UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE

Research Students

CHEN Xinhui PhD Student
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3007119@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cecilia Chu (primary); Dr Ying Zhou

Xinhui Chen is pursuing her PhD at the Division of Landscape Architecture, Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, where she was awarded an HKU Presidential PhD Scholarship. Her work focuses on the emerging tensions between traditions and technologies and visual representations of urban landscapes in which everyday life and memories are embedded. Chen holds a master's in landscape architecture from the University of Virginia, where she received a National ASLA Student Award, an ASLA Student Award of Virginia Chapter, and a department merit scholarship. She also holds a bachelor's in landscape architecture from the South China University of Technology.

Chen’s dissertation explores the interrelationship between the advent of social media and urban redevelopment in urban China. Through fieldwork and archival research, this study seeks to understand the role of social media in mediating consumption practices and the remaking of the built environment. It investigates the driving forces behind the production of China's 'instagrammable' urban places and how these places transform the way people relate to their everyday environment. Respectively, the analyses will delve into both the spatial characteristics as well as social media images of these 'instagrammable' places.
CUI Yuming PhD Student
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
ymcui@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Ying Zhou (primary); Dr Tao Zhu

Yuming Cui is pursuing her PhD at the Department of Architecture as a continuation of her MPhil degree in urban planning from The University of Hong Kong. She holds a master's degree in urban design from Cardiff University, Britain and a bachelor's degree in architecture. Cui’s current research interest in high-tech firms and urban development is rooted in her previous research's main themes: big data and transport networks under the urban development rubrics. Her published works combine big data with classical urban theories such as Christopher Alexander's and Jane Jacobs'.
Cui's dissertation focuses on the urban impacts of high-tech firms in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Her research project attempts to find the links between the development of high-tech firms and urban development. This research will discuss how high-tech firms impact the urban space in GBA. Specifically, it will examine how high-tech firms impact the space of flows and space of places at the territory, neighborhood and building scales.
LI Jiali PhD Student
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
jli11@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Bin Jiang (primary); Dr Bin Chen

Jiali Li is a PhD student in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. She obtained her master's degree in Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Li founded and instructed RISD's "Imagination Crafting" design studio electives in 2019. Upon graduation from RISD, she joined the Mahan Rykiel Associates as a landscape designer and research assistant for two years, completing three ASLA award-winning research projects. With a background in design, humanity, and environmental psychology, Li's research expertise entails the impacts of built environments on human health and wellbeing, environmental justice and security, and ecological restoration of the novel landscape.

Li's doctoral research project aims to design sustainable urban systems to create healthier communities for people. Her research specifically involves smart city technologies as the tool to address health risks brought on by rapid urbanization, gentrification, and environmental degradation. In this project, she focuses on the physical and mental marginalization of low-income older adults. By building a mutually beneficial system, the study aims to maximize the potential resources of the aged.
LI Yilun PhD Student
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
yilun595@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Chao Ren (primary); Dr Yuan Shi; Dr Tanya Tan

Yilun Li is a PhD student in the Division of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Landscape Gardening and master's degree in Ornamental Plants and Horticulture from Beijing Forestry University in 2017 and 2020. Before his PhD, Li worked as an assistant landscape designer. His research experiences on the contribution of urban green spaces to the regulation of urban climate in Beijing, China have intrigued him to pursue a deeper understanding of this research topic.

Li's current research involves the evaluation of the impact of urban green space configuration on micro-scale climate and human perception within a densely built high-rise communities’ context. Taking public spaces in public housing estates in Hong Kong as case studies, his research engages multiple methods in assessing the effect of different urban green space design strategies. Further, this knowledge will contribute to future landscape design practice.
LIAO Xi PhD Student
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
xiliao20@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Prof. Wei Jen Wang (primary); Prof. Yuguo Li

Xi Liao is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. She has previously worked as an architect at the SmithGroup (USA Headquarters) while teaching architectural tectonic and urban design studios for undergraduate students as an Adjunct Professor at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). She holds two master’s degrees in architecture from Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) respectively. Through these engagements, Liao has discovered her keen interest in examining architecture under a multidisciplinary, where the technical, historical, and cultural aspects of architecture coalesce. Her previous research has been published in Applied Mechanics and Materials 193-194 and Applied Mechanics and Materials 476-478.

