3 Day Course: Dream and Reality of Cultural Development in Emerging Cities

Dream and Reality of Cultural Development in Emerging Cities

Diploma of Advanced Studies
‘Executive Education on Global Culture’,
Zurich University of the Arts, Hong Kong

3-Days Course
Dates: 21 – 23 April 2017
Venue: Connecting Space Hong Kong
Application open for participants until 1 April 2017

Since March 2017, the Zurich University of the Arts has offered the Diploma of Advanced Studies “Executive Education
 on Global Culture” to students, academics and art practitioners residing in the vibrant city of Hong Kong.

The 3-day course “Dream and Reality of Cultural Development in Emerging Cities” is part of the Diploma of Advanced Studies ‘Executive Education on Global Culture’. For more information on the Diploma of Advanced Studies ‘Executive Education on Global Culture’, please click here.

In April, the course will explore the strategies and current issues of cultural development in many emerging cities (Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow), one of the key questions being: are these emerging cities’ eco-systems diversified or following the inevitable path of cultural globalization? During the course, this and many other related issues will be examined through lectures, discussions and the screening of various films and videos.

A much-discussed aspect of contemporary life in the 21st Century is its reliance on the city and its urban culture. By 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in urban centers. Accompanying this urbanism is an unprecedented explosion of spontaneous cultural exchange between global nomads (those who continually travel the globe) and local sedentary populations.

In the era of this worldwide trend towards urbanity, the development of disintegrated trade zones and “sudden hubs” pose a Shakespearean question (from his play Coriolanus, a tragedy written in 1608): “What is the city but the people?” This kind of inquiry anticipates the current demand to rethink what “metropolis” means. Common themes of urbanism and the sociology of the city should also now include human capital along with architectural hardware,and technological software.

Additionally, rethinking the city is no longer the discreet domain of academia. Individuals and communities within various emerging cities, such as those of the Middle and Far East, are attempting to elevate their global status by re-interpreting and exploring the possibilities of becoming recognized centers of cultural creativity by way of an interdisciplinary approach, thus, urban culture as a mode of public communication reflects the social conditions of these cities.

The changing urban landscape constitutes what global culture is and how it evolves along geographical lines, but it eventually expands beyond national boundaries. The interpenetration of “local” and “global” culture reimagines the boundaries of urban space, but a problematic yet remains: does globalized culture devolve into repetition, homogenization and segregation? While there is inevitable change with the proliferation of urban centers, how can we shift the paradigm when dealing with cultural development and how is this development interrelated, enhanced or corrupted by the art industry? How can cities like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai compete through human capital, cultural influence and soft power? The incubation of global trends, brands, related innovation, and the incidence of creative potential reveal the fleetingness and fragility of many ambitious city developments, and furthermore, an aggressive liberalization of the market economy can paradoxically lead to a decline in the public sector.

Hong Kong itself, as a relatively autonomous region in China, is undergoing rapid transformation in cultural, socio-economic and political circumstances. One of the most ambitious projects, which attempts to place Hong Kong within the international cultural axis, is the development of the museum M+ in Kowloon. Along with considering this development, the course will also look into the public space and urban culture of Putin’s Moscow, Dubai’s quest to become a global mecca for the art market and how Singapore, the “tropical city of excellence”, positions itself as cosmopolitan albeit with a cautious approach to multiculturalism, high culture projects and freedom of expression.

The course will also emphasise the vital role of art practitioners in helping to bring about inter-disciplinary and collaborative approaches that can significantly shape these emerging urban cultural hubs.

This course which will rethink these pressing cultural issues, addressing actual contemporaneous examples through lectures, discussions and video screenings with tutors Michael Schindhelm and Prof. Elisabeth Danuser.

The course can be taken individually or used as one module towards the Diploma of Advanced Studies “Executive Education on Global Culture”.


  • Michael Schindhelm, writer, filmmaker, curator and advisor to various international organisations
  • Prof. Elisabeth Danuser, Head of Further Education International, ZHdK

1 Case study: 
CHF 800 / HKD 6,500
Diploma of Advanced Studies ‘Executive Education on Global Culture’:  CHF 5,500 / HKD 42,000 
(including 3 cases and module mentored project development)

Please register for the course at: connectingspace.hk@zhdk.ch

Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions Further Education ZHdK are the same
for the course in Zurich and
in Hong Kong. Applicants send in the completed admission form
and accept with their signature the conditions of ZHdK.

The Course is registered as a Non-local Course by the Education Bureau of HKSAR under the Registration Number 272703.
It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.