In the collaboration project “City Metaphors” in 2015, students from three participating universities –Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK), the HafenCity University in Hamburg and AVA – explored their three very different urban spaces by exchange trips, opening up opportunities for differentiated observations and cross-cultural reflections on the questions and issues related to the study of contemporary urban textures worldwide. Students investigated their ideas from a creative and/or theoretical point of view, and applied their curiosity, creativity and their specific competences. Their projects – creative or theoretical or a combination of the two – were presented to the public in two parallel exhibitions, in Zürich and Hong Kong, in September 2015, and will also be published in a special (English) edition of the online journal Common – Journal für Kunst & Öffentlichkeit (Common – Journal for Art and the Public Sphere).