All posts by Anthony Lam

Vincci Mak awarded at the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust

Vincci Mak awarded at the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust

Vincci Mak Awarded at the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust

Ms. Vincci Mak is awarded at the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust – Grant Application 2021/22, for the amount of $305,300, for her proposal titled “Village, Tree, Heritage”.

Project Summary

There is a growing awareness of the built heritage of traditional villages, and the landscapes there also have great significance in the village everyday life. In particular, old trees have great symbolic/cultural values and are the centre of village traditional practices. Anchoring village communal spaces and events through time, they are significant in telling stories, local history, and collective memories of the villagers.

This project will identify old trees in various villages having significance in everyday village culture. They will be studied as a lineage to analyse trends, patterns, and relationships among different practices and rural stories. In the long run, the study aims to establish a comprehensive database and set of knowledge about Hong Kong’s old village trees and their interrelationships with everyday village cultures.

Nesia Cheung has won DFA CreateSmart Young Design Talent Special Award 2021

Nesia Cheung (BAAS ’18, MArch ’21) has won DFA CreateSmart Young Design Talent Special Award 2021

Between total disappearance and reconstructed cliché, my thesis proposes an alternative: turning the dismantled Queen’s Pier into a constant process of re-appearing, in each round to retell and re-make history, to re-live in the new reality.

Congratulations to Nesia Cheung @necheung (BAAS ’18, MArch ’21) for winning the DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (Environmental Design) 2021 with her thesis Dis-a-pier | Re-a-pier, advised by Tao Zhu and Guillaume Othenin-Girard, with Nasrine Seraji.

With this award, Nesia hopes to raise the awareness of Hong Kong’s disappearing historical buildings and contribute to the local architectural scene by conserving and giving new life to historic buildings in Hong Kong.

In this thesis, I have chosen to “reconstruct Queen’s Pier ” as a focus to put forward the hypothesis that architecture can be a tool to retell disappeared history and also open up new uses by injecting new life into this piece of old architecture. Rather than treating Queen’s Pier as an obsolete object, I have paired Queen’s Pier’s historical significance in relation to the current geographical, social and political setting in Hong Kong with the goals of recalling memory as well as opening up new purposes of the pier in the future.

More information on YDTA DFA Awards website

1 – Site and Architectural Analysis of Queens Pier
1 – Site and Architectural Analysis of Queen’s Pier

2 – Site Selection – Three Thresholds of Hong Kong
2 – Site Selection – Three Thresholds of Hong Kong

3 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Square Urban Festival
3 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Square Urban Festival

3 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Square Urban Festival
3 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Square Urban Festival

4 – Site 2 – Tamar Harbour Pool
4 – Site 2 – Tamar Harbour Pool

5 – Site 3 – Border Theatre
5 – Site 3 – Border Theatre

6 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Sq festival Panel B
6 – Site 1 – Edinburgh Sq festival Panel B

7 – Site 2 – Tamar harbour pool Panel B
7 – Site 2 – Tamar harbour pool Panel B

8 – Site 3 – Border Theatre Panel B
8 – Site 3 – Border Theatre Panel B
John Lin bestowed a 2021 Graham Foundation grant

John Lin bestowed a 2021 Graham Foundation grant

John Lin bestowed a 2021 Graham Foundation grant

More from Graham Foundation

Project title

Renovation Toolbox: A guided tour of innovative houses by self-builders in rural China

Project abstract

“Renovation Toolbox: A guided tour of innovative houses by self-builders in rural China” develops a series of short movies to spread stories of vernacular adaptations.

It has been over 50 years since Architecture Without Architects introduced vernacular or “non-pedigreed” architecture to a wider audience. Revisiting Rudofsky’s premise on vernacular architecture through the lens of contemporary China is to be confronted with abandonment, infrastructural collisions, mutations, adaptations, and contested territories. What we find today is a transitional life-style through a hybrid way of living. Stories of structural adaptation of traditional houses often happen alongside social and community transformation. The films act as “guided tours” of these transformations, narrating the design responses that negotiate between traditional housing forms and the changing conditions of the rural village. The goal is to bring the research to life actively demonstrating to governments and self-builders the culturally and environmentally sustainable benefit of adapting traditional houses as opposed to abandonment.

