Creative Cities Through Design Thinking: Taiwan's Cultural Heritage as a Point of Departure

European Research Institute, G51, University of Birmingham
Tuesday 17 October 2017 (18:30-19:30)

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To accompany the Exhibition 'The Cultural Heritage of Taiwan: Diversity and Transformation' , three lectures offer reflections upon different aspects of Taiwan’s Cultural Heritage. The first lecture, detailed below, will take place as part of the exhibition opening on 17th October. 

Creative Cities Through Design Thinking: Taiwan’s Cultural Heritage as a Point of Departure

Professor Shuenn-Ren Liou, Vice Dean, College of Planning and Design
National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

European Research Institute, G51, University of Birmingham

This lecture addresses the ideas and practices of Creative Cities through design thinking in Taiwan. Taking the Cities of Taipei and Tainan as examples, the development of Creative Cities in Taiwan is outlined, noting that design thinking was employed to construct the vision and enhance the practice of Taipei City as the World Design Capital in 2016. The experience gained in Tainan City – the cultural capital of Taiwan - through the work of National Cheng Kung University is examined. Tainan takes its cultural heritage as a point of departure for urban innovation and regeneration. Two flagship projects - Tainan Cultural Creative Boulevard Action Forum and Tainan Creative Industries Action Forum - are examined in detail.


Prof. Shuenn-Ren Liou, D.Arch

Shuenn-Ren Liou is Professor at the Department of Architecture, Vice Dean of the College of Planning and Design, and CEO of C-Hub at National Chung Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan. Prof. Liou received his B.S. in Architecture from NCKU, M.Arch (with High Distinction) and D.Arch from the University of Michigan, USA, where he was also awarded the Henry Adams Medal and Certificate from the American Institute of Architects, USA. Prof. Liou was Chairman of the Graduate Institute of Creative Industries Design, NCKU from 2014 to 2017, Dean of the Office of International Education and Programs from 2008 to 2012, and the Chairman of the Department of Architecture from 2004 to 2007, Tunghai University, Taiwan. He received “Outstanding Teaching Award” and “Creative Teaching Award” from Tunghai University.

Prof. Liou’s academic specialty includes Architectural Design and Urbanism, Architectural Morphology, Design Methodology and Theories. He participated in, for many years, planning and facilitating the “Art Network of Railway Warehouses” which sparked the trend of repurposing unused spaces in Taiwan. Ever since the Taichung Stock20 formally opened in 2000, railway warehouses in six locations, including Chiayi, Fangliao, Taitung, Hsinchu, and Hualien, were gradually renovated into public artistic spaces, allowing them to become a different type of model for the renewal of urban fringes and ruins.

Prof. Liou was the curator of the architectural exhibition “Urban Faces” of Taiwan Avant-Garde Documenta III in 2006, and Taichung City Exhibition on Urban Life and Architecture in 2008. His studio teaching work on “Taiwan Strait Atlas” was invited for exhibition at Shenzhen-Hong Kong Biennale 2007. Prof. Liou was also the organizer of a number of significant international conferences, workshops, and exhibitions, including “Asian Reality 2005” and “Asian Reality 2008”; “Verner Panton in Taiwan” (2007). He is the editor and author of the following books: “Taiwan Railway Classical Stations Review,” (2001) “Taiwan Railway Historic Stations Review,” (2006) “Climate Change Urbanism,” (2010) “Urban Incubator: the Garden and the Factory” (2012), and “Álvaro Siza in Asia.” (2014)

Prof. Liou was invited to be on the jury committee of many esteemed architectural awards and competitions. Notable among them were National Culture and Art Award (2007, 2008, 2011, 2015, 2017), Far East Outstanding Architectural Design Award (2005, 2007), Taiwan Architecture Award (2005, 2017), and Taiwan Tower International Competition (2011). He currently serves as a member of the “Settlement and Cultural Landscape Commission” of the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (2012-present), a member of the “Tainan Historic District Revitalization Commission” of the Tainan City Government (2012-present), an advisory committee member of the “Taichung City Museum Preparatory Commission” (2014), and the board member of the XueXue Cultural Creative Foundation (2007-present). Prof. Liou was also invited to join the editorial board (2006-present) of the International Journal of Design (IJDesign) (SSCI SCI, A&HCI) and serve as the architecture editor-in-chief (2007-present) for the Journal of Design.

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