Lecture from Prof. Barrie Shelton(Oct.9-17, 2018)
time: 2018-10-08

Oversea famous teacher project of Ministry of Education

Speaker: Prof. Barrie Shelton

Venue: The first floor, Multimedia classroom of Building NO.6


Course lecture 1:

Title: Connection and Cities:Creating links,EnablingSynergies

Time: Tuesday, Oct.9that 10:00-12:30 pm

Exchanges of many kinds (of knowledge, services, goods,  etc.) are a city’sraison d’etre and these much depend on effective channels for connection. This lecture explores the body of urban design-related writing and theory that has evolved in the past half-century (from Jane Jacobs to Bill Hillier and beyond) and contributed to our understanding of the nature of spatial connection in cities. Although connection is primarily functional, its physical manifestation and the theories behind it are mediated by culture – which raises questions of universality about urban design theories generated in particular cultural settings.  The presentation will be illustrated by examples drawn from East Asian, Australian and other settings.


Course lecture 2:

Title: Swings in Urban Design Ideas through the 20th Century: Morphological Consequences in an Australian City

Time: Wednesday, Oct.10that 10:00-12:30 pm

The lecture is an overview of dominant ideas in Twentieth Century (Western) urban design and their application in an Australian city. It will highlight marked swings between conceptual extremes and their morphological consequences. The centre of the City of Adelaide will be presented as a microcosm (and caricature) of Western urban design history.


Public lecture:

Title: Culture and Built Form: The Case of Japan

Time: Thursday, Oct.11that 7:00-9:00 pm

From early childhood, we acquire ways of shaping space and form through everyday observation and the learning of common practices within our respective cultures. These experiences nurture ways of thinking and making that become ‘second nature’ – in other words, we become predisposed to certain kinds of spatial ordering or arrangement and do not pause to question them. This lecture highlights predispositions in Japanese culture which are expressed consistently through all scales of spatial practice – from the written word through the design of buildings to the shaping of urban landscapes. As an Eastern culture and recipient of aspects of Chinese culture, some Japanese spatial practices are shared with China and some are not, which raises questions of similarity and difference.

This idea of cultural predisposition with consistencies of expression in form- and space-making across scales is a theme pursued vigorously in Barrie’s book, Learning from the Japanese City: looking East in Urban Design. When Aoki Jun reviewed the Japanese version in 2014 for Japan’s largest circulation newspaper, (Yomiuri Shimbun), he concluded with the line, “I hit my knee”, which is an action somewhat akin to Archimedes’ shriek of “eureka” as he leapt from his bath – implying that something significant had suddenly clicked! Maki Fumihiko’s response was less dramatic but equally positive: “…we must thank you for your enormous  contribution made on the study of Japanese cities”.  


Course lecture3:

Title: Deciphering the Logic of Plan and Place

Time: Tuesday, Oct.16that 10:00-12:30 pm

The presentation will examine morphological dimensions of some lesser known Australian and Japanese cities and towns, with emphasis on the interplay between landform and urban design ideas in the shaping of urban structure and making of urban character. It will give attention to the nature of morphological study and demonstrate how important it is for an urban designer to have sound knowledge of urban design history and theory, sensitivity to landform, astute observational skills of pattern and structure, and flexibility of approach to make meaningful design responses.


Course lecture4:

Title: Vertical and Volumetric: Hong Kong’sUrbanForm

Time: Wednesday, Oct.17that 10:00-12:30 pm

The idea of the ‘compact city’ has received a great deal of attention in recent decades but the reality has been difficult to achieve. Hong Kong, situated in a region with historical models of multi-level living, with access to Modernist multilevel Western ideas as a British colony and set within a tight topographic setting constraining its physical expansion, became the accidental pioneer of a new kind of urbanism – small footprint, vertical, volumetric, and with high use of public transport. This lecture explores its morphogenesis.