Shanghai Workshop: Soft Energy Infrastructure

The Center for Architecture Urbanism and Infrastructure’s workshop on Soft Energy Infrastructure invites scholars, researchers, and thinkers to present and discuss ideas about the changes introduced by the latest Information Technology in the production and consumption of energy and its effects in the infrastructure, the planning and the architecture of cities and mega-regions in the coming decades. The workshop will take place in Shanghai at Hong Kong University’s Shanghai Study Centre. It will be led by Mario Gandelsonas, Director of CAUI, and Tom Wright, Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association and Visiting Professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. This workshop will consider the possibilities opened up by the articulation of the energy infrastructure and digital technology that is already taking place in the United States, in Europe, and, in particular, in China, through a clean-tech initiative focused on the development of smart grids that include home energy control devices, public transportation and electric cars and bicycles.

The workshop intends to explore: first, the new logic introduced by the latest IT in the conception and materialization of the energy infrastructure at the level of production/consumption and at different scales: from the mega-regional scale to the scale of the building; and second, the effect of articulation of the energy infrastructure and digital technology on buildings, at the level of the type (i.e. data centers) and at the level of a building device (i.e. the new energy responsive skin).

The issues that we hope to discuss include: How can a new clean-tech energy infrastructure materialize at the different scales of the region, the city, the neighborhood, and individual buildings? Will it generate new building typologies like the latest experiments with building skins? Will it encourage new patterns of use at the level of the dwelling and the neighborhood? Will the new landscapes of clean-tech energy production inspire the generation of new urban morphologies at the scale of the megaregion?

Drawing on a broad range of international and disciplinary expertise, the second CAUI Workshop will argue for a new urban vision, made possible by the new technologies of the Soft Energy Infrastructure of the 21st Century.


Laura Baird / Architect, AMO
Dana Cuff / Director, cityLAB, Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA
Songzhou Dai / Professor of Architecture, Tongji University
Ron S. Dembo / Founder and CEO, Zerofootprint
Juan Du / Assistant Professor of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Ling Fan / Assistant Professor, Central Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
Gordon Feller / Director of Urban Innovation, Cisco Systems
Mario Gandelsonas / Professor, Princeton University School of Architecture; Director, Center of Architecture, Infrastructure and Urbanism
Stephen Hammer / Ph.D., Director, JUCCCE Cities Program (Joint US–China Cooperation on Clean Energy); Columbia University
Peggy Liu / Chairperson, JUCCCE
Dr. Chris Luebkeman / Director of Global Foresight, Arup
Ariella Masboungi / Chief Urban Architect, French Government
Eunice Seng / Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong; Architect, Sciskew
Marc Simmons / Front, Inc.
Molly Steenson / Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University School of Architecture
Hongwei Tan / Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director, Study Center for New Energy and Green Campus, Tongji University
H. Koon Wee / Academic Director, Shanghai Study Centre, The University of Hong Kong; Architect, Sciskew
Rebecca Wong / student, The University of Hong Kong
Thomas K. Wright / Executive Director, Regional Plan Association
Prof. Dr. Jiang Wu / Vice President, Tongji University; former Deputy Director General, Shanghai Municipal Urban Planning Administration Bureau
Vince Zhen Zhang / Director of Strategy, Smart Grid Application Business Unit, Siemens Corporate Research (SCR)
Darren Zhou / Architect, Princeton University School of Architecture Alumni