What is responsible architecture and urban design? As a designer, how do you apply creativity to specific design challenges? Why is a firm's capacity for a multidisciplinary practice so important, and what is it like to work for a top-notch architecture firm?
These are just some of the questions addressed on Tuesday, June 6th, when SOM's Shanghai office held an event for students at Tongji University's School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Hosted by Wang Yi, professor and deputy director of Tongji's Department of Architecture, the event took place at the Shanghai university and centered on presentations by SOM's Justin Chen, an architect, and Ted Yu, an urban designer. Associates based in our Shanghai office, the two shared insight on challenges and opportunities in their respective fields of architecture and urban planning, as well as their experiences working at the firm.
Chen discussed Pertamina Energy Tower as a reflection of the firm's multidisciplinary practice, shedding light on the collaborative work process at SOM. He also presented the design concepts for the headquarters building, the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.
Yu spoke about two of SOM's urban design projects: Xixian International Culture & Education Park, and Nanjing Jiangbei New District Core Area. While the former envisions a new and dynamic international destination within Xi’an, the latter centers on strengthening Nanjing’s image as a garden city along the Yangtze River and enhancing public space for the city’s residents, commuters, and tourists. Yu discussed his experiences working on these projects with colleagues who specialize in various fields, and shed light on SOM's design approach to both urban development and rural protection.
Following the presentations, Chen and Yu answered questions from the students.