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Tongji University appoints Rossana Hu, Founding Partner of Neri&Hu, as Chair of the Department of Architecture at the College of Architecture and Urban PlanningDecember 2021

On December 21, 2021, Neri&Hu's Founding Partner Rossana Hu was appointed as Chair of the Department of Architecture at the college-wide meeting of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. Professor Li Xiangning, Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), welcomed Hu on behalf of the college.

Known for its openness and inclusivity, CAUP implements a teaching method that combines theory and practice. Professor Li believes in a flexible pedagogy, with the hope that the discipline of architecture can continually respond to an uncertain future and thereby create ever more social value. Professor Li remarked, "As Hu brings a diverse and global perspective to the school, through the dialectic examination of such fundamental issues as the boundaries of the discipline, the social value of architecture, and the future of urban development, more channels of international communication are sure to open up for architectural research and teaching at Tongji."

Rossana Hu has had a deep and lasting friendship with CAUP. Between 2014 and 2016, she gave a series of lectures at CAUP. In 2016 and 2017, she was invited to participate in the exhibitions Towards a Critical Pragmatism: Contemporary Architecture in China at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Living in Busan, Living in Shanghai at Busan International Architectural Culture Festival, both curated by Professor Li. Additionally, this year, Neri&Hu's solo exhibition Works in Permanent Evolution was presented at CAUP, which centered on themes of temporal continuity and historical memory. Recalling the key moments and tracing the continual flux of Neri&Hu's architectural practice and thinking, the exhibition is also a testament to the exchange and cooperation between Neri&Hu and Tongji University over the years.

Hu noted, "I am extremely honored to be appointed this position. Not just because it is an amazing opportunity to be teaching in this top institution, but also the close proximity I will have with the best thinkers and doers in China's architecture realm. For almost 20 years, I have been watching Tongji University from the ‘outside’. I have admired the talents in the school, both teachers and students. I have heard many distinguished architects speak here and benefited from this community of scholars and practitioners, and now as I witness Tongji University extending its reach and embark on a global vision for its future, I am delighted to be a part of this effort of opening up, transcending boundaries, and responding to social, technical, and environmental problems at large while embracing communities at the home front, so that we as architects can integrate better with our city and the world beyond."

The many Tongji graduates at Neri&Hu sent congratulations for Hu's appointment, which is seen as a significant step in the exchange between Tongji University and the firm. It also alludes to a closer relationship between architectural theories and practices in the University's pedagogy. The Department of Architecture at Tongji University has a long-standing association with the Bauhaus, and Neri&Hu's design works also embrace Bauhaus ideals, focusing on expanding disciplinary boundaries to promote "total design" tendencies. Neri&Hu is well known for integrating architecture with related fields, including interior design, product design and graphic design, and has been honored by each industry with the most distinguished awards and accolades. As Chair of the Department of Architecture at Tongji University, Hu aims to integrate diverse perspectives and values into architecture, to promote inclusion and a sense of community, and to elevate the already strong program to new heights.



Rossana Hu

In 2004, Rossana Hu co-founded Neri&Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai with Lyndon Neri. In many years of practice, Hu has reinforced a core vision: to respond to a global worldview incorporating overlapping design disciplines for a critical paradigm in architecture, while believing strongly in research as a design tool, as each project bears its unique set of contextual issues. Hu is also the Founding Partner of Design Republic, a platform for creative exchange that integrates culture, design, education and exhibitions.

Alongside a path breaking architectural practice, Rossana Hu has engaged in teaching and research in China and abroad for more than a decade. She has been appointed John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard University, Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at Yale University and Visiting Professor at The University of Hong Kong. Her research often grapples with topics that pertain to the interactions between history, culture and spatial construction, such as The Future of the Past, Reflective Nostalgia: Alternative Futures for Shanghai's Shikumen Heritage, De/constructing Cultural Tourism - Ke Zhan (Traveler's Rest Stop). Hu's publications include Thresholds: Space, Time and Practice (2021), Neri&Hu Design and Research Office (2017), Persistence of Vision (2007) and Design Manifesto (2006 - ). These volumes reflect on a series of exigent problems faced by today's architects, who are looking for balance between various elements in their practice, culture and society.

Rossana Hu has won Frame Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (2021), ELLE Decor International Design Awards Designer of the Year (2017), ICONIC AWARDS Interior Designer of the Year (2017), Maison&Objet Asia Designer of the Year (2015), and Wallpaper* Design Awards Designer of the Year (2014). In 2013, Hu was inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. Hu has also served as a jury member for many prestigious architecture and design awards, including RIBA International Prize (2020), World Architecture Festival (2018), Dezeen Awards (2018), and Wallpaper* Design Awards (2015), among others.

Hu received her Master of Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Music from the University of California at Berkeley. She has worked for Michael Graves & Associates in Princeton and The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in San Francisco among others.



College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University

The College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University has a broad and deep foundation since 1952. Currently, CAUP consists of three departments: the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Planning, and the Department of Landscape Architecture, with 222 full-time faculty members and researchers.

CAUP places the emphasis on four directions, including “Eco-city”, “Green Architecture”, “Heritage Preservation” and “Digital Design”, to form new and strong disciplines based on the existing development, and to develop new branches of advanced disciplines by constructing cross-disciplinary platforms. Taking the responsibility of building a sustainable human habitat environment, CAUP is aiming to achieve the goal of being a world class educational institution in urban planning, architecture and design.

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