History

DigitalFUTURES was inaugurated in 2011 as a series of summer workshops, a conference and exhibition organised initially by the American Academy in China and hosted by Tongji University, Shanghai. Over the years, however, it began to grow, and spawned a series of book publications, a peer reviewed journal and an international PhD program. 

In the summer of 2020 it grew substantially into a global online festival of 80 workshops and 50 talks, attracting over 12,000 applications. It has since evolved into a permanent online international platform, hosting a weekly series of thematic panel discussions, keynote lectures and student presentations, live-streamed across the globe, and regularly attracting several thousand viewers. All sessions are uploaded on the DigitalFUTURES World playlists at DigitalFUTURES World Talks Series playlists and the Workshop Exhibition playlist. The summer events still remain a central focus of the initiative, however, with Shanghai remaining an important node in what has now become a global network. 

Recent Festivals

Over 2 years ago we launched DigitalFUTURES World, an online festival of free architectural workshops and talks. At the height of the pandemic, we called upon architects and instructors around the world to come together in a spirit of solidarity for the benefit of students across the globe. The result was an outstanding success. We hosted workshops and talks, and received over applications from across the globe. With DigitalFUTURES World we felt that we had managed to break through the walls of the classroom, and opened up an extraordinary new domain where educational ideas could be disseminated for free. Moreover, we realised that we could use our online platform to reach students in even the most economically underprivileged parts of the world. 

Our past workshops have covered topics including AI, AR/VR, Bio Design, Computational Design, Data Visualization, Inclusivity, Interaction Design, Material Studies, Performative Design, Fabrication, Theory, Urban Design, Space Architecture, Design Fictions, and Neuro Design. They were held in the following languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Farsi, Turkish, Bangla and Bahasi Indonesian.