Housing is always one of the core topics of modern and contemporary architecture. Le Corbusier considered it the "substance" of the city. Housing and monuments are defined by Aldo Rossi as the two main permanences in the city: "monuments" are primary elements which are persistent and distinguished from housing, the other primary element shaping the "fabric" of the city.
集合住宅设计的重大成就，往往构成建筑学发展的重要节点。二十世纪一系列集合住宅展，成为现当代建筑史的里程碑。1920年代德国斯图加特的魏森霍夫住宅展（Weißenhofsiedlung），向世人清晰展示：现代建筑正在成长为一场影响全人类生活的“运动”；1980年代德国柏林的IBA国际建筑展（International Building Exhibition），有力推动了后现代城市与建筑思潮在后冷战时代的广泛传播；1990年代由矶崎新邀请当时国际一流建筑师共同建设的日本福冈香椎集合住宅（Nexus World Housing），借日本经济腾飞的动力，推动了世界建筑的密切交流；千禧年后德国汉堡的IBA国际建筑展，则明确提出低廉、环保、智能等命题，十分契合当下时代精神。与此同时，广义上建筑文化发展强劲的区域，往往也是集合住宅设计创新集中迸发的地方，比如战后重建中的欧洲和日本，以及摆脱殖民统治、自主发展的南美和印度。
The major achievements in housing design constitute important nodes in the history of architecture. A series of housing exhibitions and development in the twentieth century have become milestones of modern and contemporary architectural history. In the 1920s, the Weissenhof Estate (Weißenhofsiedlung) in Stuttgart, Germany showed clearly to the world that: Modern architecture is growing into a "movement" affecting the lives of all human beings. In 1980s, the IBA (International Building Exhibition) in Berlin, Germany strongly promoted the spread of post-modern urbanism and architectural trends in the post-Cold War era. In the 1990s, Arata Isozaki invited world-leading architects of the time to build the Nexus World Housing in Fukuoka, Japan. Leveraging the power of Japan's economic boom, it contributed to close communication of architecture across the world. After the millennium, the IBA in Hamburg, Germany put forward the topics of low-cost, environmentally friendly and intelligent housing, reflecting the spirit of the times. Meanwhile, in a broad sense, areas with strong architectural culture development are often the places where housing design innovations burst out, for example, Europe and Japan both under post-war reconstruction, and South America and India, which became independent from colonial rules.
Needless to say, except for the architectural cultural environment, the national housing policy is a decisive factor, which has a fundamental impact on public housing design. Why do innovations in public housing emerge in Northern Europe and Singapore? High welfare policies in residence, the government's attention to public housing which is considered a product as well as culture, respect and encouragement for design innovations in housing, etc. are the reasons.
After more than 30 years of rapid development in the marketization and commercialization of housing, today, public housing developed and supplied by the government, as the means to balance the housing market and promote social equity, is becoming a focus and direction of exploration in China's housing reform again. A number of excellent public housing cases have been built in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, etc. They reflected the urban social issues and residential design problems, and had proved to the world that: excellent spatial quality and innovation on typology can be achieved in public housing even on the basis of satisfying quantity, restrict indices and cost limitation.
In this context, Reinventing Housing in the South: Competition for Public Housing Design of Jiangong Community in Shenzhen Nanshan is now officially launched. Design teams all around the world are welcome to participate.