Devabhaktuni, Sony

BA Stanford; BArch Cooper Union; Fulbright Fellow; MA Paris III (Indian Studies)

Sony Devabhaktuni is an assistant professor of design in the department of architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). His research and teaching looks at urban infrastructure and at collaborative processes in architectural design. He works with methods from the social sciences and through drawing. Ongoing projects include: a study of open-ended processes between dancers and architects, the development of architectural scenario planning as a speculative method for urban futures, and research on curb-scale infrastructures of the street.

His writing has appeared in May Revue, Platform, the AA Files, Public Culture (with Joanna Mansbridge, forthcoming, January 2022) and Global Performance Studies (with Joanna Mansbridge and Susan Sentler, forthcoming, Winter 2022). His book, Curb-scale Hong Kong: infrastructures of the street (forthcoming, Spring 2022) describes the intersections of policy, labour, economics, material and design that divide up Hong Kong’s street as a contested ground. He is the co-author, with John C.F. Lin, of As Found Houses: experiments from self-builders in rural China (2020). The book documents renovations to traditional village house typologies with interviews, photographs and drawings, arguing for a rethinking of how architecture frames vernacular knowledge. With Min Kyung Lee, he contributed the chapter, “Collaboration: Unresolved Forms of Working Together in Contemporary Architectural Practice” to the The Routledge Companion to Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture (Swati Chattopadhyay and Jeremy White, eds.)(2019).

BAAS Common Core: Image, Space and Society

Image, Space and Society is offered to HKU students from throughout the university as part of the Common Core program. We look at how space and the city are described in architecture and through different media. As part of their work over the semester, students create a film based on a photographic “storyboard”. For many students, it is the first time they are asked to reflect on the images that surround them.