Since 2007, Landscape Architecture faculty and students from Clemson University have been working with Architecture faculty and students from Ain Shams University in parallel collaborative cross-cultural design studios focusing on community engagement and design for some of the most important heritage sites in the world. This academic partnership, celebrated by an MOU between the two universities, has yielded multiple international, regional and state collaborative community engagement projects. The design studios have achieved the highest level of recognition, review and awards and have been recognized in national and international forums during the last decade, including the Aga Khan Program at MIT, National Geographic Society, Cornerstone Sonoma, and by the Governor of Luxor, the Prime Minister of Egypt, the American Society of Landscape Architects (Tri-State Award), the American Society of Landscape Architects - South Carolina, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) national & international awards, and Ain Shams University Awards of Excellence.
In 2016, the department of Landscape Architecture in Huazhong Agricultural University (HAU) became the third partner by joining the International Collaborative Design Studio. Three partner universities worked on community development design of the Sixin District in Wuhan China in 2017. In March 2018, the three Universities’ studio was invited by the Governor of the Red Sea in Egypt to address community economic and tourism development goals for the city of Hurghada. Meetings in Cairo were attended by Professor GAO Chi (Vice-President of HAU), and Professor Ezzat (President of ASU).
Each year, the project is sponsored by different entities where two workshops are organized each year in the hosting countries. In these workshops, the students go on site visits to the studied area, start forming groups to work together on the status-quo analysis and on the proposals’ development. The workshops usually host a large number of academic professors, governmental representatives as well as external experts in the field.