Shanghai, China – 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 honoured 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.