workshop tongji

City & mobility in transition.
Urbanity in the making

10+ years ENSAS-Tongji partnership

About the exhibition

This exhibition echoes the desire for discovery, exchange, complicity and sharing between Chinese and European cultures, expressed within the field of architecture and urban planning through the work of several hundred students and doctoral candidates, as well as the teaching, research and administrative teams who, for over a decade, have contributed to the development of this partnership. 

The recent covid19 pandemic and the deeper ecological crisis highlight more than ever the global character of the challenges we are facing and the need to collaboratively initiate and support transition (energy, environment, etc.) collaboratively, to save our planet. Europe and China both recognize the urgency of climate change and are defining transition objectives for 2050 and 2060 respectively. Faced with these challenges, in China as in France, we are called upon to review our ways of living, moving, and producing, to reinvent more sustainable and sober infrastructures and the spatial environment, to rethink the meaning and organization of our architecture, our cities and our territories, to reexamine and reconstruct our urbanity.
How can we design, in Europe and in China, the transition to low-carbon, resilient and living systems, without giving up the urban, landscape and architectural qualities of our living spaces?
Between technical solutions and profound changes in mentalities and behaviors, how can we engage in mobility transition and rethink the infrastructural supports of urban & territorial frameworks and architecture?
How can we anchor our societal projects and our city projects in a locality redefined according to its own resources (geographical, natural, cultural), and ecosystems?

If these questions unite us today, the last decade of our ENSAS-Tongji collaboration taught us that it is on our different approaches, points of view, and levers of action, on the confrontation of our tools and methods, and on our cultural and disciplinary differences that we can draw on to build answers. 

The exhibition pays tribute to this common and diversified intelligence, mobilized since 2011 to face the challenges of urbanity and the urgency of ecological concerns by seizing their locally and culturally specific expressions. It thus brings together a selection of projects and research work carried out by students (project workshops, dissertations/master’s theses, international competitions), doctoral candidates and professors involved in our Franco-Chinese dual master’s degree, our Mobility Chair activities or as part of our exchange programs. This multitude of surveys, investigations, conceptual explorations and spatial designs carried out in Chinese and European contexts over more than 10 years, allows us to review our reflective paths, mirror each other’s work, reveal the diversity of our approaches and build our shared space of experience. Between sustainability issues and environmental transition concerns, between high-tech responses and more frugal proposals, between data-driven solutions and human/living-oriented perspectives, the exhibition provides a rich and diverse basis for reflection on our respective horizons of expectation.

Last but not least, this exhibition is also the occasion to celebrate this longstanding collaboration and to formally thank all the students, doctoral candidates, alumni, professors and administrative staff involved in this intercultural adventure!

A very special thanks to the persons involved in building the foundation of this partnership : Philippe BACH, Yang CHEN, Lionel DEBUS, Hannah DONGFAN Lang, Jill FERRIERGAN Jing, Andreea GRIGOROVSCHI, Cristiana MAZZONI, Lise LANCON, Valérie LEBOIS, Julie ROBIN, Catherine SARACCO, Irene SARTORETTIZHUO Jian.

Chief Curator

Andreea Grigorovschi, Assoc. Prof. ENSAS, Sino-French DMD Program Director, coord. sc. Mobility Chair

Project leader

Marie Fruiquière, Research Engineer Mobility Chair ENSAS

Design & Web development team

Frédérique Jeanroy, Head of Development and Communication ENSAS


Key dates of the ENSAS-CAUP Tongji partnership

2011_Beginning of the collaboration ENSAS - CAUP Tongji

The partnership signed in January 2011 between ENSA Strasbourg and the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University marked the beginning of a very close collaboration between the two institutions, thanks to the energy and commitment of Prof. Cristiana Mazzoni, strongly invested in its development. The 1st design workshop (Master level) organized in Shanghai in November 2011, as well as student mobility exchanges mark the beginning of this collaboration.

2013_Beginning of the scientific exchanges ENSAS/CAUP Tongji

Joint development of important comparisons between mobility scenarios for Strasbourg 2030 and for Shanghai 2040, working under the hypothesis that active and soft mobility modes can offer interesting solutions for sustainable and "short distance" city projects that can be adapted to the frenzy and speed of the of the Asian metropolis.

