Workshop on integrated and sustainable design for school buildings

In September 2017 I was invited to participate at the GENIUS Integrated Design Workshop, in Shanghai. One and a half days of experience exchange with architects, project planners and school headmasters from China and Germany about how and to what end to create sustainable schools.

Particularly inspiring was a session were we tested the Negotiating Game for School Development. The German Architecture Studio Baupiloten has thought up this game to aid in the design process. Playing it with clients and future users of schools gives them a voice in the design process. Architects can identify user concerns and preferences. The game was complemented by a budget plan designed by Dr. Dirk Schwede where the same groups had to negotiate how much percent of a fixed project budget they wanted to allocate on items on lighting, heating and ventilation, healthy and environmentally sustainable finishing, etc. The budget was tight so it was necessary to compromise.

During the workshop, interviews with the participants were recorded to capture opinions about what integrated design means. Watch what I had to say here.

GENIUS is part of the BMBF campaign “Building the City of Tomorrow” ( and is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The project has the objective to create awareness among decision makers, practitioners and other stakeholders for the value of an effective design and project preparation phase in designing and planning projects with sustainable building objectives. The project workshop as conceptualized and organized by University of Stuttgart, Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (Dr. Dirk Schwede) and Constellations International (Magali Menant).

Read more about GENIUS here: