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Delegation from TONG JI University, Shanghai, and T+A Journal Visit Ireland

Published: Friday, May 31, 2013

In October of 2012, the RIAI together with the Irish Centre in Shanghi jointly presented the first Irish Architecture Showcase entitled "Irish Architecture – A History of Culture and a Sustainable Future in Shanghai". On foot of this showcase a delegation from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tong Ji University, Shanghai, one of the premier architecture and urban planning universities in China, and Time + Architecture Journal, an architectural publication associated with Tong Ji University, visited Ireland from 17th – 25th  May 2013. The visit was organised with the support of Enterprise Ireland, in the hope of further exchange on Irish architectural education and practice.


The members of the delegations were :
Professor Zhang Jianlong, Deputy Head / Department of Architecture, Tong Ji University
Professor Zhao Weiyan, Department of Architecture, Tong Ji University
XU Jie, Executive Editor-in-Chief of Time+Architecture Journal
XU Xi, Editor Time+Architecture Journal

The delegation hoped to learn more about ‘Ireland’s devotion to research in heritage protection and reuse, urban public architecture, medical care architecture, educational architecture and sustainable architecture’.

Enterprise Ireland and the RIAI organised a detailed programme of visits and events for the delegation and responded to the delegations’ request to visit specific buildings.  Following meetings with Enterprise Ireland and a number of their Client companies the RIAI arranged for the group to meet with The Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. The Minister welcomed the delegates and spoke about his Department’s support for international collaborations. The Minister has asked that the RIAI explore the development of a bi-lateral student competition for the Confucius Centre in Cork. The Minister also congratulated the RIAI on its efforts to promote Irish Architecture internationally and to develop networks for the benefit of graduates and the profession in general.

RIAI _China _Visitors

Pictured (L-R) are XU Xi, Editor of Time+Architecture Journal, Professor Zhang Jianlong, Deputy Head / Department of Architecture, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, John Graby RIAI Director and XU Jie, Executive Editor-in-Chief of Time+Architecture Journal.


The RIAI arranged for visits to a number of architectural practices, both established and emerging, and the delegation received a very comprehensive picture of the skills and capacity of Irish practices. Peter Carroll of A2 architects, Thesis Tutor and Course Director at SAUL, led the group on a very well received morning visit with four practices and gave a great tour of Dublin.  The delegation was very impressed with the practices dedication to the “craft and context” of their buildings and in particular mentioned the quality of the detail that practices delivered.

On Monday the delegation had a series of presentations and discussions at the RIAI with the Schools of Architecture and visited the schools over Tuesday and Wednesday.

The RIAI objectives for the visit were to develop relations with the Universities and to increase the understanding and profile of the Irish Architects and Irish Architecture. The support, expertise and funding of Enterprise Ireland was essential in making this visit possible and the collaboration with the RIAI has been very successful in developing the relationship with Tong Ji, which it is hoped will have long term benefits for architecture students and the profession.

Categories: Architecture


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