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Francesco Rossini

Francesco Rossini is an architect and urban designer and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Columbia GSAPP’s Urban Planning program. Since 2013, he is also an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). At CUHK, Francesco contributes to teaching in both the Undergraduate and Master programs, and over the years he has developed a comprehensive approach where research, teaching, and design are mutually related and interconnected.

Francesco graduated with honors from the faculty of Architecture of University of Napoli Federico II obtaining a master’s degree in architecture. In 2014, he completed (cum laude) his Ph.D. in Urbanism from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona Tech UPC), where he explored the role of public spaces in private developments in Hong Kong. During his doctoral studies, he was awarded a grant by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Spain. Before joining CUHK, Francesco Rossini has participated in different research programs, collaborating with the University of Napoli Federico II, Politecnico di Milano, Barcelona Tech UPC, and Tongji University in Shanghai.

At CUHK, Francesco is currently working on the establishment of urban design guidelines to enhance the spatial and social conditions of Hong Kong’s open spaces in old urban areas; his work focuses on the relationship between formal and informal urban processes and how the spontaneity of informal spaces can be coded and injected into dysfunctional spaces generated by rigid, top-down planning approaches. In the last five years, he realized different placemaking interventions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila exploring how temporary urban actions influence the behavior of the people by provoking new social interactions. In line with his primary research interest, Francesco started to explore the strategic role of public spaces in the revitalization processes of rapid urbanization in Southeast Asia. His latest project “Mapping the Informality” focuses on the incremental implementation of the social infrastructure in formurban prototypes in the informal district of BaSECo in Manila. This project aims to produce a noteworthy impact in the context of the Philippines and other emerging Asian countries by emphasizing a novel contribution to the upgrading of informal settlement.

His work has given rise to a series of publications, journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, installations, and international exhibitions including the Venice Architecture Biennale (2006), the Tianjin Design Week in China (2015, 2017, 2019), the Placemaking Week in Amsterdam (2017), the Singapore Urban design festival (2018), the World Urban Forum 9 in Kuala Lumpur (2019), and the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong (2018, 2019). Recently, the project “What’s the Potential of 1m3? A Temporary Placemaking Project in Hong Kong” won the Grand Award for Research 2019 from the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD).

In addition to his research and teaching activities, over the last 20 years, he gained considerable professional experience working for numerous International practices in Italy, Spain, and China realizing projects related to architecture and urban design. Francesco is also the founder of UrbanactionsHK, a not-for-profit organization that has the objective of promoting the use of public space in the community with thematic workshops, educational projects, and research studies. Since 2017, he is an active member of the Placemaking Europe network and since 2018, a member of the HKIUD. More recently, he became regional leader in Hong Kong of the global platform PlacemakingX. He is currently the coordinator of the Erasmus Plus Program at CUHK, an international mobility scheme in partnership with the Politecnico di Milano.

Recent publications:
Rossini, F., (2018). Temporary urban intervention in the Vertical City: A placemaking project to re-activate the public spaces in Hong Kong. Journal of Urban Design, 24(2), 305-323. doi:10.1080/13574809.2018.1507674

Rossini, F. (2018). Seeds of Architectures and Public Spaces: Placemaking Interventions in Asian Cities. EDA Esempi di Architettura, 5(2), 143-152.

Rossini, F., Roca, E & Harris, S. (2018). The Notion of Ground: A Definition of Urban Permeability in Hong Kong and Barcelona. ACE Journal: Architecture, City and Environment. 13(38), 211-234. doi: 10.5821/ace.13.38.5432


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla6911‑3 Spring 2020
Milan Studio
Weiping Wu, Francesco Rossini
W 3 PM - 7 PM
6 Points
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