A group of fourth year UNSW Art & Design Bachelor of Design students and their peers from Built Environment’s Bachelor of Computational Design are participating in MAD.LAB, a three-week studio in the city of Chongqing, South Western China.

A new mega city until recently less well known than similar sized cities in China, Chongqing is an astonishingly energetic, dense and rapidly changing city of 12 million people with a wider metropolitan population estimated to be 28 million people. Using mapping as a design research methodology, MAD.LAB responds to critical questions about urbanisation and development in Chongqing.

The students participating in this intensive studio take one specific component of the city such as a street and explore questions such as; How do denizens and citizens perceive this unique city and how do they behave and interact? How does this self-sustaining city function three-dimensionally, dynamically and commercially? How can the metropolitan, building and human scales be described and how do these interact?

The MAD.LAB studio program represents a unique opportunity for the students to collaborate, acquire language, form local relationships, and to develop a better understanding of this complex urban environment.

MAD.LAB is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s AsiaBound Mobility Program, Chongqing based Priestman Architects, Cqubed, and the architecture faculty of Chongqing University.

UNSW Art & Design students participating in the lab include Adriana Prasnicki, Emily Hatton, Alison Phillips, Gabriel Monteiro, Larissa Silva, Jacinta Stuart-O'Toole, Maddison Bramley, Jing Wen Li and Amy Lenehan.