The College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University, Shanghai has now launched a groundbreaking non-residential international PhD program in DigitalFUTURES, for which there are no fees. The program looks at all aspects of the digital revolution, including its impact not only on the design and fabrication of buildings, but also on the social and cultural life in our cities.

The PhD program builds upon the DigitalFUTURES program of workshops, exhibitions, conferences and publications established by Philip F. Yuan and Neil Leach in 2011. It also fits in with Dean Li’s vision for the future of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning as a college with an international outlook and with Digital Design as one of its four key areas of research and teaching.

The program is now open for registration. Applications are due by 1 May 2018, and the first summer series of intensive lectures and workshops will begin on 23 June 2018.

The decision to establish the new program stems in part from the limited number of PhD programs in computational design and digital fabrication, compared to the relative proliferation of masters programs around the world. It also stems from the growing expectation for academics to hold PhD degrees. So too, it stems from the need for an affordable route to a PhD degree. But, above all, it stems from the demand for a PhD program that is flexible enough to allow those working in architectural offices or academic institutions to continue their employment while undertaking their PhD research. 

All teaching and written submissions will be in English.


Successful applicants will be eligible for a scholarship to cover all fees. However, students are responsible for covering all their own personal costs (accommodation, transportation, visa etc) incurred in attending summer residential courses, subsequent progress reviews and any other necessary visits


The DigitalFUTURES program is a minimal residency PhD program. Students may be based anywhere in the world for the rest of the year. However, they must attend a series of intensive courses and workshops in Shanghai for approximately 3 weeks over the summer months for each of the first two years. Thereafter students must attend an annual progress review in the summer months.


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