Tuesday, 3th September 2019, Ljubljana

Gorenje supports cooperation between students of the University of Ljubljana and the "Asian Harvard"

Gorenje supports cooperation between students of the University of Ljubljana and the "Asian Harvard"

This summer, Gorenje enabled a unique international experience for the students of urbanism and architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana: nine Slovenian students and their mentors visited the Aiyuan Town in China where they worked with the students of the prestigious Tsinghua University at an international students' competition 2019 UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop. Their pavilion called Lie in Between, set up in the Guoyan Village in China, was awarded second place.

Between July 31 and August 18, 2019, students of the Faculty of Architecture teamed up with the students of the Beijing-based Tsinghua University to build a pavilion in the Guoyuan Village in the Jiangsu Province, as a part of an international architecture competition organized by the Tsinghua University. The competition received 101 applications from across the globe, of which the organizers selected only 15 teams who were tasked to integrate their plans into the actual landscape.

"We are pleased to have our first opportunity to work with the Tsinghua University that is ranked as the best in China and is therefore also dubbed the Asian Harvard," said associate professor Alenka Fikfak, PhD, of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana. "This was the first visit to China for all of us, and we had to understand and tackle the culture there very fast. Students and professors worked together on site, and the local community accepted us nicely. They were checking on the progress of construction, brought us fruit, and also provided some construction workers who were of great assistance."

The Lie in Between pavilion builds on the concept of a link between spirituality of a human pursuing the idea of lying between heaven and Earth. It was erected in the famous centenarian pear orchard. "We relied on the idea of an open-air theatre, a space intended for gathering, socializing, games, forging connections. The locals also immediately recognized it as excellent for playing cards and enjoying tea," said Fikfak. The completed pavilions were then rated by an international committee, and the students of the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture came in an excellent second in the overall score, amid formidable international competition.

"Participation in such projects is highly beneficial for any student, as this is the best way for them to learn about the materials, to experience the construction errors and to face the challenge of transferring a project from paper to reality," said Fikfak, "Therefore, we are grateful to Gorenje and the Hisense Group for affording this exceptional experience to the students." The Faculty of Architecture is planning further cooperation with the Tsinghua University. This year's project will be presented in October at an exhibition to which their Chinese colleagues will also be invited.

With its social responsibility strategy, Gorenje has a long tradition of working with a variety of colleges, both in research and development activities and in inter-cultural cooperation. "We were happy to support the project of cooperation between the Slovenian and the Chinese university, as it does not only involve exchange of knowledge and acquiring of experience for the students, but also allows the two universities to establish contact, and also waves connections between the two countries and cultures," commented Gorenje's chief managing director Chao Liu.