This two-week summer program offers a star team of multidisciplinary tutors who will facilitate team projects, site visits to spaces of contemporary or historical significance and round-table discussions. The program will culminate in a forum to be designed and facilitated by students themselves. The forum will exhibit their discoveries and insights in China, and promote their collaborative problem-solving proposals developed during the program. 


Creative Solutions for Creative Cities 

There are six key areas we will focus on. We encourage each participant to choose one area as his/her fieldwork project. Each area will be led by an academic tutor for in-depth exploration. Does China have an innovative economy ? How can technology entrepreneurships thrive as China rebalances its economy? Let us explore the frontiers of Chinese technological industries in Beijing and examine how both established companies and startups are responding to this new economic landscape. 

Environmental challenge is one of the most critical issues in achieving sustainable growth for China and the world. Let us explore the current environmental situation in China and examine how both local and global efforts are addressing common challenges. 

Today over half of China’s population live in cities . Beijing currently has a population of twenty-two million permanent resident and eight million non-permanent resident. Is Beijing capable of increasing population density while enhancing its livability, sustainability and productivity? Let us explore possibilities for smart and sustainable solutions for Beijing. 

Educational equity is an abiding issue in education . As cities expand and change rapidly, an unbalanced distribution of educational resources is posing serious challenges to both the level of access and quality of education. Let us explore and evaluate the latest efforts to include all children in quality education in Beijing and China. 

What are women experiencing in contemporary China? What are the realities that exist for Chinese women in relation to: ethical and aesthetic value; lifestyle; living and cultural spaces, and; imaging in mass culture? What are the conditions and policies concerning gender equity? How will the removal of the one-child policy affect the role of women? Let us explore some of the lives of those who “uphold half the sky” and decode China from a gendered perspective. 

As a true microcosm of China and cosmopolitan city of the world, Beijing is at the meeting point between ancient and modern/post-modern, east and west. Let us; understand what is being done to preserve China’s cultural heritage, traditional and modern architecture; explore the role of innovation in this process, and; identify the cultural forces that are forging the future of Beijing. 

How can we unlock the potential of creative cities from multiple perspectives? With the support of design thinking toolkits, service innovation methods and transformative technologies, let us investigate Beijing through field research, propose innovative solutions to China’s challenges, and produce prototypes for a creative city. 


This summer program is honored to host keynote lectures by leaders at the forefront of their respective fields, among them: 

Professor Yigong SHI – Vice President of Tsinghua University, Cheung Kong Scholar, National Natural Science Foundation of China Outstanding Young Scientist, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, fellow of US Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellow of US National Academy of Sciences. His laboratory combines structural biology, biochemical and biophysical approaches to elucidate the molecular and chemical basis of fundamental cellular events. His research has provided important insights into programmed cell death and regulated intramembrane proteolysis. His pioneering research on caspase activation, inhibition, and depression markedly advanced mechanistic understanding of programmed cell death. He is a world leader in the structural biology of cell signaling and macromolecular assemblies. For his research contributions, he received a number of recognitions, including the 2003 Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society, the 2010 Sackler Prize in Biophysics, and the 2014 Gregori Aminoff Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

Professor Kebin HE – Dean of Department of Environment, Cheung Kong Scholar, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He has over 20 years of research experience in air pollution control. His main expertise includes complex fine particulate air pollution control, emission quantification and source identification, and multi-pollutants control. He has published more than 260 peer reviewed papers in the academic journals. His research has substantially promoted the air quality management and regulation system development. 

Dr Jinliang LI – Associate Professor in Finance at School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University; Dean of Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Tsinghua University. His research interests include financial markets and risk management and publishes prolifically. As Deputy Secretary General at the National Supervisory Committee of Postgraduate Professional Degree Education in Business Administration, he serves for the development of business education in China. 


Professor Xiao WEI – Director of the Center for Gender and Ethics, Tsinghua University. Her research interest involves gender philosophy and ethics, bioethics, public health ethics and Feminist ethics, etc. She held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Harvard University, University of Alberta, Padova University and Oviedo University. She is an Emeritus Professor of China Women’s University and Vice Chairman of the Association of Women’s Health and Mental Health in China. She has her own column in China Women’s News, a major national newspaper for women. 

Dr Zhou ZHONG – Associate Professor in Comparative and International Education at the Institute of Education, Tsinghua University; Associate Dean of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Tsinghua University. Her research interest involves comparative and international studies of higher education management, teaching and learning innovation, professional development for faculty and teachers, comparative history of education and comparative methodology. 

Dr Yishi LIU – Lecturer in Modern Chinese Architectural History at School of Architecture, Tsinghua University. He publishes widely on modern Chinese city planning and architectural styles from comparative and international perspectives and architectural communication between the West and the East. His recent books are The Study and Preservation of Modern Chinese Architecture (Tsinghua University Press, 2014) and A History of the Architectural Society of China in the Past 60 Years (Architectural Industry Press, 2013). 

Dr Zhiyong FU – Associate Professor of Information Art and Design Department, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University. His research interest involves information and interaction design, service design, social innovation and smart city design. He is the initiator of the Design & Technology Entrepreneurship Workshop and Design Partner Project at Tsinghua University, and he is dedicated to integrating a “maker” culture and methodology into innovation and entrepreneurship education and practices. 

Dr Xueyong GU (Ben Koo) – Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering at Fundamental Industry Training Center(iCenter), Tsinghua University. He has ten years of experience in university teaching and mentoring, in research in both industrial and academic settings, and in industrial development in the information technology sector, specializing in architectural planning, information system integration and mission-critical software development. He is the founder of extreme learning process(XLP), an award winning methodology for managing knowledge in a very large crowd. 

Dr Xi LU – Associate Professor in School of Environment, Tsinghua University. His research aims at understanding the technical, economic, and environmental dimensions of low or zero carbon energy sources as a means to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. His research interests include modeling complex systems of renewable energy, environment and climate including resource assessment for wind and solar power, complementary effects of wind, solar and hydro power and the benefits for gird integration, energy storage, emission inventory of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, and urbanization and energy systems. 

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