  Liao’s doctoral research project investigates the formation of the traditional Lingnan vernacular courtyard from the perspective of climate and thermal comfort. As one of the sites of rapid urbanization in China where cultural heritage is at risk, the Lingnan region is rich with endangered vernacular architecture. Liao’s research intends to explore the potential of applying the traditional Lingnan vernacular courtyard in a modern context. The analyses will delve into the environmental performance of vernacular courtyards as measured through selected metrics.
LIU SibeiPhD Candidate
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
lsbei@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Beisi Jia (primary); Dr Ying Zhou

Sibei Liu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. Prior to her PhD study, Liu obtained her MSc degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests lie in the urban morphology of the spatial form elements, specifically the impacts of the urban morphology and pedestrian network on human travel behaviors and perceptions.

In her dissertation, Liu is tentatively proposing a novel graph and metric analysis framework in which physical elements and structures of urban morphology can be integrated into metrics of geometrical route networks to account for pedestrian behaviors. By attending to the interconnections between urban morphology, pedestrian pattern and the environment, this study extends existing theoretical methods of understanding the spatial structure and patterns in Hong Kong. It aims to contribute to urban design guidelines and policies with an emphasis on creating and managing the structures of the intricate urban environment.
PhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3508657@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cole Roskam (primary); Dr Tao Zhu

Xiaoqing Liu completed her bachelor's and master's degrees in Hong Kong before pursuing her PhD in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. Liu has a broad interest in the history of Chinese architecture in Southern China and Southeast Asia. Her research interest is within the field of Chinese architectural history and theory. She is also keen on exploring temple history, heritage conservation, folklore studies, and transnational studies. Her current research project specifically investigates the temples and society in Southern China during the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.
LIU XuemingPhD Student
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
liuxm02@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Bin Jiang (primary); Dr Eric Schuldenfrei; Prof. Wilson Lu

Xueming Liu obtained her bachelor's degree in engineering in landscape architecture and a master's in landscape architecture from the Harbin Institute of Technology, China. Currently, she is the lab manager in the Urban Environment and Human Health (UEHH lab) at The University of Hong Kong. Liu's research interest is to use multidisciplinary methods to examine the built environment's impact on human health and behaviors. She co-authored and contributed to a recent publication which employs a multidisciplinary approach through the built environment, geographic data collection and measurements, and psychological theories.

In her dissertation project, Liu examines the impact of built environments on the suicidal tendencies of public housing residents in high-density cities. The research project departs from evident-based challenges faced by the residents of high-density cities: vulnerability to health problems and suicidal tendencies. She focuses on the public housing residents with a low socioeconomic status (SES) who are significantly more prone to experience these risks than other urban dwellers. Her research project aims to highlight the built environment's influence on suicidal tendencies.
LIU YuanfangPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
liuyf@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Prof. Wei Jen Wang (primary); Dr Tao Zhu

Yuanfang Liu is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong upon completing her Bachelor in Architecture from Tsinghua University, China. She has developed a keen research interest in Chinese architecture history and theory.

Liu's current work focuses on the spatial transformation of Chinese Buddhist temples in northern China from Tang-Song to Ming-Qing, and the corresponding structural and cultural factors. Her research focuses on the construction of Buddhist temples in medieval and late imperial Southeast Shanxi. She is specifically investigating the structural-spatial transformation of the Buddhist temple’s three-by-three-bay central Buddha halls and other religious building types under the changing role of local gentry patronage.
LUO LanPhD Candidate
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
luolan.hk@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Bin Jiang (primary); Dr Beisi Jia

Lan Luo is pursuing her PhD in the Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. She previously led the Virtual Reality Laboratory of Urban Environments and Human Health at the University of Hong Kong. Her research backgrounds in urban design, landscape design, and environmental psychology have enriched her training as a landscape architect and researcher. She has won the ASLA student award and the GSD Harvard University summer grant and participated in various conferences and symposia.

