Mad.Lab Workshops

education research practice

Mad.Lab - literally the mapping and design laboratory - is a collaborative urban laboratory set up in 2012 comprising three areas of activity: education, research and practice. From the outset MAD.LAB has begun outlining a manifesto for the city and proposes a progressive way forward that could function as a multi-scalar model for innovative, responsive approaches to the many complexities and layers of urban environment.


MAD.LAB sees the Chinese city - and in particular emerging megacities like Chongqing as a laboratory for the future.

Education is one of MADLAB’s three emerging areas of interest.

MAD.LAB provides unique opportunities for undergraduate/postgraduate students studying in design and design related curriculum areas (digital media, fine arts and architecture) to engage in mapping and design (MAD) processes that interrogate the potential of the city to adapt and thrive in ways that reflect the desires of its citizens. Students in MADLAB produce detailed and participatory design-led research utilising a range of morphological, interpretive, critical, emotional, and derive-like strategies to visually record and mediate the interactions, thoroughfares, pathways, hierarchies, continuities and discontinuities of urban space. MAD.LAB encourages participants to respond to real design briefs to develop concepts that could foster environments conducive to the development of creative zones or clusters around the city where innovative start-ups, galleries, food culture, new innovative forms of business related to design, sustainability and Chongqing’s culture can thrive.


In 2015 the first iteration MAD.LAB 1 focussed on the burgeoning GuanYin Qiao area of downtown Chongqing.

In 2016 MAD.LAB 2 expanded its remit to encompass four sites across the city, and in 2017 and 2018 MAD.LAB 3 and MAD.LAB 4 looked again at the Jiu Jie street area.


Collaborating organizations and tutors were from:


  • The University of New South Wales, Sydney

  • Sydney University, School of Architecture

  • Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing

  • Priestman Architects