2023 Edition


Shaping the City Forum
15-16 October 2021
Palazzo Michiel

Shaping the City: A Forum for Sustainable Cities and Communities is a forum organised by the European Cultural Centre in context of the ECC Venice Architecture Biennial 2021 titled Time, Space, Existence.

Following the success of the first edition of the Shaping the City in Venice in 2018, the Second Edition is scheduled to take place on 15 and 16 of October 2021 in the iconic Palazzo Michiel in Venice, Italy. 

Shaping the City tackles contemporary urbanisation and key issues in the city, presented and debated through the perspectives of a group of academics, urban planners and designers, architects, policy makers, and scholars.


Through diverse presentations and panel discussions, the forum confronts the fundamental topics shaping the cities in the world. The conversations are structured in a way to portray an array of international perspectives about urbanism and architecture. The dialogues and exchanges are tailored around four main subthemes: 

  • Architecture for the People 
  • Re-imagining the City
  • Architecture Technology and Construction
  • Climate Change adaptation and Resilient Cities.

The evolving discussions over two days recognize the significant role urban planning and design plays in molding the interaction of people with their cities and their wellbeing. The forum sets forward new thoughts around the rights to the city, through a spatial, pragmatic, yet inclusive and sustainable approach. Shaping the City 2021 looks to tackle these themes in dialogue with Venice: The historic city with its lagoon presents an emblematic lieu to experience the rising global issues of climate change, resiliency, urban space and people’s movements.


Session 1 | 15 October 2021
Palazzo Michiel

9.30am – 10.00am 
Registration + Coffee

10.00am – 10.10am
Welcoming Note & Introduction by ECC Team

10.10am – 10.50am 
Keynote Talk by Walter Mariotti (Domus Editorial Director)

10.50am – 12.50pm
Session 1 – Re-Imagining the City
Moderator: Allen Sayegh (Harvard University – Real Lab)

  • Presentation 1 – Stefano Andreani (REAL Lab – Harvard University)
  • Presentation 2 – Apostolos Kyriazis and Nadia Mounajjed (Abu Dhabi University)
  • Presentation 3 – Ulrich Gehmann (Ideal Spaces x National Pavilion of Italy Venice 2021)
  • Presentation 4 – Pia Fricker (Aalto University)
  • Presentation 5 – Divina Abou Jaoude (Order of Architects and Engineers)
  • Panel discussion led by Allen Sayegh – Including questions and wrap up
  • Session 1 Conclusion

1.00pm – 2.00pm
Lunch Break

2.00pm – 2.30pm 
Registration + Coffee    

2.30pm – 2.40pm
Welcome note – ECC Team

2.40pm – 5.30pm
Session 2 – Climate Change and Resilient Cities
Moderator: Francesco Musco (Università IUAV di Venezia)

  • Presentation 1 – Terri Dreyer + Ian Dreyer (NANO – New Orleans)
  • Presentation 2 – Kristina Knauf (MVRDV)
  • Presentation 3 – Belen Desmaison (University College London UCL Bartlett + Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru)
  • Presentation 4 – Ilaria Giuliani (Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, Milan Municipality)
  • Presentation 5 – Rick Schneider (Washington DC + IStudio + Virginia Tech)
  • Panel discussion with Francesco Musco – Including questions and wrap up
  • Session 2 Conclusion

5.30pm – 5.40pm
Closing Note by ECC Team

Aperitivo at Palazzo Mora

Session 2 | 16 October 2021
Palazzo Michiel

9.30am – 10.00am 
Registration + Coffee

10.00am – 10.10am
Welcome note – ECC Team

10:10am – 10:20
Stephen Lamb (nonCrete) Video

10.20am – 12.50pm
Session 3 – Building through Technology
(Materials for Future Cities)

Moderator: Mariana Popescu (TU Delft)

  • Presentation 1 – Marirena Kladeftira (ETH Zurich Digital Building Technologies)
  • Presentation 2 – Thomas Schroepfer (Future Cities Lab – Singapore University of Technology and Design)
  • Presentation 3 – David Andreen & Ana Goidea (Lund University)
  • Presentation 4 –Fabian Luttropp (TU Darmstadt)
  • Panel discussion with Marian Popescu – Including questions and wrap up
  • Session 3 Conclusion

1.00pm – 2.00pm
Lunch Break

2.00pm – 2.30pm 
Registration + Coffee    

2.30pm – 2.40pm
Welcome note – ECC Team + Announcement of Shaping the City Chicago

2.40pm – 5.30pm
Session 4 – Architecture for the People
Moderator: Petra Kempf (Washington University at St Louis)

  • Presentation 1 – Håvard Breivik-Khan (Oslo School of Architecture – In-Transit Studio)
  • Presentation 2 – Javier Arpa Fernandez (The Why Factory + TU Delft)
  • Presentation 3 – Philippines Pavilion (curators Alexander Eriksson Furunes and Sudarshan Khadka)
  • Presentation 4 – Daniel Blum (Itten+Brechbühl AG, Basel, Switzerland)
  • Panel discussion with Petra Kempf – Including questions and wrap up
  • Conclusion and Wrap up (ECC Team)

5.30pm – 5.50pm
Closing Speech by Javier Arpa Fernandez

5.50pm – 6.00pm
Thank you + Closing Note by ECC Team

Aperitivo at Palazzo Mora


Petra Kempf

Assistant Professor
Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Loui

Rick Harlan Schneider, FAIA

Founder + Principal
ISTUDIO Architects

Terri Dreyer, AIA, LSBID Ian Dreyer, AIA, NCARB

Co-Owners and Founding Partners
NANO Architecture | Interiors

Pia Fricker

Prof. Dr., Vice Head of Department of Architecture
Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Apostolos Kyriazis

Assistant Professor
Abu Dhabi University

Nadia Mounajjed

Assistant Professor
Abu Dhabi University

Wael Al Awar

Principal Architect / Curator
waiwai / National Pavilion of the UAE

Belen Desmaison

Architect and Researcher
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Thomas Schroepfer

Professor and Director
Singapore University of Technology and Design

Daniel O. R. Blum

Dipl. Architect ETH

Marirena Kladeftira

Architect, Doctoral Candidate
ETH Zurich

David Andréen

Senior Lecturer, Architect
Lund University, bioDigital Matter research group

Ana Goidea

PhD Student / Architect
Lund University, bioDigital Matter research group

Francesco Musco

Professor and Head of Planning and Climate Change Lab
Università IUAV di Venezia

Walter Mariotti

Editor in Chief
Domus Magazine

Stephen Lamb


Stefano Andreani

Lecturer in Architecture

Harvard University Graduate School of Design – REAL Lab

Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. & Alexander Eriksson Furunes

Khadka + Eriksson Furunes

Håvard Breivik-Khan

The In Transit Studio at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)

Divina Abou Jaoude

Architect – Assistant Professor – Head of the architect branch
The Order of Engineers and Architects OEABeirut – Lebanese University

Ilaria Giuliani

Phd and Deputy Chief Resilience Officer 
Municipality of Milan

Ulrich Gehmann

Head of Ideal Spaces Working Group
Ideal Spaces Working Group

Kristina Knauf

Associate, Project Leader, Architect

Allen Sayegh

Associate Professor
Harvard University Graduate 
School of Design – REAL Lab

Fabian Luttropp

Department of Sculptural Design, Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University Darmstadt

Javier Arpa Fernández

Research and Education Coordinator
The Why Factory (TU Delft) / The Why Factory Foundation


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Guest & Partners

Press releases

Gallery + Videos

2023 Edition


13th February 2022
Free of charge

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