Shanghai Transitions


** Selected for the Architecture, Design, Art Film Festival 2020, Palm Springs, USA
** Selected for Better Cities Film Festival in Detroit, USA (2020).

There are quite a few changes coming to citizens everywhere in the world. Cities become bigger, higher, more dense and smarter.

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, and has undergone a gigantic metamorphosis in recent years. A lot is broken down and a lot has been built. Things are going wrong, but there is also a lot of beauty to see.

Three Dutch architects living in Shanghai tell each in their own way how they look at the transitions of this mega city. Not from a theory, but from their daily experiences as citizens.

Watch the trailer here!

Stills from Shanghai Transitions

With Tjerk Reijenga, Harry den Hartog & Joost van den Hoek

In China | Dutch Architects In China

In China | 5 Part series about Dutch Architects In China

Series of 5 short Architecture Videos about Dutch architects working in China, made for ArchiNed, supported bij stimuleringsfonds.
All video’s are subtitled in English, click the CC button to enable.

In China | Tianjin | MVRDV

This episode features Martine Vledder from MVRDV in Tianjin. MVRDV Designed part of this urban project, the other 2/3 seems to be a copy… And how do Chinese adapt the style of their facade to local taste? (Click CC in player for English subtitles)

In China | Guangzhou | Mark Hemel

Information Based Architecture is a small Dutch architecture office that built one of the biggest towers in the world, the 600m Canton Tower in Guangzhou. How was the building influenced by the Chinese client? Mark Hemel explains in the tower how the design was so complicated that it could not be changed, and how important the story was for winning the competition.

In China | Beijing | NEXT architects (John van de Water)

John van de Water visits a sales point of one of his projects on a building site. The model of the new built area is quite spectacular. The sales are going quite well. Being close to IKEA is a big selling point. (Click CC button in player for English subtitles)

In China | Kunming | BEAR-iD

BEAR-iD in Kunming. The assignment was to make an eco-friendly building, but did it work out? What about eco-friendly building in China in general? And how does Feng Shui influence the design. (Click CC in player for English subtitles)

In China | Shanghai | After “World Expo 2010”

A report with Harry Den Hartog (of Urban Language) about the World Expo area, two years after the event. The Italians are taking over the area, and even had a bit of the Dutch Pavilion cut off. (Click CC in player for English subtitles)

Urbanisation in China; happiness is seen everywhere

Urbanisation in China; Happiness is seen everywhere



* Full version now available online!

A Journey of Wonder in Shanghai
In China urbanisation is at full pace. New neighborhoods and cities emerge faster than ever before. The inhabitants, often coming from small villages or demolished areas in the city centres, find a new social context in the new cities. The apartments are better than what they were used to, but do they feel at home there? Do the new cities meet their inhabitants’ expectations?

The ‘new rich’ can afford to buy a house in a new themed suburb. But the city centres of Thames Town or Holland Village look empty. These areas seem to be used mainly by frantic newlyweds searching the perfect surrounding for their wedding pictures.

Urbanisation In China: Happiness Is Seen Everywhere provides a background and context for the Chinese urbanisation and specifically lets the inhabitants speak. It is not a romantic picture of pretty old houses and alleys, but shows real situations and open often surprising views in modern China.

  • A jury of film critics and architects have awarded the film as “Best Documentary” at “The International Istanbul Architecture And Urbanism Film Festival” 2011. (translated as Çin’de kentleşme: Mutluluk Her Yerde). The prize consists of a statue and a cash prize of 4000 euro.
  • Screened on film festivals in (a.o.) Shanghai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Seoul and the Netherlands.
  • Released on DVD, published by Architectura & Natura
  • Camera, production, editing
  • DVD and Full-HD MP4
  • Supported by the Netherlands Architecture Fund
  • In cooperation with Urban Language
  • Extra on the DVD: 16 MM Mao Man

Urbanisation in China; happiness is seen everywhere (DVD cover)

News items:

