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RGU students to travel to Japan as part of international design competition

A team of architecture students from Robert Gordon University (RGU) will travel to Japan as part of an international competition to design and present their vision of an urban development in Shanghai.

The RGU team – ArchX, under the guidance of lecturer Dr Amar Bennadji, is made up of Krzysztof Kalita, Joe Inman, Viola Koenigs and Karolina Przynarowska who have worked on the project for 7 months and got through to the third stage of the eighth Virtual Design World Cup competition.

The task was to design an innovative urban sharable system within the city using BIM (Building Information Modelling), CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies.

The RGU team designed the ‘Shifting Tower’ with an integrated app, which provides modern and affordable offices, utilities and a communal space for the business society in the centre of the bustling metropolis.

The office building employs sustainable technologies like water-based cooling system from the sea, green energy floor tiles and solar panels which aim to limit the building’s carbon dioxide footprint and create a healthier environment for inhabitants of Shanghai.

Krzysztof commented: “Tasked with designing a broadly defined ‘shareable urban system for future Shanghai’ we developed a project of an office complex which could host and provide various facilities to Shanghai’s upcoming businessmen and start-up companies.

“Inspired by the technological developments of Shanghai in recent years we decided to implement an integrated phone app into our design which would feed of the IoT (Internet of Things) network binding all areas of the complex and provide people working in the building with extensive control over all services in their office as well as access to a social networking platform, company’s database and different rental services.

“After reviewing our project, competition organisers, Forum 8, granted us an invitation to Tokyo to present our work during a final hearing and hopefully award us with one of the prizes.”

“Forum 8 is a Japanese company specialised in the development of software and hardware, initially for driving simulators but developed since to cover various aspects of the built environment.”

“Thanks to support from the university and RGU’s ‘57°10°’ architectural society we were able to fund our tickets and all four of us will travel to Japan’s capital next month.”

Dr Bennadji added: “The school has taken part in this competition for years but our teams have only managed to make it to this stage only once in the past.

“I’m proud of our dedicated students, who worked hard in this project and managed to integrate High Tech, including smart technologies and visualisation despite their early stage in architectural studies.

“The site for the development is in Shanghai where the Air Quality Index (AQI) is 171 while, by comparison, the centre of Aberdeen registered today an AQI only 7. The team confirmed a vision of a ‘future sustainable world’ with the hope that its idea of a sustainable and technological contemporary building will inspire Shanghai’s future development vision.

“We are happy that RGU has secured a place as finalist amongst many countries. I wish the team all the best to succeed in the last step and secure further recognition.”

A number of prizes will be awarded in Tokyo during the special ceremony in November, with a top prize of 300.000 yen.