2014_Creation of the Franco-Chinese Dual Master’s Degree "Metropolises and Architecture" ENSAS-CAUP Tongji

The Fr-Cn DMD Program has today more than thirty alumni.

2015_Creation of the Franco-Chinese Chair of Innovative Metropolitan Mobility (IMM Chair), ENSAS - CAUP Tongji - SYSTRA

The objective of the Franco-Chinese Chair of Innovative Metropolitan Mobility - "MMI / IMM" - is to create a solid, stable and interactive scientific framework (multi-actors) to conduct and develop research in the field of mobility in contemporary metropolises, to promote and disseminate that research and, finally, to apply it to concrete cases. Resulting from the dual degree collaboration between ENSAS and CAUP-Tongji and attached to the laboratory Architecture, Morphology / Urban Morphogenesis and Project (AMUP) of ENSAS, the Chair integrated the engineering skills of the SYSTRA Group in innovation and technologies related to mobility infrastructure projects. The participation of SYSTRA contributed valuable expertise and training, facilitating the co-construction of shared objectives and projects.

2016_Official recognition of the IMM Chair by the French Ministry of Culture

On October 20, 2015, the French Minister for Culture, Fleur Pellerin, announced a list of 30 measures to be implemented in the short or medium term as part of the National Strategy for Architecture. The creation of Research Chairs within Schools of Architecture is one of the measures supported by this strategy, highlighting the increasing importance of research in the field of architecture.
In September 2016, the IMM Chair was one of the first five teaching and research Chairs in Architecture, selected from among 14 submitted proposals, to receive official recognition.

Today _

The Franco-Chinese partnership is linked to ENSAS & Tongji research and teaching programs, focusing on contemporary urban and territorial projects and particularly on sustainable infrastructure systems in Europe and in Asia, and their relationship to architecture, the city and the territory.


The partners




The Strasbourg National School of Architecture / École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Strasbourg [ENSAS] 

is one of the twenty national schools of architecture in France under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. Since its creation in 1921, ENSAS programs have evolved in synergy with the questions, challenges and latest innovative techniques in architecture and urban design. The School educates and trains professionals capable of designing and managing quality architectural and urban projects that will stand the test of time, both in France and internationally. Its graduates embody the chain of skills and responsibilities - human, economic, ecological, technical and cultural - necessary to create sustainable architecture. ENSAS programs draw not only on research in Architecture and urban planning but also on the values of sharing architectural cultures and protecting the quality of our living environment. Shaped by its history and the current challenges of our society, ENSAS has developed particular expertise in three areas that enhance its programs: history of architecture; preservation and transformation of built heritage; the city, regional planning and urban mobility; and the management of ambiences and energy in architecture. Strengthened also by its position at the heart of a cross-border and inter-European region, ENSAS programs are characterized by a broad international outlook, as evidenced by an array of active exchange partnerships reaching across the globe, including its three international dual degree partnerships. The Franco-Chinese partnership, with its close collaboration focused on mobility and its relationship to architecture, ties into the research framework of the Mobility Chair and the “Metropolization” axis of the AMUP research unit (UR7309, ENSAS-INSA Strasbourg) and enriches the curriculum of the Franco-Chinese dual degree program, and more broadly, several other Masters courses at ENSAS, such as project workshops, seminars and theses.



The College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University in Shanghai 

is one of the first institutions in China to offer programs in urban planning, engineering, historic building protection, landscape studies and industrial design.
Since 1954, it has had not only the first graduate program in architecture in China, but also one of the first doctoral programs (1981) and the first postdoctoral research center (1988), showing the university’s commitment to research. Urban planning and architecture are considered today as key disciplines in China, as well as in the city of Shanghai. As one of the most influential academic institutions in China, CAUP is recognized as an international education center with global influence in the academic field.
As part of an important international strategy (within the CAUP there are already several dual degree programs and multiple international collaborations), the partnership started in January 2011 between the CAUP and ENSA Strasbourg has laid the foundations for a very close collaboration between the various professors involved in the two institutions.

100years70 years CAUP logo







Active for over 10 years, this partnership is now well recognized in the Franco-Chinese university networks for training in urban and territorial professions, as well as by the university and scientific cooperation services of the French Embassy in Beijing and the French Consulate in Shanghai.