  • November 2012: Urbanisation in China is translated into Korean in order to be screened on the Seoul International Architecture Film Festival, Nov.8th / 14th 2012.
  • September 2012: Urbanisation in China will be screened on saturday 22 september 2012 in Frankfurt on the China in Motion Festival . I will do a Q&A after the screening.
  • October 2011: “Urbanisation in China” has been selected by a jury of film critics, directors and architects as best documentary at the Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Film Festival.
  • The screening of “Urbanisation in China” will be the final act of the Chinese Triptych exhibition @ Casla architecture institute, Almere. June 15, 8 pm. Free admission. See the website for details. 
  • The film has been screened at the MiNi Film Festival in Shanghai (April 23 & 24, Dutch Design Workspace). Interviews and articles in Time Out Shanghai, Global Times, Smart Shanghai and Creative Hunt.
    Thanks to all people who came to this great mini festival, the cinema room was just overcrowded. Special thanks to the people asking smart questions at the Q&A!
  • The DVD is “Book” of the month April at ArchiNed.
  • Screening in CASLA architecture centre (almere) during exhibition Chinees Drieluik: De alledaagse, Netwerk en Groene Newtown. From april 8 – june 20.
  • Radio interview CRTV about the film. Available as podcast.
  • Presentation of the DVD in Architectura & Natura, Amsterdam (3-3-2011). The DVD is for sale now!
  • A preview of the documentary was shown at the presentation of the book “Shanghai New Towns” (Harry den Hartog)(nov 30, 2010).


english / chinese – ISBN 978-94-614001-5-4
60 minutes
extra on the DVD: 16 MM Mao Man (short doc)

Send an email for more information (contact details on the right)

Het Nieuwe Werken | DUS architects

Het Nieuwe Werken | DUS architects

[sc:CHINALINK vid=”archined-dus”]

Interview with Hedwig Heinsman and Hans Vermeulen of DUS architects (in Dutch only). Part of the series “Het nieuwe werken” (the new working methods) made in cooperation with ArchiNed. DUS Architects are known for their temporary buildings but explain here they do a lot more. They are planning to construct a  full-scale Dutch canal house with a 3D printer.

  • Camera, editing
  • Visit DUS Architects website
  • Volkskrant article about the plans for printing a 3D canal house: [download id=”50″ format=”3″]

Het Nieuwe Werken | Studio Roosegaarde

Het Nieuwe Werken | Studio Roosegaarde

(in dutch)

Interview with Daan Roosegaarde of Studio Roosegaarde. Part of the series “Het nieuwe werken” (the new working methods) made in cooperation with ArchiNed. In this interview Daan talks about Architecture, techno-landscapes, hacking reality, the importance of keeping everything in your own hand and he calls all architects to stop designing and start connecting.

See also the MOSA Discussions registration with Daan Roosegaarde.

“In a world shifting between the analog and the digital, Studio Roosegaarde creates interactive designs that explore the dynamic relation between space, people, and technology. The studio develops its own technology and is internationally known for interactive projects such as Dune, Intimacy and Smart Highway.

Studio Roosegaarde is the social design lab of artist Daan Roosegaarde with his team of designers and engineers. By creating interactive designs that instinctively respond to sound and movement, Roosegaarde explores the dawn of a new nature that is evolving from technological innovations.

  • Camera, editing

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad (progress of the city)

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad (progress of the city)

This series is in Dutch.

Made with ArchiNed en NAi / Bureau Europa

ArchiTV discusses the progress of Maastricht with local experts Wim van den Bergh, Jake Wiersma, Fred Humble and Tim Prins. They give their vision on the future of Maastricht.

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad – Interview Tim Prins (P-EN-M)

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad – Interview Wim van den Berg

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad – Interview Jake Wiersma

NAi | ArchiNed | De Stand van de Stad – Interview Fred Humble

Het Nieuwe Werken | RobArch

Het Nieuwe Werken | RobArch

[sc:CHINALINK vid=”het-nieuwe-werken-robarch”]

Interview with Jelle Feringa (in Dutch only). Part of the series “Het nieuwe werken” (the new working methods) made in cooperation with ArchiNed. RobArc are experimenting with using robots for building, either to make building blocks or moulds for building blocks.

The Restoration of Castle Loenersloot

The Restoration of Castle Loenersloot

[sc:CHINALINK vid=”loenersloot”]

Craftsmen are followed during their work restoring this castle with a history dating back to the 13th century. An introduction to the castle from the old state to the renewed. (Dutch language)

From spring the castle will be opened for guided tours. For more information check (in Dutch)

De Restauratie van Kasteel Loenersloot DVD