Project statement

The underpinning research uncovered examples of innovative, sustainable and efficient renovations of vernacular houses done by spontaneous builders in four remote locations in rural China. These renovated houses have already been represented through photographs and drawings in the previous research project, but in order to bring the research to life and to actively demonstrate the benefits of adapting traditional houses, a series of follow up films will be developed. The films act as “guided tours” of the renovations, making those remote houses virtually accessible.

There will be four films, each one corresponding to a vernacular house typology that emerged from the previous research (underground houses in Sanmenxia, Shanxi; wooden houses in Guizhou, Guiyang; collective houses in Longyan, Fujian; and seasonal houses in Shangri-La, Yunnan). The aim is to encourage people to consider adaptation as alternative over cheaply available building methods that are currently transforming the rural landscape. The project will also potentially influence policy in vernacular houses preservation. The understanding of adaptation as a viable strategy can help to reduce the abandonment of traditional houses and ensure the longevity of vernacular structures.

The films will have a greater impact on the actual production of the rural built environment – much of which is made without architects.

John Lin bestowed a 2021 Graham Foundation grant

Call for proposals: Deep City – Climate crisis, Democracy and the Digital

Deep City – Climate crisis, democracy and the digital. 24-27 March 2021

2020(21) International Latsis Symposium – Open Forum

Big data, smart systems, machine learning – it is inevitable that these new technologies will change the way we study, build and manage our cities. At the same time resurgent interest in consensus and contributive action seems to oppose an exclusively data-driven urbanism. Is the opposition of machine intelligence and democracy inevitable, or are shared trajectories possible?

Politicians, social scientists, urbanists, and architects find their working methods and disciplinary knowledge challenged by insights derived from big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). As both citizens and experts in the many respective fields, our mission must be to bring in our disciplinary knowledge and civic engagement to support the appropriate development and discussion of data-driven tools, to consider both their biases and potentials, and to promote broader social literacy and criticality. Ultimately, it is a question of both decanting the technical quality of these new instruments of design, management and decision making, as well as enhancing democratic control over them. How do we do this? Do our disciplines currently lack adequate strategies to understand, let alone critique or exploit the knowledge-products of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data?

Due to the ongoing covid-19 crisis, the International Deep City Latsis Symposium has been rescheduled to 24-27th March 2021 with an innovative conference concept where the digital and the physical will join to create a global dialogical field. To ground this field and foster meaningful exchange, the organisers launch a Call for Proposals, ranging from operational practices to speculative and theoretical questionings. These can be presented in written, built, coded, drawn, figured, imagined, filmed, modelled or in any other way conveyed format. Participants will be able to attend and present their work in person at any of its three main sites or through the Deep City analog-digital platform where they’ll be able to participate and discuss with the event’s global audience.

Deep City will take place on the EPFL Campus in Lausanne, from 24 to 27 March 2021, with parallel and common activities in partner sites Singapore (in collaboration with SUTD Singapore University of Technology and Design) and Hong Kong (in collaboration with HKU The University of Hong Kong). This social and cultural event will connect different cities and time zones, augmenting the physical experience through the digital and augmenting the digital through a unique approach to the physical.

Conference themes:

  • Data, democracy and sovereignty: towards new urban and political imaginaries.
  • New digital tools for urban governance.
  • New material agencies.
  • Making ground for new negotiations between the technological, the ecological and the social.
  • Resilient cities in the post-Anthropocene
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence as new forms of design rationality

Deep City is organized by EPFL Institute of Architecture’s laboratories ALICE (Atelier de la conception de l’espace) and LDM (Media and Design Laboratory) in collaboration with SUTD Singapore University of Technology and Design and The University of Hong Kong.

The deadline for submissions is 20 October 2020.

Read more …

Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Design+

Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Design+ | Apply Now


The 4-year Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Design+ (BASc (Design+)) is aimed at nurturing highly effective, adaptive and creative graduates who can lead across multiple disciplinary subjects, and who will become known globally for their distinctive qualities of creativity, analytical ability, critical thinking and innovative problem-solving.

Students will exit the program with a comprehensive understanding of design thinking methods and processes, and the ability to lead multi-disciplinary project teams to innovate and achieve original and commercially, environmentally and socially relevant solutions to complex problems.

“F.L.Y.” Scholarship is designed to nurture and support outstanding first-year undergraduate students enrolled in Bachelor of Arts and Sciences Programs. Students are encouraged to implement their ideas and challenge existing boundary with an innovation fund of HK$20,000.



