The winners of the 1st international competition

‘Cities for a Flying World’

HSE Graduate School of Urbanism has announced the results of the first international contest for students and young professionals ‘Cities For a Flying World’.

The contest took place from 29 May to 7 November 2017 and was a part of the admission campaign for the new master’s programme of the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism ‘Prototyping Future Cities’.

The aim of the competition was to promote discussion and research in order to generate insights and visions about the city to come, and to contribute to the development of flying technologies that will transform our environment in the future.  

633 young students and young professionals from 78 countries have registered for the participation in the contest. For the final stage, 93 projects from 26 countries were submitted.

Projects were evoluated by an international board of Jury:

Silvia Brandi Barcelona, Director of Communications and External Relations, IAAC MAA Senior Faculty
Ali Basbous Beirut, Founder and Director of Building by Associative Data
Xavier de KestellierLondon, Head of Design Technology and Innovation ‘Hassell Studio’
Vicente GuallartBarcelona, Director of a Shukhov Lab, Former chief architect of Barcelona 2001-2015
Daniel IbanezBoston, Architect, Harvard GSD, Urban Theory Lab
Sergey Kuznetsov Moscow, Chief Architect of Moscow
Matthias Kohler Zurich, Professor of Architecture and Digital Fabrication ETH
Greg LynnLos Angeles, Architect, Head of ‘Greg Lynn FORM office’, Ar, Professor of Architecture
Yang LeiBeijing, Industrial designer
Joachim Mitchell  – New York, Architect, Terreform One
Alexey Novikov Moscow, Dean of HSE Graduate School of Urbanism, CEO Habidatum
Cathy Runciman  – London, Media expert, Co-founder ‘Atlas of the future‘
Pati NuñezMadrid, Journalist, Writer, Curator and Communication Consultant ‘Pati Nunez Agency’
Matteo RobiglioTorino, Architect, Professor Politecnico di Torino
Jon TugoresBarcelona, Jon Tugores + Architects, photographer and Vueling pilot.

HSE Graduate School of Urbanism is happy to introduce the winners of the competition!

1st place:
Name – He He, Yufan Chen
Country – China
Project – ’Spheri City’
Small interview:
My partner Yufan Chen and I all come from China. And now we study at Zhejiang University of Technology, major in architecture. In the spare time, we enjoy talking about new trends in architecture in the worldwide. Yufan Chen is an outgoing girl and she likes photography very much. Besides, both she and me – we like swimming, especially me.
Project inspiration and a short description:
A year ago, in a seminar of Dr. Huaining Chen, we talked about what the city will be in the future. He believes that aircrafts will be the main vehicles in the future city. Hence, the way we enter buildings will be in all directions. In this way, the city will develop in the 3d level like the sphere instead of 2d level. This idea impressed me a lot. So when Yufan Chen and me found out about the international competition ‘Cities for a Flying World’ of the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism, we have registered immediately since this competition’s purpose is so consistent with the idea I mentioned before. We hope to practice this idea with our passion and efforts. In the end, Yufan Chen and me are very grateful to Dr. Huaining Chen for his guidance and encouragement.


2nd place:
Name – Honghao Deng, Jiabao Li
Country – USA
Project – ‘Twinkle’
Small Interview:
Honghao is a computational designer focusing on building hyper-immersive experience with integration of tangible Interface, IoT, AR and VR. He is currently working towards his Master of Design Studies in Technology degree at Harvard GSD. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Tianjin University (TU) with a concentration in Algorithmic Design and Robotic Fabrication. He is a researcher at City Science Group, MIT Media Lab and Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab at Harvard, developing spatial experience interface that enables users to customize their working and living spaces intuitively and effortlessly.
personal website:
Jiabao is a speculative designer and artist, interested in using emerging technologies to reshape design and art. She is currently pursuing her  Master of Design Studies in Technology in Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she is also a researcher at Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab. She holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from National University of Singapore.
personal website:
Project inspiration and a short description:
The current city lighting system that leaves many areas uncovered induces unsafe perceptions and instigates crimes. The addition of ubiquitous surveillance is an intrusion on privacy and does not take real-time actions. The cold, lifeless light shines in the darkness, trapping people in the solitude of silence. These absences motivated us to create Twinkle – a luminous transformative creature inhabits on light posts.
Twinkles are aerial animals like fireflies, which are curious, playful and are attracted by human activities. During daytime, they rest on urban light posts, expanding their solar panels for charging. At night, they interact with individuals walking on the street in their own way based on their distinct personalities. Twinkles are indirect solutions for improving urban safety without surveillance. We envisage a future that appliance goes beyond machine and becomes a companion with us.

3rd place:
Name – Audrey Chan
Country – England
Project – ‘Aerotopia’.

Small Interview: Architecture, obviously, but more importantly, we’re interested in the Architecture for the People.

Project inspiration and a short description: Inspired by the current abusive use of energy all over the world, and the possible energy crisis that will happen in the near future. Also inspired by capitalism, international relationships, and the dramatic time and culture change that is happening in Hong Kong, and all other countries.