chongqing Jiaotong University as well as with existing links in Yunnan Province of China. During their trip Yun and Adrian also visited the cities of Kunming and Jinghong in Yunnan and in addition to collecting data from Kunming projects they also met the Director Mr. Bin Yan and his team from the Architecture and Planning Design Institute in Jinghong. The Director facilitated visits to some remote villages in Xishuangbanna which are part of planned rural redevelopment of some of the poorest identified by the government for urgent action (one just a couple of miles from the Burmese border).

China Research Launch

Photo: One of the dwellings in the remote Lahu ethnic group villages in Xishuangbanna planned for redevelopment

Outcomes of the collaboration are already being developed including a research monograph, several journal papers and also the opportunity for joint student project interaction as part of the ‘international’ courses in architecture at Huddersfield.

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