Nanjing Travelling Studio

Subject ABPL90296 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

This subject is a quota subject and places are limited. Students may provisionally enrol via the Student Portal, but places are not guaranteed until selection is completed. You will be notified in writing by the Student Centre if you are selected.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: There will be several classes prior to departure and upon return from Nanjing
Total Time Commitment:

240 hours


Admission to any master's course offered by the Melbourne School of Design or approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Assoc Prof Justyna Karakiewicz


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

The speed of urbanisation in China is phenomenal and unprecedented in human history. It is comparable only to the Industrial Revolution, which totally changed the way we inhabit, work in and enjoy urban environments. Whether we like it or not, we are in the middle of extraordinary changes that may once again dramatically influence our way of life. Urban development is now also informed by climate change agendas and sustainability frameworks (China is the first country in the world to apply sustainability ratings to cities, not just buildings). Accordingly, the majority of innovations and experiments will endeavour to create more sustainable and resilient cities. In the past 60 years many mistakes have been made from which we can learn. Like a scientist in the laboratory who generates knowledge through a process of trial and error, we too must look back and analyse processes that influenced changes and promoted new ideas. This studio subject will look at recent morphological changes in two cities – Nanjing and Melbourne – and consider new alternatives to current development trends. Students will be asked to develop proposals for a city block in either Melbourne or Nanjing.

Travelling studios are ‘working laboratories’ for design thought and production and involve the exploration of complex, real-life issues. Exposure to unfamiliar cultures, places and people will stimulate your ability to think creatively and problem-solve. Pre-trip seminars will precede the travel component of each studio and each studio will incur travel costs, in addition to tuition fees. Faculty travel subsidies will, however, be available to all participating students.

  1. To provide students with an experience in international collaboration and a window to China where some of the most active processes of urban renewal in the world are taking place
  2. To encourage students to identify and engage critically with issues of environmental sustainability and social and cultural difference in an international setting
  3. To stimulate creative thinking and problem solving within students through their experience of how local issues govern planning, design and construction processes in a particular location
  • Class participation 10%;
  • seminar presentation equivalent to 3000 words 30%;
  • design proposals and workshop exercises equivalent to at least 7000 words 60%.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  1. Basic competence to communicate with design professions in China and Asia
  2. Interdisciplinary teamwork
  3. Understanding and navigating social and cultural difference
  4. Knowledge transfer
  5. Organisational collaboration
  6. Managing risk

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