Luo's research interests include built environment and public health, environmental psychology, environmental behavior, environmental criminology, environmental justice, landscape design, and urban design. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between urban natural settings and deviant and criminal behavior. In this research, she examines the extent of the impacts of urban forests on addicts' health states and addiction behavior during their rehabilitation period.
PEN SereypagnaPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3007080@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Eunice Seng (primary); Dr Tao Zhu

Sereypagna Pen is a recipient of the Hong Kong PhD fellowship and the HKU Presidential award. His previous work on Phnom Penh's urban form and Cambodian modernist architecture has been the subject of several exhibitions and presentations in Cambodia and selected venues in Southeast Asia, Australia, and the United States. He also co-authored the Genealogy of Bassac (UR Terreform, 2021), which received the 2019 Graham publication award.  Pen is currently the director of the Vann Molyvann Project and a participating scholar in Site and Space in Southeast Asia funded by the Getty Foundation.

Pen's research examines the development of built forms in post-conflict Cambodia by analyzing civic buildings, built with foreign aid and technical assistance, and private residences in Phnom Penh. By examining them through labor, migration, construction materials, mass media, and the education and training of the design professionals, the research aims to explore how the architecture between 1979 and 2000 contributes to the understanding of post-conflict Phnom Penh and modernity in everyday life of the city's residents. It seeks to address how architecture and modernity were shaped and reshaped by the dynamic conditions of socialist ideology and capitalist economy in post-conflict Cambodia.
SANTOSO PutrikinasihPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
putri@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Eunice Seng (primary); Dr Cecilia Chu

Putri R. Santoso is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong following ten years of working experience as an urbanist and urban designer. Her research is rooted in her previous engagements in various urbanism and infrastructure-related projects. Santoso obtained her bachelor's degree in architecture from the Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia, and a master's degree in urbanism from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She leads the Indonesian Institute of Urban Designers (IARKI)’s Research and Training Division for the 2022 to 2025 period.

In her dissertation, Santoso is investigating how the perception of "development" has been propelling, halting, and hindering Jakarta's urbanism over time. She focuses her dissertation on Sudirman-Thamrin road, Jakarta to investigate the infrastructures through three lenses: as a physical entity which has shaped the material flows in the city, as the representation of "development," and as the site of capital accumulation. Currently, Santoso is one of the research fellows in the 2022 Doctoral Research Residency Program (DRRP) at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA).
SATTAYANURAK KanisaPhD Student
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
kanisa@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Xiaoxuan Lu (primary); Dr Cecilia Chu

Kanisa Sattayanurak obtained her bachelor's degree in architecture from Chiang Mai University, Thailand, and a Master of Landscape from The University of Hong Kong. Sattayanurak's research interests include urban heritage conservation, community resilience, and human well-being. Her dissertation explores how the adaptive perspective on heritage conservation can contribute to community resilience in Chiang Mai, Thailand's cultural capital.

Sattayanurak's research project focuses on the politics of world heritage and reflects on values foregrounded as well as overlooked in the processes of "heritagization". She takes the city of Chiang Mai and its population as a context. The city is known as Thailand's cultural capital and is poised to submit a final dossier to UNESCO by 2025 in a bid to become a World Heritage Site. Her dissertation is rooted in the embeddedness of historic cities and their adaptability to sustain centuries of social and political upheavals, natural disasters, and sanitary crises. Beyond a mere preoccupation with preserving forms and aesthetic styles, this body of knowledge plays a vital role in shaping the resiliency of the city. In her dissertation, Sattayanurak adopts a landscape-orientated approach to celebrate a more nuanced and adaptive perspective on heritage conservation, emphasizing community resilience and human well-being.
WAN YanPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3007091@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cole Roskam (primary); Dr John D. Wong

Yan Wan is trained as an architect at Shenzhen University (M.Arch.) and Hubei University of Technology (B.A.). She is keen to explore interdisciplinary urbanism studies that combine economic perspective and social value. In the past ten years, she has cooperated with various non-profit organizations and design companies to practice design and study Chinese urbanism in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Her most recent essays discuss the dialectical urban model learning between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and the exportation of the Shenzhen urban model to East Africa.

