Marc Aurel Schnabel

Dean, Professor, PhD, Dip.Ing., M.Ed.

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1994 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Marc Aurel Schnabel is a renowned expert in digital design, digital transformation and extended reality environments, with a distinguished career in architecture and design education spanning over 25 years in Germany, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Now, as the Dean of the Design School at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, he guides four departments – Architecture, Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, and Urban Planning and Design – and their research centres. Previously, he was the Founding Director of the FORUM8 Research Lab, which is the market leader in Japan for virtual city/building simulation, at Cambridge Innovation Center in Tokyo. As Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation and Chair Professor of Architectural Technology at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, he significantly contributed to advancing higher education in the creative fields. Trained as an Architect, Professor Schnabel has been the President of several professional organisations, including the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA), and the Autodesk Industry Advisory Board. Professor Schnabel has also researched virtual reality, digital heritage, and intelligent cities as a Principal Investigator of New Zealand’s National Science Challenge, “Better Homes, Towns, and Cities”. He has received several significant honours, including being made a CAADRIA Fellow, joining the Austrian Science Fund’s PEEK - Arts-Based Research Board as an expert in architecture and design, and becoming a partner of the European Union’s REACH (RE-designing Access to Cultural Heritage) platform. Throughout his career, Professor Schnabel has published extensively on digital architecture, urban design, and augmented/virtual realities and has curated several digital architectural exhibitions, including “Ars Electronica Aotearoa”. He has also established the Digital Architecture Research Alliance (DARA) and the online network 'Urban Digitalics', connecting professionals and researchers in innovative digital design. 

Research interests

Virtual Augmented Environments / Metaverse

Digital Design Andragogy

Sentimental City Design

Urban Digital Twin

Real-time intelligent city simulations


Blockchain for the Construction Sector / Web3

Digital Supported Participatory Design

Digital Heritage

Smart Heritage

Computational Manga


Dean, Design School Design, XJTLU, since 2023

Founding Director, CIC FORUM8 Research Lab, Tokyo, Japan, 2022-2023

Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation, VUW, Wellington, New Zealand, 2015-2022

Visiting Professor School of Architecture, Sheffield University, UK, 2015-2018

Visiting Professor College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University, China, 2009-2010

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK, Hong Kong, 2008-2014

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, USYD, Sydney, Australia 2006-2008

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, HKU, Hong Kong, 1996-2005

Architectural Designer HO+K (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum), Berlin, Germany, 1994-1995

Architectural Designer Langhof Architekten, Berlin, Germany, 1991-1994


ARC408 Dissertation

Awards and honours

Fellow, CAADRIA, 2019

Fellow, Salzburg Seminar, 2005

Top Innovation Award (TIA), Ecological Design Award, China Industrial Design Association (CIDA), China, 2019

Partner, Ars Electronica Aotearoa, since 2021

Partner, REACH, European Union, since 2019

FORUM8 Academic Research Award, 2022

WORLD16 Academic Innovation Award, 2021

Global Design Industry Organization (GDIO), China, International Logo Design Competition, Recommendation, 2020

Best Supervisor Award, VUW, PGSA, 2016

People’s Prize Award Teaching and Learning Innovation Expo 2012, CUHK, 2012

Otto Wagner Städtebaupreis, International Award for Architecture & Urban Design, Vienna, Austria, Special Merit, 1995

Bauhaus future, European Competition for a new Bauhaus-School in Dessau, Germany, Special Merit, 1994

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Related documents

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The University of Hong Kong, 2004

M.Ed, The University of Sydney, 2006

Dipl.Ing, The University of the Arts Berlin, 1995

External positions

Member, New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA)

2022 → …

Member, New Zealand Institute of Building (NZIOB)

2022 → …

Partner, Ars Electronica Linz GmbH

2021 → …

Assessor, Australian Research Council

2021 → …

Member, Visual Effects Society

2021 → …

FWF PEEK-Board Member (Design), Austrian Science Fund FWF

2019 → …


2019 → …

Assessor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

2015 → …

Visiting Professor, University of Sheffield


President, Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA)


Chair, Autodesk Industry Advisory Board


Member, Digital Architecture Design Association

2013 → …

Founding Member, buildingSMART HK


Member, Construction Industry Council


Chief Administrative Officer, Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA)

2011 → …

International and Mainland Affairs Committee, Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD)

2011 → …

Member, Hong Kong Institute of Building Information Modelling (HKIBIM)


Visiting Professor, Shenzhen University


President, Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA)


Fellow, Salzburg Global Seminar

2005 → …

Member, Berufsverband Freischaffender Architekten & Bauingenieure, (B.A.B.)

1998 → …


  • NA Architecture
  • Digital Desgin
  • Virtual & Augmented Environments
  • Digital Heritage
  • Sentimental City Design
  • Computational architecture
  • Smart Heritage
  • L Education (General)
  • Higher Education
  • Digital Design Andragogy
  • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
  • Architectural Technology
  • Architectural Science
  • Architecture
  • Computer graphics
  • Urban Digital Twin
  • CIM
  • Blockchain for the Construction Sector
  • Computational Manga
  • Real-time intelligent city simulations
  • Web3
  • BIM

Person Types

  • Staff


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