Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Students Present at CTBUH 2017 International Conference

Twelve Illinois Tech students traveled to Sydney last month as part of the CTBUH 2017 International Conference, “Connecting the City: People, Density and Infrastructure.” The trip, kindly funded by CTBUH and AECOM, was part of the design research studio “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050,” taught by Peng Du, Illinois Tech visiting assistant professor and CTBUH academic coordinator, and Antony Wood, Illinois Tech research professor and CTBUH executive director.


This week-long trip provided students with unprecedented opportunities to participate in lectures, workshops, networking receptions, and urban and tall building tours in a region that offers a global example of the competing pressures highlighted in this course – density vs. suburbanization; modernity vs. historical preservation; infrastructure vs. urban life; the high- vs. low-rise realms – with many examples of excellent urban planning, infrastructure, and tall building design, along with many examples that are inadequate.

Additionally, students participated in a studio interim review meeting with global leaders at AECOM, as a special session of the Conference coordinated by Du.


Students present their work and receive critiques from AECOM leaders.

Upon their return to United States, the students will further develop their design proposals. Their final review will take place in December at S. R. Crown Hall.

As a two-semester-long Cloud Studio, the first semester is focused on addressing sustainability and resiliency in urban environments from the context of accelerating urbanism and climate change, utilizing research and experimental designs in order to recommend where future cities should be located and how they should be planned. Students will continue working during the second semester to develop their urban vision in more detail (at a community/block scale), and specifically to develop the design of one tall building or a cluster of tall buildings within the vision to an advanced level. AECOM will continue supporting the studio throughout the year through a variety of capacities, such as reviews, lectures, tutorials, etc.


The group poses for a photo at the main venue of the CTBUH 2017 International Conference located adjacent to Sydney’s Darling Harbour.