Space, Time and Our Planet Earth-Musings arising from an architectural analogy

Date: 2020/11/13 - 2020/11/13

Academic Seminar: Space, Time and Our Planet Earth-Musings arising from an architectural analogy

Speaker: Prof. Xing Ruan, Dean and Guangqi Chair Professor of Architecture, School of Design

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Time: 10:00 - 11:30, November 13, 2020 (Beijing Time)

 Location: CIMC Auditorium (Room 300), JI Long Bin Building

via Zoom (Meeting ID: 67867585307 Password: 4394)


In pre-modern times, architecture in many cultures often was used as a model to imitate human imagining of the universe. Through a cursory examination of a history of this architectural cosmic model in Europe and China, we see an extraordinary divergence of human attitudes towards space, time and our planet earth. The solar system and “cloud”, in a mysterious way, seem to represent the above-mentioned divergence as limit versus freedom, which is relevant to our ambitious scientific exploration and technology innovation, as well as the earthbound morality that we humans cannot possibly neglect.


Xing RUAN, PhD, is Founding Dean and Guangqi Chair Professor of Architecture at School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is a member of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Academic Committee. Xing joined UNSW Sydney as Professor of Architecture in 2004. He was Associate Dean International (2015-2018). Xing was Director of Architecture (2014-2016), Chair of Architecture Discipline and Director of Master of Architecture (2005-2009). Prior to his appointment to UNSW, he was Head of School of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney (2002-2004). In 2019, he was the curator of Shanghai Urban Space Art Season biennale.

Xing has published on a cultural history of housing, architecture and anthropology, vernacular architecture, architectural education, Louis Kahn and modern architecture, China’s pre-modern, modern and contemporary architecture, as well as Australian contemporary architecture. The titles of his books include: Fusheng Jianzhu [ Floating Life and Architecture 浮生·建筑] , 2020 ; Allegorical Architecture, 2006; New China Architecture, 2006; Hand and Mind,2018; Topophilia and Topophobia, 2007. His books have received critical acclaim and enthusiastic appraisal both in academic journals and from some mainstream media outlets around the world.

Xing’s essays have appeared in leading academic and literary journals, such as JSAH (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians), Jianzhu shi [The Architect 建筑师] and Wenhui Xueren of Wenhui Ribao [Wenhui Scholar of Wenhui Daily 文汇学人, 文汇日报]. Xing is co-editor, with Ronald Knapp, of the book series Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture published by the University of Hawai’i Press, with published titles encompassing China, Japan, Korea, India and the Middle East. He has also contributed, as a critic, to professional architecture journals in Australia and China.

Xing teaches architectural design, history and theory. He has been invited to give keynote and public lectures at conferences and universities in China, South-East Asia, India, USA, the UK, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia. He also serves as a supervisor for PhD and Master’s research degrees.