New staff members in the Department of Architecture and Design

September 16, 2020

The Department of Architecture and Design at XJTLU is excited to welcome new staff members. With their various experiences, they make an excellent addition to the existing team. Having them on board, the Department is able to further improve the teaching quality, expand the faculty capacity, and provide excellent education for our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Massimo Imparato

Associate Professor

Joined XJTLU from:

July 2020

Modules taught:

IND302 Design for Sustainability

IND314 Studio: Design Practice 3

Professional experience:

I’m an architect and educator with over twenty years of professional practice in the creative industries and academic experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Italy and the Middle East.

I was trained as an architect with Giancarlo De Carlo, with whom I collaborated at the ILA&UD. In the same years I founded StudioBau, an architects' collective where I developed award winning projects, including the design for transformable furniture shortlisted for the Compasso d'Oro prize.

The projects I carried out in the public sphere include the design of urban waterfronts, masterplans and guidelines for urban regeneration processes. My art directed manufacturing companies, designing product lines, exhibition spaces and installations, overseeing the entire operational chain.

I taught studio courses at the Polytechnic of Milan, at the University of Trento, the Florence Institute of Design and the Academia of Mendrisio; in 2012 I was appointed Visiting Professor at the American University of Sharjah, and then I joined as a full time faculty the School of Architecture and Interior Design of Canadian University Dubai.

In the Middle East I established a broad professional and academic network of institutional and industrial leaders in research and innovation. My curatorial project UAE Modern gathers local and international experts to share experiences and exchange knowledge on design innovation for sustainable environments.

Research interest:

The research agenda that I have carried on in the last years as a scholar and as the Director of SOS – School of Sustainability in Italy revolves on how architecture and design can contribute to the achievement of the seventeen SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In particular, I am focusing on the transition to circular economy, to shift from the conservative approach that has characterized Sustainability a more ambitious regenerative approach. Faithful to William McDonough’s “Be more good, not less bad”, I am currently developing research on products, services and systems that aim at facilitating such transition.

Brass table

Designed by Massimo Imparato with Emre Cetincoprulu, for Matrix International

Corte Zari headquarters expansion

Designed by Massimo Imparato

Thoughts on the Department and XJTLU:

The extraordinary potential both at the Department and at the University levels is embodied in the melting pot of disciplines and cultures, and the inspiring guidance of its leadership. This department will play a crucial role not only in training the next generation of leaders in architecture and design, but also to create a new bond with the industry in a delicate moment that witnesses the transition to digital, both in the building industry, and in the production of goods and services.

Words to colleagues and students:

I am glad to having been invited to contribute to the success of this amazing project, and ready to participate, at the best of my knowledge and skills, to make it thrive.

Dr Eric Farr

Senior Associate Professor

Joined XJTLU from:

September 2020

Modules taught:

ARC 205 Design and Building Typology

ARC 301 Architectural Technology

Professional experience:

Actually, I will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of my teaching career the upcoming year. In addition to my academic career, practicing unprecedented design research projects as well as fulfilling professional commissions in three continents as a senior architectural designer and design team leader for many years, have contributed and boosted my academic aptitudes and let me rehearse my professional life as a dedicated researcher, educator and designer in architecture and design disciplines.

Research interest:

I work in a number of areas, but primarily in technology, sustainability and design research.

Now, I am focusing intensely and extensively on computation, automation, fabrication economy as well as virtual and augmented technologies which have been built up on several years of research experience in sustainable buildings and the larger context of the built environment.

Liberland Micro Nation

By NONAMES Design Research and Studies

Thoughts on the Department and XJTLU:

I believe this Department has the potentials to carve an exceptional future for itself and its people including the students, graduates and the staff.

Words to colleagues and students:

I am humbly honored to be part of this community and I cannot wait to meet every one of you in person.

And to the students: Read, read and read; think, think and think; do, do and do all in the smartest and most analytical ways possible. You will see the result of hard work, critical thinking, and smartness in your and other people’s lives in a constructive manner.

By Yi Qian

September 16, 2020