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Small and spectacular: The “German-Chinese House” at the EXPO

Dear Shanghaiist Team,


The “German-Chinese House” at the EXPO 2010 is one of the smallest but most spectacular construction among all the big pavilions. It is made with bamboo and was created by the German designer Markus Heinsdorff. Please find below a text about the house and pictures (copyright for all pictures:


We would be happy, if you could post the text on your website!


Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions.


Nice regards


Agnes Grill


Small and spectacular: The “German-Chinese House” at the EXPO


With a diverse program and a spectacular public appearance, the three-year event series “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” draws to a close during the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. More than one million people have attended exhibitions, conferences, performances and festivals during “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together”, which was Germany’s largest event series abroad. It is under the patronage of German president Horst Köhler and Chinese president Hu Jintao.


Between the fall of 2007 and the fall of 2009, “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” made stops in five important Chinese regional metropolises. Under the main theme of “sustainable urbanisation,” Chinese and German experts from politics, business, city planning and education worked on finding common solutions to global issues and, in dialogue with citizens, developed visions for modern life in large cities during the 21st century. This interaction created a new impetus for German-Chinese cooperation as well as concrete ideas for a “better life in better cities.”


EXPO 2010 in Shanghai is the sixth and last station. As the only participant at the EXPO that is not a country, city, region, international organisation or company, this event series will present itself from May 1 until June 30 at the EXPO with the "German-Chinese House". Inside the house an interactive city game will invite visitors to build their own city while exploring key themes about urbanisation. In the “Forum” of the German Pavilion “balancity,” located just a few minutes away by foot from “German-Chinese House”, “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” will present lively examples of the German-Chinese exchanges of experiences. The accompanying program includes the “Urban Academy,” where experts, scientists and artists will meet to exchange ideas, and a diverse cultural offering with German-Chinese contributions running the gamut from pop music to opera.


Sustainable and spectacular – The ”German-Chinese House”


The two-storey house of “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” is made of Julong bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing raw material and therefore particularly environmentally friendly. It is also a gentle material on other resources. Artist Markus Heinsdorff linked this construction material, which has been used as a construction material for centuries in China, with modern technologies. In doing so, he marries the traditional with high tech. For the “German-Chinese House”, he used eight-meter-long bamboo canes from South China. The house with 330 square meters of walk-on area is not only environmentally friendly but also mobile: it can be completely dismantled and reassembled in another setting.


“Moving Ahead Together – the interactive city game“


“Build your city” is the theme in the “German-Chinese House”. An interactive city game reveals the challenges of urbanisation processes before the eyes of visitors. In cooperation with the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, the RWTH Aachen, Germany’s largest technical university integrated the Chinese tradition of shadow play with modern computer technology.


In small groups, visitors of "German-Chinese House" step in front of a screen and see their moving and hopping shadows reflected on the wall. Intelligent software transforms the outlines of each body into houses, trees, electricity and water. It is as if the figures were created by a ghost’s hand. In real time, entire city quarters are created which grow together with each new group of visitors into an even larger city. At the end of the game, each group receives a code and can download “their” city block from the Internet. The accompanying exhibition “Best Practices“ gives visitors insight into the different aspects of “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” that are important for a sustainable urban development: urban development, architecture, energy provision, water, mobility and health.


German-Chinese Event – The “Urban Academy“


How does the city of the future look? What does sustainable urbanisation mean? Chinese and Germany architects, scientists and artists will discuss these questions during workshops and conferences held by the “Urban Academy.” They will take place in Shanghai as a complementary program to the EXPO and end in September in the Himalaya Museum with an exhibition about the best urbanisation projects in China.


A platform for intercultural dialogue –The Faces of “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” in the “Forum” of the German Pavilion


Mutual trust, laughing together, learning from each other and searching together for solutions for the future – these are the foundations for successful cooperation. The “Forum” in “balancity”, the German Pavilion at the EXPO 2010, is the link between Germany and China and stands for dialogue and exchange of information and ideas. It tells stories of individuals and their very personal German-Chinese encounters.


The platform shows participants of the events series, including musicians Tobias Escher and Li Tianlong (aka “Jazz Boy“) and building experts Dr. Zhang Hui and Professor Hans-Peter Leimer. Jens and Yanyan, balanscity’s escorts, show themselves in their true colors in this exhibition. This provides insights into different aspects of “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” that are important for sustainable urban development: city planning, architecture and construction, protection of nature, transportation, education, social systems and urban life and culture.


During the last three years, Chinese and Germans have learned more about each other through the event series. The exhibition makes clear that “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together” has become a platform for sharing and exchanging ideas and information — for experts, artists, citizens, scientists, teachers and entrepreneurs across national, cultural and language boundaries. Today we realize more clearly than ever: only together can we master the challenges of the city of the future


More about “Germany and China – Moving Ahead Together”:,


Storymaker Public Relations (Beijing) Co., Ltd.


Agnes Grill


Address Unit 1206,


Landmark Tower2,


Chaoyang District 100004,

Beijing, PR China








中国 北京100004


Phone +86 10 6590 0966

Fax +86 10 6590 0266

Mail <





Management Board

Heidrun Haug, Björn Eichstädt

AG Stuttgart HRB 382217

Ust-IdNr. DE 215075584

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Taken on May 1, 2010