Programme Director

Mr. Alain Chiaradia (

Admissions Tutor

Dr. Huang Jianxiang (

Programme Officer

Mr. William Lo ( / Tel: 3917 4411)


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Studio-based with emphasis on design and multi-media communication skills and problem-based learning projects which equip students to become professionals in urban design. It will enable to help students to understand and face the challenges associated with shaping cities and urban development in Hong Kong, China, and the world.
In addition, the programme will enable students to acquire broad knowledge of issues and methods in urban studies, including urban planning and design, urban policy and management, land development, real estate economics, sustainability, community development, public participation, urban renewal, conservation and place making. In the final year, students will challenge an independent research project on contemporary urban issues. As the field has an international scope, study abroad is encouraged, and could be an element of professional training.


Full-Time Staff


Alain Chiaradia


Alain is Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning and Design (DUPAD). He is the Programme Director of the Master of Urban Design. He is a Council Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD). Alain has taught design studio at the AA, MIT, Columbia GSAPP, and the Berlage Institute.

His research interests are in “how to measure urban design” i.e. spatial configurations of urban qualities. He is the lead author of the 3D spatial design network analysis software (3D sDNA) used by urban designer and researcher worldwide. sDNA provided more than 400 built environment variables for the biobankUK leading to award winning health  research.  sDNA is a 3D network science based smart analytics software of urban morphology. 3D sDNA enable volumetric urban design configuration analytics providing unique cognitive morphometrics to understand urban form impacts on economic, social, health and environmental performance of large conurbations in the USA, UK, France and China. Before joining the University of Hong Kong, he was Senior Lecturer in Urban Design at the Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning.

Alain was previously Executive and Board Director at the global consultancy Space Syntax Ltd. He has directed large scale spatial policy analysis, urban design policy formulation and evidence-based spatial and innovative urban design in major cities including Paris, London, Boston, Shanghai. He has provided consulting services to the Greater London Authority and the London Boroughs. He advised on urban design innovation leading international urban design practices and developers. He developed and led innovative services and operational research projects and managed more than 80 large-scale spatial transformation projects.

At University College London (UCL) he was Senior Research Fellow. His work has been widely published in international professional journals. In the UK he has been member of various research project advisory panels at national level. Currently he is on the advisory scientific committee of Efficacity a French R&D PPP centre dedicated to energy transition in urban territories that brings together the skills of over 100 researchers from industry and public research. He is a founding director of the international CHORA Urban Institute, and an advisor to national research funding institutions in Europe, North America and Asia.

Jianxiang Huang

Jianxiang Huang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design (DUPAD) at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is interested in the shaping of the built environment to enhance human well-being and resource efficiency. At HKU, he leads research projects to assess the thermal, acoustic and building energy performances in high density cities. He is the author of CityComfort+, a computer simulation tool that is equipped to simulate pedestrian comfort in outdoor urban spaces. Huang is a member of the Sustainable High Density Cities Lab and Healthy High Density Cities Lab, both are interdisciplinary research centers across disciplines of Engineering, Medicine, and Architecture. He studies place-making using geo-located social media data and he coordinates the Master of Urban Design programme at HKU.

Prior to a career in academia, Huang worked as an architect and urban designer in China and USA. He worked on projects that received awards from the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP), International Downtown Association (IDA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). He is a LEED accredited professional, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a former member of the board of directors of the International Association for China Planning (IACP). Huang holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University, a Master in City Planning from MIT, a M.Arch and a B.Arch from Tsinghua University.

