architecture, art, landscape architecture, and urban & regional planning
This is an intense travel and study experience in the China, a giant of development showcasing extreme examples of design. Come an experience the controversies of an upcoming super power through a shocking view at 5,000 years of history in cities like Beijing in sharp contrast with modern cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Live in North China University of Technology and work and travel with Chinese faculty and students in this award-winning program led by Cal Poly Faculty. See some of the largest and most populated cities in the world. Experience a political ideal in this, the largest communist country. Only in China can you experience the contrasts and controversies of a country rapidly changing as it seeks to balance modernity and tradition.

Open to students from All Students from the School of Environmental Design: 
Architecture, Art, Landscape Architecture and 
Urban and Regional Planning 
(this program welcomes applications from students in other universities, please inquire to Professor Irma Ramirez at

PROGRAM DATES: June 30 -July 30, 2014
Lead Faculty:
     Professor Irma Ramirez (ARC),
     Professor Gwen Urey (URP),
     Professor Andy Wilcox (L.ARC),

to apply submit:
1. Application Form (click here)
2. Two Letters of Recommendation (click here)
Turn in applications to:
ARCHITECTURE- Department Office 7-210  
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE - Department Office 7-222
URP - Department Office 7-224 

PROGRAM FEES (total approx. $8600. see breakdown below)
$2600 approx. program cost includes
  §  Lodging in dorm facilities living on campus at North China University of Technology
§  Food at on-campus cafeterias and restaurants and while on overnight tours. (note that there are approximately 5 days when food will not be covered to allow you time to explore surroundings during trips).  
§  All trip/tours admission
Transportation to schedules sites/tours (overnight trains to multi-day tours, and tour buses). All scheduled activities and tours within the Beijing region, the Shanxi province tour, and Hong Kong region tour; as well as round trip train fares to major cities. 
§  Visa
§  5 week international medical insurance
$1600 approx. LAX-Beijing Round trip airfare
$3800 Cal Poly Summer for Tuition Undergraduates. $4100 for graduate students

COURSEWORK (14 UNITS TOTAL): Students enroll in all three courses below.

1)      URBAN DESIGN STUDIO (6 unit, lab)
Credit for one topic studio. You may apply this credit to a topic studio during your 4th year of studies, or during your 5th year. This program puts you ahead! If you use the credit towards a 5th year topic studio, you will be able to focus only on senior project during your fifth year. 

Credit for a topic studio, ARC 601/L or ARC 602/L

Credit from this program may be used to satisfy elective requirements. Contact Prof. Irma Ramirez for more info. 
Credit for URP 400, 498,498L – petition upon return

May apply to receive credit for URP 641 and URP 642 upon return by making a presentation to URP faculty. Consult with Professor Gwen Urey.

Successful completion of the China Program with a grade of B or better in all courses can be used for credit towards Asian Gardens History, Senior Seminar, Senior Project, Directed Electives, and is a basis to petition an Upper Division Topic Studio by portfolio review.  Consult Professor Andy Wilcox 

2)   Chinese Cities and Gardens (4 units -Upper Division Elective)
All Disciplines – credit for professional elective (499)
3)   Chinese Architecture, Landscape, and Planning Practices (4 units -Upper Division Elective)
All Disciplines – credit for professional elective (499)

Undergraduate students currently in the 3rd or 4th year and Graduate students currently in their 2nd year of studies.

Consult Professor Andy Wilcox to verify how credit will be granted.

Students in the 3rd and 4th year have priority. 1st and 2nd year students are encouraged to apply.

Consult with your department advisor for credit and with Professor Irma Ramirez,

China is a setting of social, cultural, political, and economic extremes. The country’s delicate and fragile urban structure has the potential to thrive in its world influence or to break a key balance between people and government, history and tradition, nature and progress, and economic growth and market collapse. The ENV China program is structured to give students a vision of themselves as key players and contributors to the solutions that will shape our world in a time of critical transnational ties and challenges.

Classroom Pedagogy and the Planning and Design Process
The collaborative process is explored though an intensive and demanding classroom/travel experience that begins at home at Calpoly Pomona prior to departure and continues through the program, and post program completion.

Cultural preparation is performed through pre-trip research on Chinese history, culture and planning practices, and interdisciplinary team-building exercises. Reflection methods during the program rely on individual expressions through graphic and verbal “sketches” on journals/sketchbooks created on-site during extensive China travels, and the development of project blogs.

The project topics are explored through site analysis projects conducted in collaboration with Chinese partners to perform date acquisition and extensive sidewalk surveying. Students lead a citizen participation component by developing surveys, interviewing community residents, and inviting community to become civically engaged citizens. In the classroom, students work in multidisciplinary teams that immerse themselves into an intensive and invigorating process of great visions, compromise, and deep ethical reflections. Guest speakers and site visits expose students to the social, political, legal, and economic contexts that shape the design and development of buildings and urban settings in China.

Resources, Collaborators and Partnerships of the program consist of Chinese faculty and students, government agencies and local planning and architectural firms. The collaboration with North China University of Technology facilitates contact local advocacy groups that lead to recorded interviews with activist preservation planners.

Among the companies that have opened their doors to our program are global companies like ARUP construction and AECOM (firm with departments of urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering), and Zaha Hadid Architects. Other agencies sharing their expertise with us are the Beijing Department of Urban Planning, the American Planning Association in Shanghai, The China Academy of Urban Planning and Design; and the Los Angeles Times Beijing Bureau correspondent David Pierson among others.

Results and Program Honors
This interdisciplinary experience exposes students to non-western canons of cultural, professional, and academic traditions. The program encourages students to become socially responsible professionals as they work on real-world design projects in a foreign context. These are mutually beneficial encounters as parties share ideas about the roles of architects, landscape architects, and planners in the west and the newly developing east. In addition, since our program inception, North China University of Technology has started an urban studies program stemming from lessons of our collaboration and with Calpoly faculty as advisors. For the students, lessons learned and evidence of success is displayed by the comprehensive nature of the final report, student reflection papers, and distinguished recognition of regional and state awards at home by the American Planning Association Los Angeles Chapter and California Chapter.

The result of the class project is serving our local partners to dialogue with city officials on out-of-the-box thinking. Since our collaboration, the Fayuan Temple hutong area that was slated for demolition is currently under further review and demolition plans have been halted.

Program Honors
 Environmental Design Research Association
June 2012

American Institute of Certified Planners
February 2012

American Planning Association California State Award
August 2011

American Planning Association Los Angeles Section
June 2011