Tel: +852 3917 2149

Master of Architecture (Design)

Master of Architecture (Design) Applications Open

The new 3-year MArch (Design) program was initiated in 2019. The course offers the opportunity for students from a diverse set of undergraduate degrees to study architecture. Whether from science or arts backgrounds, the intention is to enable talented individuals who have the passion, discipline and drive to study architecture. During the course, students will develop a broad spectrum of knowledge empowering them to make valuable contributions to the field.

This program aims to create a platform of knowledge made up of a rich mix of attitudes and positions that the Department of Architecture believes will be necessary to tackle the key issues impacting the future of architecture and urbanism in Hong Kong and the region.

* The MArch (Design) programme is not accredited by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). In accordance with the accreditation procedures, HKIA and ARB will consider the University’s application for accreditation of the degree upon completion of studies of the first graduating class.



Tel: +852 3917 2149

HKU TPG Scholarship for Undergraduate Class

HKU TPG Scholarship for Undergraduate Class of 2020 – Master of Architecture (Design) Programme

The University of Hong Kong recently announced the launch of the “HKU TPG Scholarship for UG Class of 2020” to support undergraduate students of the 2020 graduating class to pursue their studies further at an unconventional time amid the unstable global economic outlook. Eligible undergraduate students who meet the programme admission criteria can apply to a selection of taught postgraduate programmes, including Master of Architecture (Design) programme, for the academic year 2020-21, and will be awarded a scholarship of a value equivalent to 50% of the tuition fees of the programme.

The Master of Architecture (Design), MArch (Design), is a three-year full-time programme offered by the Department of Architecture.  Built on the existing 2-year UGC-funded MArch curriculum, the 3-year MArch(Design) offers a path for qualified students from undergraduate programmes outside of architecture to pursue an architectural education. Through a multidisciplinary curriculum emphasising current design and production technologies alongside an understanding of the historical and theoretical culture of architecture, the programme enables students to acquire broad expertise, skills and knowledge to confront the complexities of contemporary architectural discourse, design and practice.

For more information about the programme, please visit our Faculty website at

Should you be interested, please submit your application by 17 July, 2020 (Friday). The Department of Architecture is able to receive late portfolio submissions, although an intention to submit would be needed to be known by 17 July 2020.

For enquiries and scholarship application, please contact Ms. Heidy Siu, Faculty Office at

Important message from the Department of Architecture

Dear Department of Architecture Students,

To protect our entire community, please observe the following:



1 Your temperature will be taken daily for your HKU ID cards to unlock your studio doors. The temperature reading times each day are from 9-10am and 1:30-2:30pm. After the temperature check your HKU ID card will continue to open your studio doors until 9am the next day and on Friday it will continue to work until 9am on Monday.



2 Masks must be worn in the Knowles Building at all time. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after opening and closing any door. There is hand sanitizer at each studio door.



3 Maintain appropriate social distancing of remaining 2 meters apart, whenever practicable.



4 Do not allow in other students into studio. No eating in studio.






5 Desks are labeled A and B. Desks labeled A must be completely empty so they can be cleaned each Tue and Thurs morning from 8-11am. Desks labeled B must be empty so they can be cleaned each Mon, Wed, Fri morning from 8-11am. Any work found on a desk on the day it is to be cleaned will be thrown out and the student cannot make a claim against the Department for the loss of work or the expense of the model materials. No storing any materials on the floor and the floor must be clean at all times.



6 Materials for making models and completed models and drawings are to be stored on the 4th floor. Your HKU ID card will work for these rooms after you have had your temperature checked.



7 Any housemate that arrives back from overseas must be announced in an email to Eunice Kwok (


8 Students with housemates with fever or respiratory symptoms must not return to the campus. They should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.


9 Any violation of these regulations will result in the loss of the use of studio, the fabrication workshop, and laser cutting facilities for a week for that individual. These regulations might need to change from time to time, depending on the number of new COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong and any other factor determined by the Department of Architecture.


We seek for your cooperation and understanding with complying with these regulations to protect the health of everyone in society, not just yourself and not just our HKU community. Please continue to stay vigilant and make our collective health the top priority.

Best wishes,
Eric Schuldenfrei
Head of the Department of Architecture