Programme Director

Dr. Jianxiang Huang (

Assistant Programme Director & Admissions Tutor

Dr. Colleen Chiu (

Programme Officer

Mr. William Lo ( / Tel: 3917 4411)


Campus Map


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

Jianxiang Huang Huang Jianxiang

Jianxiang Huang is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. He is the Programme Director of the Master of Urban Design Programme. He has conducted research and teaching in the field of architecture, urban planning, and urban design over two decades in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the US. His research focuses on 1) urban performance simulation and 2) urban data analytics. In particular, he has developed novel urban environment and energy simulation models to assess urban heat island, building energy performances, air pollution, and airborne transmission of infectious disease; he has also studied the human-built environment interactions through the lens of “urban new data,” i.e., social media, POI, behavioural data, and wellbeing. His research has generated society impact; software tools stemming out of my research have been taken up by the industry for real-world applications and to inform policies.

Jianxiang’s teaching is anchored in the Master of Urban Design programme of HKU, in which he has contributed to the curriculum development and course innovations. He has taught design studios, theories, data analytics workshops, research methods, thesis and dissertation. For these, he has been shortlisted for the university’s Teaching Excellence Award. He has served on various academic and professional committees, from the International Society of City and Regional and Planners to the International Association for China Planning. He is a LEED accredited professional and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Prior to HKU, Jianxiang has worked as an urban designer at Sasaki Associates on many award-winning projects recognized by the Society of College and University Planning, International Downtown Association, the American Institute of Architects, and the Boston Society of Architects. He holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University, a Master in City Planning from MIT, a Master and a Bachelor in Architecture from Tsinghua University.

Colleen Chiu-Shee Colleen Chiu-Shee

Colleen Chiu-Shee is Assistant Professor in HKU’s Department of Urban Planning and Design. She is the Assistant Programme Director and the Admissions Tutor of the Master of Urban Design Programme. She is also an associate at National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute (Urbanisms Cluster). Colleen practiced architecture and urban design in China and the U.S. and holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is interested in innovative spatial and sociopolitical interventions that seek to transcend preexisting paradigms to promote environmental sustainability and social justice. Her dissertation, titled Ecological City Design and Planning: How China Expands Urban Ecology, Institutional Learning, and Cultural Shifts through the Evolving Eco-Developments, examines how developing countries forge adaptive capacity under the pressure of environmental degradation and urbanization through the lens of eco-city experiments in China. Colleen has collaborated to develop research projects that connect scholarship in North America with practice in Asia. These projects have examined a range of topics, including ecologies of land reclamation, masterplanned new cities, urban informality and land politics, collective governance and urban resilience, housing development and management, public housing and affordability, climate adaptation in vulnerable communities, and digital technologies for pandemic management. Her current research concerns green and smart urban futures, the global mobility of policy innovation, and cross-cultural research and education.

Colleen has taught design studios and creative courses that generate environmental and social visions as well as core and seminar courses in city design and development. Her teaching crosscuts local, national, and international practices and emphasizes real-world case studies. She favors a comparative approach to design and planning pedagogy to promote globally informed reflective practice.

Alain Chiaradia 

Alain is Associate Professor, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Urban Planning and Design (DUPAD, Faculty of Architecture, at the University of Hong Kong. He is a Council Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD), Member of the Urban Land Institute and an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism, UK. 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 across spatial scales and their impacts on health, social, economic and environmental values. 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.

Adjunct & Part-time Staff

Stephen Jones  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 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.

Casey Wang

Casey Wang is Adjunct Associate Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. She is a practitioner and educator in architecture and urbanism active in Greater China. She is the director and founding partner of multidisciplinary design practice, BLEND Architecture Limited and member of Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD), and associate member of The American Institute of Architects.

Casey was an Adjunct Associate Professor at School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong for courses including Urban Design Studio (Fall 2016, Fall 2018), Year 4 Architecture Design Studio (Fall 2017), Urban Studies Design Studio (Spring 2017, Spring 2018), Urban Studies Capstone Project I & II (Fall 2017, Fall/ Spring 2018, Spring 2019) and as External Examiner for architecture program. (2017-2018). She also had taught in Master of Urban Design at the University of Hong Kong from 2010 to 2014 and has lectured in Asia and Europe region. She co-edited Villages in the City: A Guide to South China’s Informal Settlements (2014), and Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook (2012). She was an invited exhibitor at the 2011-2012 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture. Casey’s contribution to architectural practice and knowledge production marks her a leader in the field.

Casey’s work is backed up by her experience at renowned international architectural practices. Prior to founding BLEND Architecture, she had held key positions at J. Mayer H. on the Metropol Parasol Seville, Foster + Partners, OMA, and Gensler. Projects that she has worked on include Yale School of Management, Taipei Performing Arts Center, and Tencent Beijing Headquarters. Casey received BSc in Architecture from National Cheng Kung University, and MA in Urban Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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.

Jason Hilgefort

Jason is an Adjunct Assistant Professor Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is an urbanist and 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.

Ian Ralph

Ian 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 of urban design. 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.

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+ 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.

Massi Dappero Dappero Massimiliano

 Massi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Genoa and he holds a Master’s in Urban Vision & Architectural Design with Distinction from Domus Academy Milan. Massi is the director and founder of Persone Studio, an urban design practice based in Hong Kong and has been working in the architecture and urban design industry since 1999. He moved to Hong Kong in 2011, working on several urban design and masterplan projects across Asia Pacific (Lead8, Benoy HK). Massi defines himself as a “friendly neighborhood urban designer” and an “observer of cities and people”. The focus of his design approach is people. In his projects which span from macro to micro, the common denominator is human scale.

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).

Brian Jan

Brian 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.

Barry Wilson

Barry 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.

Siddharth Khakhar Siddharth Khakhar

Siddharth is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Urban Design at the Hong Kong University, Faculty of Architecture, DUPAD. Siddharth is an HKU MUD graduate (2016-17) with distinction. Since 2017, he has been associated with MUD directly or indirectly, and in several part-time positions including Senior Researcher, Lecturer, and Adjunct Assistant Professor.

At HKU DUPAD, he was an integral part of the team that developed a detailed, one-of-a-kind indoor-outdoor 3D pedestrian network of several areas in Hong Kong, including Sheung Wan to Wanchai, Shatin, Tsuen Wan etc. Part of this map has now been acquired by HKSAR government to be included in their smart city initiative of the HK Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) and the Built Environment Application Platform.

Apart from his relationship with academia and research, his professional urban design experience ranges from several large to small scale projects across China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Middle-east, Russia, and India, working with international companies such as AECOM, StudioPOD, and CBT Architects. He has been involved in several high value projects including 100 India Smart Cities Project, Masdar City, Hudayriat Island Master plan etc.

He has been actively involved in advancing and integrating parametric UD, spatial analyses, small & big data as evidence-influenced, automation tools within urban design. He constantly seeks to define new relationships within cities based on an ideology of “Jetsons meeting the Flintstones”. Traditional practices in cities merging with theoretical logic and technological advances, to render a truly ‘smart city’ of the age. Focusing and stitching two parallel strands of urbanism, complexities of physical infrastructure and fragility of natural infrastructure, in high-density cities to create a unique framework for the future generations to enjoy.