Adjunct & Part-time Staff


Jason Hilgefort

Jason Hilgefort

Jason is a part-time Urban Design Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is an urbanist|architect who studied at the University of British Columbia, University of Cincinnati, and is currently a PHD candidate at RMIT. His work experience ranges from New York, Rotterdam, to Mumbai and includes working with Peter Calthorpe, Rahul Mehrotra, Maxwan A+U, and ZUS. He led Maxwan’s numerous competition victories in Helsinki, Basel, Kiev, Brussels, Ostrava, Hannover, and Lithuania before winning European 11 in Vienna. He subsequently founded Land+Civilization Compositions, a Rotterdam | Hong Kong based studio exploring issues at the ever-expanding edge of urbanism that views city creation as an art forum. Jason teaching experience includes Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. He was a sub curator in the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Urbanism/Architecture Biennale and a co-director of its educational platform. Currently he is the Academic Director of Aformal Academy for urbanism | landscape | public art in Shenzhen. He is also a regular writer, contributing to assorted publications over the years including Volume, uncube, SITE and more. He recently co-founded the Institute for Autonomous Urbanism which is focused on how the disruptive developments of dispersed infrastructure frame a moment in time where we can fundamentally reconceive of how we make, fund, and even conceptualize the world that surrounds us.

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones is Adjunct Associate Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. He is an Architect, Urban Designer, Educator and Director of the global architecture practice Woods Bagot with over 25 years’ experience in practice. Stephen has contributed significantly to the development of the global firm through leadership in design and the realisation of major Urban Design and Architecture projects across Asia-Pacific, Europe and Australia. His most significant experience is grounded in Asia’s international cities yielding innovations in city development, building typologies and individual projects that bundle and blur traditional sectors resulting in benchmarks of design and development that have international relevance.

His area of focus centres on value creation in urban environments through strategic design, the application of heuristic processes in design and the development and application of value frameworks. He is active in influencing policy and industry in public space design promoting the Architectural design profession’s key role in influencing the quality of our cities and places. He is a Full Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the standing Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce – Real Estate Investment Committee since 2018.  He is an active member of Urban Land Institute (ULI), Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC), Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) and a founding member of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban design (HKIUD).

Fiona Waters

Fiona Waters is Adjunct Associate Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. She is a Cambridge spatial and place making economist with a wealth of consulting experience, covering more than 20 years and 20 countries. Fiona set up Waters Economics in 2012 to provide independent consulting advice to both public and private sector clients, applying economics to land development, strategic planning, property, infrastructure investment and place making. Before setting up Waters Economics in 2012, she was Principal Economist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and was director at a management and economic consultants in Hong Kong for ten years. Fiona has a wealth of spatial economic consulting experience in Hong Kong, she has worked with more than 20 Government bureau/departments; most of the statutory bodies, as well as many major corporates, other professional service providers and NGOs. Fiona has led major consultancy consortia and has a strong track record in delivering major strategic studies and development projects. She sits on the Economic Policy Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and is currently advising government, statutory bodies and private clients on issues such as land supply, industry growth strategies, property investment and place making economics. Fiona’s spatial economic expertise covers all aspects of land and the built environment. Her work focuses on economic and financial planning, forecasting and analysis, providing strategic economic advice, forecasts of performance and estimated returns, institutional assessment, Public Private Partnerships (PPP), and project evaluation. She is highly regarded for her insight and creativity in turning complex financial and economic issues into pragmatic objectives and actions, and inspiring others to think innovatively.

Laurence Liauw

laurence-liauwLaurence Liauw is Adjunct Associate Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. He is Director of SPADA and Spada Health Concepts. A Registered Architect in Hong Kong, Member of HK Institute of Urban Design, and ex-Investment Banker in London/Tokyo. He has over 23 years of strategic urban development, master planning, urban design and architecture experience having worked in UK and Asia.

Laurence’s expertise is in healthy aging developments, operations investment, and design for seniors. His professional work projects span across multi-generational communities, integrated wellness & healthcare developments, international CBDs, aviation cities, innovation and educational campuses, museum cultural districts, and mixed-use TOD developments. With 18 years of academic experience.

Laurence has won various design awards, lectured and published internationally, with his works exhibited at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale and 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Han Hsi Ho

Han Hsi Ho

Han Hsi is Assistant Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. She is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Platform, a boutique design start-up that provides landscape, masterplanning, urban design and building information modeling consultancy services, working with multidisciplinary teams on projects ranging from corporate campuses less than 10 hectares to new urban zones over 140 km2. She is also an expert in building information modeling (BIM) and applies it to her projects’ planning, design, construction and operations life cycle. Prior to Assistant Professor for Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Hong Kong, Han Hsi was a guest lecturer at City University of Hong Kong, Presenter for Urban Land Institute Young Leaders’ Group (ULI YLG) Shanghai, Lecturer of Building Information Modeling and Technology at Washington University of St. Louis, Co-presenter and Instructor at Autodesk University, Presenter for AIAB Conference and Master Class in Hong Kong, and Speaker at Pecha Kucha St. Louis.