Wan has a broad interest in port cities and transnational urbanism. Her dissertation explores how the shipping industry has impacted the urbanism in Pearl River Delta, particularly the urban system between Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen since the 19th century. In her research, she discusses how several corporations have competed in shipping, port, and trade in dynamic geopolitics and have shaped urban space since the late Qing dynasty. Her dissertation intends to develop a consistent understanding of Chinese urbanism, including how the shifts in trading, the flow of capital, and urban investment have contributed to an incremental institution enabling a reciprocal urban system of contemporary China to the world.
WANG TingPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
sarahwin@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cecilia Chu (primary); Dr Eunice Seng; Dr Xiaoxuan Lu

Ting Wang is pursuing her PhD in the Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor's degree in urban planning and design from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China and the UK, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from The University of Hong Kong. Her research focus includes wetland governance, landscape anthropology and political ecology. Wang authors "A New Normal for Nature", a monthly column in The Paper, emphasizing the survival challenges of Chinese conservation practitioners under ecological anxiety. She is also a committee member of the World Wetland Network (WWN) and the Asian Regional Representative at Youth Engaged in Wetlands (YEW), an international youth team committed to the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Wang's dissertation focuses on the wetland park mainstream in the Tai Lake Basin, China, a region embedded with competing images of traditional water towns and highly urbanized modern cities. Through ethnographic fieldwork in 36 wetland parks and construction sites for eight months, Wang explores the roles of different social actors involved in developing wetland parks, including the non-human agencies, which have come to be assumed as a panacea to various urban problems. Her research specifically seeks to investigate wetland governance's administrative, material and knowledge formation, which will offer a new perspective on the understanding of nature as a socially constructed infrastructure.  
XIONG JiePhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3007089@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Tao Zhu (primary); Dr Cecilia Chu

Jie Xiong obtained a bachelor's degree in architecture from Chongqing University, China, and a master's degree in architecture from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. She has been engaged in teaching and design practices in Chongqing, China since 2010, focusing on the development of urban stock space and public space. She oversaw the Urban Space Design program at the Sichuan Academy of fine arts. Her current research interest is grounded in her urban practice experience which focuses on contemporary Chinese urbanism. Her study encompasses the rise of China's hinterland metropolis and its specific performance in innovation policy, space, and society.

Xiong focuses her dissertation on Chongqing, a typical Chinese inland metropolis that has experienced the fastest urbanization since it was named the fourth direct-administered municipality in 1997. The city has also become a model for policy-led social and spatial development in China's hinterland, resulting in extreme urban changes. With a strong urban-rural dichotomy, Chongqing provides a site to investigate the variegated local state's responses, particularly in land use change, across the rural, urban-rural fringe, and urban center settings. Her research project aims to discover the logic behind the urban-rural spatial form reproduction which characterizes Chongqing's direct-administration urbanism as part of the studies on China's urbanization.
XU WenyanPhD Candidate
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
xuwenyan@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Bin Jiang (primary); Prof. Christopher Webster

Wenyan Xu is a PhD candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor's degree from Anhui University of Science and Technology and a master's degree from China University of Mining and Technology, China. Her research interests touch upon the multi-disciplinary methodology of environmental impact on human health, related to the soundscape, landscape preference and justice, and landscape ecology and sustainability. For her dissertation, she investigates the environmental impact on drivers' mental & physiological states and driving performance on urban roads.

Xu's dissertation highlights the relationship between the road environment and human health and safety during driving. To do so, a real-site experiment has been conducted in Liuzhou, China, where she engages tools such as Amap and AutoNavi to plan and navigate the participants' journey. Each participant was expected to complete eight real driving tasks in a randomly assigned sequence with one-day intervals to decrease the accumulative learning skills. The results will be generated through statistics and environmental analysis. Her research project attempts to provide suggestions and guidance for government, city and road planners, as well as landscape designers to promote public health and safety during daily driving.
YAN XiaoxuPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
u3006159@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Tao Zhu (primary); Dr Cole Roskam

Xiaoxu Yan holds a bachelor's degree from Tianjin University and a master's degree from the Polytechnic University of Milan. Her research interest focuses on the spatial history of China's modern and colonial cities.

