Austin Williams

Director of The Future Cities Project

Austin Williams is a tenured Associate Professor of Architecture at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China and Director of the Future Cities Project. He is also the China correspondent for The Architectural Review, contributing editor for AR Pacific Region, and also writes occasionally on Chinese architecture for L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui. He is the founder of mantownhuman and has just launched the ChinaCommentary Research Group.

Williams is the author of several books, including ‘The Enemies of Progress’ and co-editor of ‘The Future of Community’ and ‘The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs.’ He convened the ‘2014 Critical Subjects International Summer School’ in London and “Masterplanning the Future,” the first international conference on masterplanning in China. He is the managing editor of the online architectural magazine MPTF, the only independent online architecture magazine in China.

The Rise of Factory-built Housing: Episode 3

If a trillion dollar market opportunity exists, you can bet the people at Google are thinking about it. Within X, Google’s most secretive lab, they’ve been working on solving the problem of how to make building construction more efficient in order to deal with the world’s severe and worsening urban housing shortage. By the year 2050, the global population is expected to grow by 2.2 billion people, and 90% of that growth is expected to take place in cities that are in dire need of new housing. In China, one company has figured out how to deal with this challenge by prefabricating components for skyscrapers inside of a factory.

Image courtesy of Austin Williams

Predicting Our Future