Han Hsi has a Bachelor of Architecture from the Cooper Union, Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree from Harvard GSD, and MBA from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is a licensed Project Management Professional (PMP) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

Vera Kleesattel

Vera is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. Vera is a distinguished architect/urban designer and educator with 14+ years of international working experience. Based in Hong Kong since 2015 and previously in the UK, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, she studied at the TU Darmstadt in Germany and is a registered architect in Germany and the UK. She is currently a PhD candidate at the RMIT.

With her background in both architecture and urbanism, Vera combines her expertise to develop holistic and sustainable design solutions for cities and urban centres. Her working experience with Foster + Partners, UN Studio, Henning Larsen and others, covers large scale high-value complex projects ranging from mixed-use masterplans, transport & infrastructure, Office, Residential, cultural and educational developments. She developed initiative for the HK Biennale to develop design strategies on rising sea levels.
Vera has a passion for good design, innovation (with critical thinking and creativity as prerequisites), rigorous attention to detail and deep technical knowledge all of which have been instrumental in APAC. Vera is regular guest critic in architecture and urban design at universi¬ties in Hong Kong.

Han Liu

Han is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture. She graduated from the University of Toronto and has worked as a landscape architect and an urban designer in many leading design firms in North America. She was the youngest lead designer and manager in her last workplace before founding Flexel Studio, a design practice based in Toronto and Hong Kong aiming to push boundaries of conventional design.

Han is a full member of Canadian Society of Landscape Architect (CSLA), a full member of Association of Landscape Architecture (OALA), and a certified arborist recognized by International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). She was also a former member of the editorial board for the Ground Magazine, a publication that promotes landscape practices in Ontario and in Canada. Han currently serves as an advisor for OALA Professional Development Program assisting career growth of associate members.

Ian Ralph

r-ianIan is an Associate Director of SOM, a Hong Kong-based, international architecture, planning and branding practice. He leads masterplanning projects at a range of scales across Asia, from dense urban transport-oriented development to more secluded tourist-led resorts. His previous experience also includes heritage, regeneration and community engagement as well as city branding and marketing, working on notable projects including the Birmingham Big City Plan and King’s Cross, London. He maintains an interest in initiatives to promote more liveable cities and street design and supporting active travel choices, helping clients realise the value in doing so. He has been involved in Living Streets guidance as well as policy for the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence’s on the built environment and health. Ian is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI) and member of the Urban Design Group and Urban Land Institute.

Brian Jan

brian-janBrian has been the Director of Design and Development at Meridian Capital since June of 2014, and has focused on real estate projects in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Slovakia, Russia, and Kazakhstan. His projects have ranged from feasibility to fruition in the sectors of residential, commercial, mixed use, hospitality, healthcare, and airport developments.

Prior to joining Meridian, Brian worked for over 12 years at the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices of AECOM, a NYSE listed global provider of design and engineering services. He was Vice President and Regional Director of Urban Design for Asia, practicing extensively in China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East while leading and overseeing the studios in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, and India. Prior to AECOM, he practiced at the architectural firm of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), in Washington, DC.

Brian holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Mr. Jan has sat on professional panels including the G-5 International Symposium on Tourism Planning in Korea; and has given lectures on Urban Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Virginia, and the Harvard Business School among others.

Chris Romanos

christoforos-romanosChristoforos Romanos is an architect and city planner specializing in the relationship between urban systems and city form. His project and research work embraces the full spectrum of inhabitable scales from buildings through to district planning and territorial strategies approaching urban planning and architecture design as a unified operation to integrate multiple types of organizational forms into a single spatial structure that simultaneously provide benefits for different audiences and communities. His research focuses on hybrid organizational morphologies, multi-scalar spatial structures and the operational syntheses of architectural typologies in different geographies.