For her dissertation, Yan studies Tianjin's tramway network development after 1900. Her research project examines the influence of the urban tramway network in developing an integrated urban structure out of extremely fragmented governance, juxtaposed with different wills of local authority and multiple imperialist powers, in treaty-port Tianjin (1860-1945). Her research closely examines several critical issues in the historical process of the tramway's development, including how it was conceived and built through different stages, how various powers, agencies, and ideals were incorporated, how it transformed the city, and how the Tianjin citizens reacted to it both socially and culturally. The research intends to offer a new angle to the study of colonial urbanism and urban spatial governance.
YANG YuwenPhD Candidate
Building Science, Technology and Sustainability Track
ywyang@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Bin Jiang (primary); Dr Eunice Seng; Dr Fan Xue

Yuwen Yang is a PhD candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture. Her research interests include the urban built and natural environment's impacts on infectious and chronic diseases and environmental inequity. She is currently working on the associations between greenspace and COVID-19.

Yang's dissertation aims to understand the relationship between green spaces and various diseases, as well as their underlying mechanisms. In an era of a rapidly ageing global population, increasing emphasis was placed on non-communicable diseases, injuries, along with communicable diseases. Acute respiratory and chronic diseases such as COVID-19, SARS, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic lung diseases, obesity, and diabetes, are the major cause of death worldwide. The prevalence of these diseases significantly increased healthcare expenditures and disability-adjusted life years. The research findings are expected to provide sound evidence, effective intervention strategies, and planning and design guidance to mitigate the global disease burden.
ZENG WenxinPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
wzeng04@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cecilia Chu (primary); Dr Ying Zhou

Wenxin Zeng is a PhD candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from Syracuse University, USA, and a master's degree in urban design from The University of Hong Kong. Before joining PhD program, she worked as a research assistant at the Department of Urban Planning and Design, with a research focus on pedestrian walkability and urban space in Hong Kong. Her current research interests focus on post-industrial urban renewal, arts development, heritage conservation and creative city making.

Zeng focuses her dissertation on the adaptive reuse of industrial space for creative industries. By unpacking the cultural and arts development process, the research explores how Hong Kong has adapted the creative city concept from the West, promoting arts and cultural industry to achieve effective urban regeneration. In this research project, she investigates how arts development interacts with the urban cultural and social environment to form a unique urban spatial production process within a real estate-centric and profit-oriented urban development setting. Her research seeks to advance the understanding of various stakeholders' conflicting values as well as their individual and collective contributions to the restructuring of the city's political economy, providing empirical contributions to Hong Kong's arts and cultural development from an urban perspective.
ZHANG LuPhD Student
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
glxzhng@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Eunice Seng (primary); Dr Elizabeth LaCouture

Lu Zhang attained her BA degree in Environmental Design at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts (TAFA) in 2019 and her master's degree in Environmental Architecture Programme at the Royal College of Art (RCA). Following her sustained interest in architecture, gender studies, rural-urban migration and interdisciplinary studies, Zhang completed her research project "Female Fluid" in 2020 and a series of papers published between 2020 and 2022.

Zhang's PhD research focuses on gendered migration and the human-built environment in contemporary China. Driven by the interdisciplinary approach, her dissertation project aims to articulate on the rural-urban transition, human-built environment, spatial narratives, everyday practices, and subjectivity through the lens of gender and migration in contemporary China. Her research project combines site-based sociological and anthropological research methodologies and architectural and spatial mapping methods. She is also delving into the material culture in architectural studies, exploring the potential of various archives, media, and agents for architectural research. It expects to set up some socio-spatial models to discover the location and positionality of migrant women in rural-urban migration, the interpretations of migrant women's contributions to the built environment and urbanization, and the spatial rights of migrant women in urban China.
ZHOU MoyunPhD Candidate
History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism Track
zhoumoyu@connect.hku.hk
Supervisors: Dr Cole Roskam (primary); Dr Gang Song

Moyun Zhou's research interests lie in Global Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, specifically focusing on East Asia's mid-sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries ecclesiastical architecture. She received her BA and MA in History of Art from Indiana University Bloomington.

Zhou's dissertation, tentatively entitled "Constructing Space: Ecclesiastical Architecture in Macao, Beijing, Nagasaki, and Manila from the Mid-Sixteenth to Early Eighteenth Centuries", explores the church architecture, built by the Jesuits, in relation to the circulation of objects, people and knowledge, the emergence of Imperialism and Empire, the idea of Self and Other in the global context of Early Modern era.

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