Fall 2023: The Wisdom of Water: A Special Workshop on Landscape Architecture



Principal Faculty: Kongjian Yu

Associate Faculty: Huixian Wang, Salauddin Ahmed and Khandaker Hasibul Kabir

Visiting Faculty: Kazi Khaleed Ashraf

Date: 9th – 22nd October, 2023

Working in some remarkable regions in China, the Special Workshop will be a unique and inspiring experience with one of the most renowned landscape architects and regional planners of the world. Taking place over two weeks in the rural area of China’s Xixinan in Anhui Province in October, 2023, the Workshop will introduce participants to the landscape theories and practices of Kongjian Yu and Turenscape, systematically explain Turenscape’s Sponge City design strategy through the outstanding projects designed by Turenscape, and prepare them for a new “aquatic wisdom” to address water crisis in human settlements. Beyond the two weeks, participants will also visit selected traditional cities and sites defined by water planning, as well as the office of Turenscape in Beijing.

Kongjian Yu is arguably the leading landscape architect and ecological planner in the world. Starting in 1997, Professor Kongjian Yu and his Turenscape design team began focusing on urban water systems, eventually using the “sponge” concept to describe the flood regulation capacity of natural systems. By 2022, Turenscape’s design team had completed more than 2,000 planning and design projects in over 200 cities domestically and abroad, winning 14 American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Awards and 7 World Architecture Festival top landscape awards.

Goals and Objectives

The main objective of the Workshop will be to address the water crisis, and the consequent crisis in our cities and settlements, brought about by global warming and human interventions in the landscape, and present the excellent experiences of Turenscape by sharing, discussing and visiting their exemplary projects.

In recent years, extreme climate events have become more frequent, biodiversity loss has worsened, and desertification has intensified, posing severe threats to human life, living and development worldwide. In monsoon countries like China, Bangladesh and India, flood disasters occur frequently, requiring urgent responses. A new imagination and innovative practices are needed to tackle the ongoing crisis in our cities and environments.