He currently leads the Urban Design Team in Arup Hong Kong working on projects at multiple scales of development including pedestrian districts, public realm improvements, single-building urban design, neighbourhood planning, regional strategies, rural interface tactics and new town development. He is a key proponent of Arup’s Smart Green Resilient planning approach that pursues an alternative synthesis of urban components to resolve current planning and design challenges.

He holds a Master of Science in Architecture Studies and Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a Diploma in Architecture and is a registered architect and chartered member of the RIBA.

Barry Wilson

Barry-WilsonBarry Wilson is an internationally qualified design and construction consultant, researcher, writer, advocate, lecturer and public speaker. He has an extensive knowledge of worldwide design and construction standards and management practices, utilised through his award-winning Hong Kong / China consultancy firm “Barry Wilson Project Initiatives”, which focuses on sustainable solutions in a complex and changing world. He is focused on bringing contemporary international approaches to problem solving whilst introducing research themes in order to apply “out of the box’ thinking and challenge conventional approaches. In 2012, he received award from the China International Urbanization Development Strategy Research Committee for his outstanding achievements and in 2016 presented the TEDx talk “When Fantasy Becomes Reality” in Guangzhou.

Barry is qualified as a UK Chartered and Hong Kong Registered Landscape Architect, regularly undertaking roles teaching and lecturing at the University of Hong Kong, Peking University, Lund University and Penn State University. He has lived and worked across four continents; having designed, managed and completed projects in the UK, USA, Africa, Hong Kong and China. He sits on various professional committees, thinktanks and public interest groups including both the Council and the Public Affairs Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design, is Chairman of the Shenzhen Branch of the British Chamber of Commerce, Guangdong and is also member of the Hong Kong Britcham China and Healthcare Committees. He is also a regular opinion writer with the South China Morning Post.

A graduate in Landscape Design from Heriot-Watt University and the Honours/Masters program in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art, his dissertation on the Restoration of American Historic Parks was supervised by renowned academic Catherine Ward-Thompson. He has subsequently worked at historic park restoration specialists Walmsley & Company in New York City.
Since 2003 Barry has been involved in teaching at various points with The University of Hong Kong as a Part Time Lecturer to the Architecture Faculty, teaching at various times in the Departments of Real Estate and Construction Management, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and HKU-SPACE. He attended the CAUT – Induction to University Teaching Workshop in September 2005. During 2008 he started supervising workshops at Peking University Graduate School and now teaches regular summer school courses to the Architectural Engineering Department of Penn State University. Since 2010 he has facilitated studios with the Sustainable Urban Design masters students at Lund University of Sweden.

Sunnie S.Y. Lau

Sunnie S.Y. Lau, born and raised in Hong Kong, graduated with a B.A in Architecture from University of California, Berkeley; and later on obtained her M.Arch from M.I.T. She has collaborated with internationally renowned architectural practices prior to postgraduate study at the M.I.T.; she worked with Morphosis Architects L.A., MVRDV Rotterdam, on international competitions, cultural projects and large-scale urban developments. She also participated in the presentation drawings for the West Kowloon Cultural Competition when she was working at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA Asia) – Hong Kong. Recent experience covered TFP Farrell and Herzog de Meuron – in the design development of the M Plus Museum.

Her academic study focuses on urban masterplanning, urban mobility and infrastructure, architectural typologies with an interest in creative and innovative sustainable design strategies. She believes firmly in bridging professional and academia by active teaching engagements such as HKU M.Arch Design Studio, M.Arch Thesis, Urban research-oriented design seminar – “Urban Mobility and Smart Infrastructure”, the MIT B.S. Arch. Undergraduate Design Studio. More recently, she has been a regular design critic besides instructor at the architecture and urban design programs at local and Mainland Schools (HKU, CUHK, the China Academy of Art, Tongji University, etc) and Co-Curator & Exhibitor of the HK/SZ Bi-City Biennale Of Urbanism\Architecture (Hong Kong) 2017.

Her current research-oriented practice – SOSArchitecture Urban Design Studio Ltd. covers a wide range of works; which includes but not limited to smart urban furnitures (Infrastructures), interior design, urban place-making , masterplanning, adaptive reuse and urban regeneration projects in Hong Kong, Mainland China.