RGU academic wins third spot in international design competition

An academic from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment has won third place in a prestigious design competition, which saw more than 1100 entries from across the globe.

Theo DounasTheo Dounas, in partnership with Dr Davidé Lombardi from Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University in China, were commended for their innovative project in the Yilong Futuristic City International Design Competition.

The competition invited projects which would address emerging challenges within China, such as climate change, population migration, energy crisis, inheriting regional characters, all of which demand the development of an innovative and adaptive urban approach and more complex urban design.

Entries were required to focus on the new relationship between the local typical Chinese landscape and the development required for the future city, the connection between the nostalgia of traditional landscape vs modern way of living, with the foresight of globalization in local regional development.

Theo and David’s project uses an algorithm to increase and manipulate urban density, looking at ways to develop future cities which could accommodate a natural landscape, regional culture, and diverse characteristics, while ensuring economic and financial development in China.

“We want to provide an uncompromising vision of the future using, defining and buttressing our design strategies with computation,” Theo said.

“The paper we had published earlier over the summer on speculative densities in Chinese cities has been used has starting point for building the strategy applied in the competition itself.

“That paper was using cellular automata - a mathematical tool that can simulates well-ordered biological processes of growth - for the configuration of housing tower block with increased density at the level of the city.

“Hence our design process was a huge experiment, or a series of experiments, in testing algorithmic and generative ideas, from the large scale of the district to the smaller of the city.

Yilong axonometric“To have been recognised for our work at an international level within a very prestigious competition is a real honour and although our project is not yet the finished article, this award gives us real impetus to drive forward with our work.”


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries