China - New Realities

China’s rise over the last 30 years has led to unprecedented economic, political and technological growth and development. In the process, it has transformed to be one of the world's fastest urbanizing nations. By 2025, China will have constructed the equivalent to 10 New York-sized cities. However, China's ambitions and focus has evolved to be a world leader in tackling global issues. This transition placed in motion enormous cultural shifts that have prompted an agenda to elevate both their national and cultural identity.

 Now, China sets its sights on their next frontier: a focus on their communities, the future of their younger generations, and the culture they will come to define. New technologies also come into play that re-define how the country governs, how their citizens interact, and how cities are planned as a result. This brings rise to integration of technologies like artificial intelligence to more efficiently manage cities, improve buildings safety, and increase the quality of life for its people. These shifts will affect how people live, work  and play and certainly all aspects of our built environment.

 As China’s influence grows, what happens inside of China becomes increasingly relevant to all cities around the world. Attendees will benefit from this intensive, three-day forum to meet and interact with notable people and other allied professionals engaged in this important discussion on the new reality in China.

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Program Information

Pre Conference - Thursday November 14

Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Conference Center

  • 2:00pm                              

    • Pre-Registration Opens

  • 3:00pm to 4:30pm          

    • AIA IR Board Meeting

  • 4:45pm to 5:45pm          

    • AIA IR Chapters Collaboration Meeting


Riverfront Venue TBD

  • 7:00pm to 7:30pm          

    • Pre-Registration Opens

  • 7:30pm to 9:00pm          

    • Opening Reception | Welcome Remarks, US Ambassador Sean Stein

Day 1 - Friday, November 15

Theme: Advances in Technology

Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Mandarin Ballroom II+III

  • 8:00am                                

    • Registration Opens | Coffee + Breakfast

  • 8:30am to 8:40am          

    • Opening Remarks | Thierry Paret, FAIA, AIA IR President

  • 8:40am to 8:55am           

    • Remarks | Tom Vonier, FAIA UIA President

  • 9:00am to 10:00am        

    • Keynote: Modern Architecture with a Chinese Spirit

                                                Speaker: Noted Regional Architect

  • 10:00am to 10:15am      

    • Coffee Break

  • 10:15am to 11:15am      

    • Lecture: The Art of Technology

                 Speaker: Kris Yao, HFAIA | Artech, Taipei

  • 11:15am to 12:15pm     

    • Lecture: The Future of Designing for Chinese Cities

                  Speaker: Brian Lee, FAIA | SOM, Chicago

  • 12:15pm to 1:30pm        

    • Lunch at Mandarin Oriental

  • 1:30pm to 1:45pm          

    • Tours Depart from Hotel (bus to tour start point)                              

  • 2:15pm to 5:45pm          

    • Tours 1 – Puxi, heart of Shanghai – Tour Kerry Ctr, Natural History Museum

  • 5:45pm to 6:15pm          

    • Bus to Gallery

  • 6:15pm to 7:00pm          

    • Drinks hosted by Sponsor

  • 7:00pm to 7:30pm          

    • Bus to Shaanxi Road or Xintiandi for dinner on own

Day 2 - Saturday November 16

Theme: Transforming the Global Society

Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Mandarin Ballroom II+III

  • 8:00am                               

    • Registration Opens | Coffee + Breakfast

  • 8:30am to 8:45am           

    • Architects and Social Transformation: Bill Bates, FAIA (AIA President)

  • 8:45am to 9:00am           

    • Remarks on Global Practice: Robert Ivy, FAIA (AIA CEO)

  • 9:00 am to 10:00am       

    • Keynote: Globalism and Practice in China                                       

  • 10:00am to 10:15am      

    • Coffee Break

  • 10:30am to 11:15am      

    • Discussion: Practice – Managing a Global Practice in China

                Speakers: Christine Bruckner, FAIA, (M Moser HK)

                Xiaomei Lee, AIA (Gensler, Shanghai)

  • 11:15am to 12:30pm     

    • Chinese Architects – The New Generation

    • 10 min     Introduction by Architects Society of Shanghai China (ASSC)

Speakers – 15 Min each

1.       Di Shaohua (Praxis D’architecture, BJ)

2.       Han Wenqiang (Arch Studio, BJ)

3.       Yu Ting (Wutopia, SH)

4.       Jiang Ying (O Office, GZ)

  • 12:30pm to 1:30pm        

    • Lunch at Mandarin Oriental

  • 1:30pm to 1:45pm          

    • Tours Depart from Hotel (Walking tour of nearby area)

  • 1:30pm to 5:30pm          

    • Walking Tour – Lujiazui, Evolution of a Planned Global Financial District

    • Rotating groups stop at key buildings – tour of Shanghai Tower

  • 5:30pm to 6:30pm          

    • Break at Hotel

  • 6:30pm to 8:00pm          

    • AIA IR Design Awards | Venue to be Determined

  • 8:00pm to 9:30pm          

    • Gala Dinner | Venue to be Determined

Day 3, Sunday November 17

Theme: Reflections on the new Culture in China

Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Mandarin Ballroom II+III

  • 8:00am to 8:30am           

    • Coffee + Breakfast

  • 8:30 am to 9:30am         

    • Keynote: Tangible Building – History in Contemporary China

  • 9:30am to 10:30am        

    • Panel Discussion: Education - Connecting China to the Future

  • 10:30am to 10:45am      

    • Coffee Break

  • 10:45am to 12:00pm     

    • Chinese Architects learning from Abroad – The Haigui

  • 12:00pm to 1:00pm        

    • Lunch at Mandarin Oriental

  • 1:15pm to 1:30pm          

    • Tour Departs from Hotel (Bus to start point)

  • 1:30pm to 4:00pm          

    • Building Tours – West Bund Arts Center, Long Museum and Gas Tanks

  • 4:00pm to 5:00pm          

    • Building Tour – North Bund, White Magnolia Plaza (SOM)

  • 5:00pm                                

    • Optional post-program – Drinks at W hotel overlooking river

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International Speakers


Kris Yao, Honorable FAIA

Founding Partner, Artech


THSR Hsinchu Station

Lanyang Museum

Wuzhen Theaters

Water-Moon Monastery

Shih Chien University Gym & Library

China Steel Corporation headquarters

Kelti Center


Kris Yao

Built Works

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Brian Lee, FAIA

Design Partner, SOM


1.Tianjin CTF Finance Center (530m), Tianjin, 2019

2.Greenland Nanchang Tower

3.Beijing WTC

4.Shanghai Huawei Campus

5.Chris Hospital Joint & Spine Center, Cincinnati

6.Chicago Public Library


Brian Lee

Built Works

Local Speakers


Zhu Xiaofeng

Founding Partner, Scenic Architecture (Shanghai)


Huaxin Business Center, Xuhui, Shanghai

Deep Dive Rowing Club. Pudong Century Park, Shanghai

Dashawan Beach Facilities at Liandao Island

The Green Pine Garden, Shanghai

Zhujiajiao Museum of Fine Arts


Zhu Xiaofeng

Built Works


Jiangxin He & Ying Jian

Founding Partners, O Office Guangzhou


Value Factory of 2013 Shenzhen

Beijing Huilongguan Youth Housing

Vanke Songshanhu Staff Housing

MJH Museum in iD Town in Shenzhen,

Lianzhou Museum of Photography

Tianhe Youth Commune

Biennales of Venice and Shenzhen

Youth Hotel of iD Town

Stone Art Gallery

Silo-top Studio


Jiangxin He & Ying Jian

Built Works


Di Shaohua

Co Founder, Praxis D’Architecture


Dongrun Apartment Building

Lake Shore Artist Studio

Ying Gallery Renovation

Spring Art Museum


Di Shaohua

Built Works

Travel Information

Conference Venue

Early Bird Registration is open. Early bird rates expire September 15, 2019.

Rates start at USD $395 for early-bird attendees and USD $195 for accompanying (non-business) partner/spouse. Full registration will include access to all basic program items, including lectures, tours, lunches, cocktail receptions, and the Gala Dinner. Register here.

Conference Venue

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai

A surprisingly intimate modern hotel located in park-like setting on the riverfront of Shanghai’s new central business district, Lujiazui. Enjoy spectacular views of the skyline, walk the new riverfront greenbelt, and visit Shanghai’s landmark towers, plus see new cultural centers like 1863 Shipyards. Conference attendees will enjoy favorable room rates.



China requires a visa for visitors holding passports from most other countries, including the USA and the UK. Conference visitors will be responsible for procuring their own visas. Please check with the Chinese embassy or qualified visa agents in your country to learn how to apply. Visa agents may be helpful to avoid in-person visits to a consulate or embassy.

For visitors with no other business in China, a tourist visa may be most suitable – this requires proof of round-trip airfare and a hotel booking.

USA Citizens can check visa information here:

Note that September and October have several holidays in China which will affect processing times – ensure you apply well in advance of your travel:

Weather & Air Quality in November

Generally well suited to walking outdoors with a light jacket and small umbrella.

Light rain is possible, usually brief.

Tours should anticipate early evening darkness


Conference space is limited. Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Proof of membership status is required.

  • Registration is for the conference ticket only. Fees include all education programs and activities as indicated in the conference program.

  • Conference participants are responsible for their own travel and hotel arrangements.

  • Program subject to change as needed by AIA International.

AIA International Region shall in no event have any liability to registrants based on claims for indirect, special, or consequential damages of any type whatsoever, and shall bear no other obligation of any type except as expressly stated herein. AIA International Region reserves the right to cancel this conference and shall refund registration fees as applicable.

Refund policy:

  • 30 or more days before the conference - 100% refund

  • Less than 30 days before the conferencBe - 30 % refund

  • During the conference - no refund.

Please direct questions to


November 14-17

be there!