NTNU Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art

Joint activities China – Norway

Picture of a garden in Shanghai

The faculty has had a continuous collaboration with Chinese, academic units in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Nanjing since 1989. The initiating activity was joint master courses with Chinese and European students. Later consultancy work and research projects were brought in, partly supplying the teaching activities, partly as separate work. This has further developed into institutional cooperation such as Joint Research centers.

Thematic foci

  • Sustainable urban development
  • Urban transformation and management of HUBs (Architecture and Anthropology)
  • Sustainable energy in buildings and cities
  • Energy efficien transformation of historic buildings
  • Sustainable housing design
  • Conservation of built heritage
  • User participation


  • China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD)
  • Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU)
  • Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT)
  • South East University (SEU), Nanjing
  • Tsing Hua University (THU), Beijing

On-going activities

Referring to the main topical umbrella: Smart Sustainable Cities, the following on-going projects are relevant.

Joint research Center in Sustainable Energy Shanghai

Partner: SJTU

  • 8 Joint PhD candidates
  • Double degree Master studies
  • Joint research applications and
  • exchange of researchers
  • Summer course 2: Sustainable energy in cities

Participation in JPI Urban Europe/Urban Europe Research Alliance

Partner: China Center for Urban Development
  • Established framework for cooperation on Sustainable Urban Innovation


Partner: THU, XAUAT
  • Joint Master course
  • Established network for joint research

Research on systems- and project-based urban development in XiXian

Partner: XAUAT

Welfare for the elderly integrated in urban development (TSA3)

  • Established network for joint research

Project Ping Yao

Partner: SEU

  • Energy-efficient up-grading of historic villages. Ping Yao district

Project Han Chang’an

Partner: XAUAT
  • Involvement of local stakeholders in a development and conservation of a historic site. Han Chang’an City, Xi’an

Joint Master-courses – Architecture, Conservation and Anthropology

Partner: XAUAT
  • Joint master courses

NTNU PhD studies

  • Wang Yu - A Study of the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction of Taoping Village, a Traditional Qiang Settlement in Sichuan, China
  • Dong Ming - A comparative study of Chinese and North European site museums
  • Wang Yi - Quality of physical environment, quality of life. A study of transformations in livedin historic housing areas
  • Clara Good – Hybrid PV/T systems for energy-efficient buildings

SINO-Norwegian Architecture Forum

Partners: THU and XAUAT
  • Annual arrangement – presentation of contemporary, Chinese and Norwegian Architecture


Sino-Norwegian seminars

August 10-11 2015 NTNU and the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings hosted two Sino-Norwegian seminars on housing for seniors, sustainable built environment and urban development. Programme and presentations.

Why cooperation?

China is well known for its dynamic and fast development towards being a leading economic, global power. From the status of an underdeveloped society, it now is a nation where lifestandard for a big number of the population is substantially improved within a short span of time. The turbulent urbanization and advanced technical development, paired with poverty for another part of the population give serious challenges for professionals and decision-makers; like environmental problems, water shortage, energy needs, cultural contradictions, infrastructural shortcomings, threatened built cultural heritage, etc. Chinese experts have to face all those problems to find adequate solutions, pressing and urgent to another extent than we know in Norway.

On this background a collaboration with Chinese colleagues gives profit, partly by working with problems common for both countries, partly by sharing new scientific and artistic findings. After 25 years of practicing joint research, consultancy work and teaching in China, one particular experience should be emphasized: Chinese and Norwegian conditions have so many conspicuous differences that working with Chinese colleagues implicates unavoidable needs to reflect on and sometimes revise one’s own set of values, work methods and approach to problems. Inestimable for professionals and scholars.

Short- and long-term strategies

Enforcing the collaboration with our Chinese partners under the common umbrella Smart Sustainable Cities referring to NTNU’s three strategic thematic areas Energy, Health and Sustainability - by

  • Developing and extending on-going projects
  • Linking and formatting on-going projects to create robust programs
  • Cooperating with external, national and European partners for research and teaching programs and
  • projects
  • Development of cooperation on laboratories and infrastructure
  • Establishing a Joint Research Center on Sustainable Urban development with Chinese partners

NTNUs Strategic Areas