Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:







May 26th > 28th 2015

Badoer, aula Tafuri

San Polo 2468

Venice, Italy


organised by

Maria Francesca Piazzoni

Matteo Basso


in collaboration with

Claudio Beorchia

Caterina Villani


Scuola di Dottorato

Istituto Confucio


Dipartimento di Studi sull’Asia e sull’Africa Mediterranea, Universitą Ca’ Foscari di Venezia


abstract >

facebook event >

city portrait Shanghai in FB >





Tuesday May 26

16 > 19  Projection of

Street Angel 馬路天使, Mǎlł tiānshǐ, 1937, by Yuan Muzhi

Queen of Sports 体育皇后, Tǐył Huįnghņu, 1934, by Sun Yu.


Wednesday May 27


9.30 > 9.40 greetings

Alberto Ferlenga, director of Iuav School of Doctorate Studies  >>


9.40 > 10 opening

Matteo Basso, Maria Francesca Piazzoni, Universitą Iuav di Venezia


Introducing Shanghai, Between Past and Present


10 > 10.30

Shanghai Past and Present: Some Cultural Reflections

Leo Ou-Fan Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong  >>


10.30 > 11

Re-envisioning Shanghai: Urban DNA and the digital lens

Christian Henriot, University of Lyon  >>


11 > 11.30

Shanghaied into the Future: the Asianization of Future Metropolis in post-Blade Runner Cinema

Marco Ceresa, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice  >>


11.30 > 12

Building Shanghai: Transformation of a Modern City

Xiangning Li, Tongji University, Shanghai  >>


12 > 12.30  Q&A


12.30 > 13.45 Lunch break


Shanghai’s Future, a [Self]portrait


13.45 > 14.10 opening

Margherita Turvani and Maria Chiara Tosi, Universitą Iuav di Venezia


14.10 > 14.40

Commercial Development from Below: A Portrait of Shanghai Through the Tianzifang Shopping Area,

Xiangming Chen, Trinity College, Hartford  >>


14.40 > 15.10

From Aliens to Neighbours: Foreigners in Shanghai Society

Laura de Giorgi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice  >>


15.10 > 15.40

Urban Regeneration in Shanghai as a Global City

Lan Wang, Tongji University, Shanghai  >>


15.40 > 16

Shanghai through Faces & Traces: the Swatch Art Peace Hotel experience

Carlo Giordanetti, Swatch Ltd. Bern  >>


16 > 16:10 Q&A


16.10 > 16.20  Break


16.20 > 16.40

Conservation, renovation, innovation: ten years in Shanghai

Pietro Peyron, Kokai Studios, Shanghai  >>


16.40 >17.10

Becoming a Global City in 2050. Reshaping Shanghai Spatial Structure to Connect People through Scales

Serge Salat, Urban Morphology Institute, Paris  >>


17.10 > 17.40

A Shanghai that never Existed: How Xiao Bai Reshapes the 1931 Urban Scenario

Paolo Magagnin, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice  >>


17.40 > 17.50 Q&A


17.50 > 18 Conclusions



Thursday May 28

Graduate Symposium

10 > 10.15 Opening

Matteo Basso, Maria Francesca Piazzoni, Universitą Iuav di Venezia


10.15 > 10.40

Transition and Anxiety: A Case Study on Historic Spatial Evolution of “the Socialistic Worker`s Village”(社会主工人新村) in Shanghai

Qiaoqiao Zheng, Tongji University, Shanghai  >>


10.40 > 11.05

Shanghai at a Sustainability Turning Point. Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Assess Urban Sustainability

Angela Moriggi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice  >>


11.05 > 11.30

Demystifying Smart City Development in Shanghai: Fact or Fallacy?

Garfield Wayne Hunter, Tongji University, Shanghai  >>


11.30 > 11.50

Artist in residence in Shanghai: an experience

Claudio Beorchia, Universitą Iuav di Venezia  >>


11.50 > 12.15

Shanghai: the narrative construction of a metropolis

Ludovico Centis, Universitą Iuav di Venezia  >>


12.15 > 12.35

Lessons Learnt From the Street: the Case of Caoyang Village Public Spaces

Alex Pellizzer, Universitą Iuav di Venezia  >>


12.35 > 12.45  Q&A


12.45  Lunch



Any portrait results from a selection process that is operated by the author. A self-portrait represents a particular case, as the author consciously selects which components to emphasize when constructing the image of him/herself. Shanghai, a [Self] Portrait intends to explore how the promotion of Shanghai as a Global City is constructed by local actors, and how this promotion affects the city itself.

During the last three decades, P.R.C. has been competing to perform a dominant role in the global economy. After forty years of heavy industrialization, Shanghai was designated to become the symbol of the Chinese re-birth following the Tiananmen Square events in 1989; by that time the days of glory – when the “Paris of the West” became a major international trade center after the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 – seemed far away. Through their declaration of intents, Deng Xiaoping – on a national scale – and Shanghai majors Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji personified the state desire of making Shanghai an attractive, cultural, and business hub in both reality and perception. Especially since the early 2000s, the direct participation of government and the investment of foreigner capitals allowed Shanghai to become China’s top corporate headquarters location; the city image playing a key role in this process, by making globalization visible, experienced, and purchasable. However, Shanghai reconfiguration did not come without high costs in terms of social polarization, marginalization of vulnerable populations, and environmental issues.

What aspects of Shanghai are emphasized by the local actors, in order to globally compete for the attraction of capital? What are the narratives through which the image of Shanghai is branded on both, the international and national markets? And, how the core topic of these narratives have shifted, depending on political and economic global and local patterns? The one and a half day lecture conference will investigate these questions through the lens of one issue: how nostalgia is constructed and negotiated to enhance the marketization of Shanghai. The promotion of Shanghai is embedded with the rhetoric on its colonial past; the production of an authentic pastness in heritage preservation, the massive construction of Western-like buildings, and the promotion of cultural events explicitly linking the city to its past being cases in point. The conference will bring together world-class scholars from various disciplines (i.e. humanities, social sciences, architecture and planning), offering a multi perspective portrait of one of the most controversial cities of contemporary global society.