Eunice M.F. Seng is Associate Professor and Chair of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee in Architecture at the University of Hong Kong; and founding principal of SKEW Collaborative. She is co-director of Archifest 2017 and a founding member of Docomomo Hong Kong. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the National University of Singapore, a Master of Architecture from Princeton University, and a PhD in Architectural History and Theory from Columbia University. Her work explores interdisciplinary intersections, transnational connections and questions of agency in architecture, housing, domesticity, gender, labor, and public space. She is the author of Resistant City: Histories, Maps, and the Architecture of Development (WSP, 2020).
Seng is co-editor of the special issue on Dwelling in Asia, Journal of Architecture 22, 6 (2017), Cosmopolitanism’s Others: Forgotten Histories of Transnational Architectural Practice, Architectural Theory Review 26, 2; and theme editor of Competency, Ardeth 10. Her book manuscript “Built in Hong Kong: histories of modern architecture, labor, and the environment” confronts the spatial politics and tropes on development, environment, urban density, and housing by investigating the entangled construction, economic and social lives of mid-twentieth century composite buildings. Ongoing research examines housing design and planning in Singapore as a complex of colonial, postcolonial, and Cold War contingencies and women’s writings on modern architecture in China and Asia.
Seng’s GRF-funded research project, “Dense DomestiCities: Composite Building Histories in Hong Kong, 1950s-1970s” (2018-21), explores the inextricable relationship between architecture, people, institutions, economy and the urban domestic environment in Hong Kong. Other recent research awards include a collaborative research project “Gender, Professionalization and the Built Environment” (2018-20) examines the contribution of women in the architectural fields to the design and production of the built environment in Hong Kong and Singapore, “Vertical Factory Design in Hong Kong, Industrial Architecture of East Kowloon, 1950s-60s” (2018-21), and Archifest – Building Agency (2017).
Seng, E. “Working Women and Architectural Work: Hong Kong, 1945-1985.” Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration, edited by A. I. Siddiqi and R. Lee. Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative; PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Nov. 2022. Forthcoming
Seng, E. “An Institution for Independence: The Singapore Polytechnic.” Radical Pedagogies, edited by B. Colomina, I. G. Galan, E. Kotsioris and A.-M. Meister, 302-304. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2022.
Seng, E. “Whose Habitat? Housing and the Dilemma of Architectural Production,” TDSR 32, No. 2 (2021): 53-70.
Seng, E. The Resistant City: Histories, Maps and the Architecture of Development. London; Hong Kong; Singapore: World Scientific Press, 2020.
Seng, E. “People’s Park Complex: The State, the Developer, the Architect and the Conditioned Public, c1967.” In Questioning Southeast Asia’s Architecture, edited by Chang J.-H. & I. Tajudeen, 227-264. Singapore: NUS Press, 2019.
Seng, E. “Multiple Domesticities versus Homogenizing Difference.” In Multiple Modernities, edited W.S.W. Lim and J. Chia, 171-181. Singapore: Asia Urban Lab, 2018.
Seng, E. “The City in a Building: A Brief Social History of Hong Kong.” Marginalia: Limits within the Urban Realm – Studies in History and Theory of Architecture 5 (2017): 81-98.
Seng, E. “Temporary Domesticities: The Southeast Asian Hotel as (re)presentation of Modernity, 1968-1973.” The Journal of Architecture – Dwelling Asia, 22, No. 6 (2017): 1092-1136.
Chee, L. and E. Seng. “Dwelling in Asia: translations between dwelling, housing and domesticity.” The Journal of Architecture 22, No. 6 (2017): 993-1000.
Efforts to situate history and theory within architectural design and practice extend to conference papers and invited lectures. These include: “The Housing Exhibition: Visionary Architecture and Housing in Singapore, c1963” (AHRA, 2020), “Modernity, Labor and Migrancy: the worker’s dorm as extranational space” (ASAA SAUHA, 2020), “The Architectural Turn: Modern Architecture and Public Space in Singapore, c.1973” (mASEANa, Singapore, 2019), “The Modern Movement and Urban Development in Hong Kong” (Docomomo Japan, Tokyo, 2019), “Agency and Affordability: transnational technologies and housing a city” (Re: Housing Detroit, UMich, Detroit, 2019), “Concrete Garden City: trans(planting) a nation, 1950s-present” (Docomomo International, Slovenia, 2018), “The City, the Woman and the Other Spaces” (The City and its Double, HKU, 2018), “Domesticity, Labor and ‘Ideal Homes’ in Singapore” (Situating Domesticities, NUS, 2017).
Seng has co-convened a number of international symposiums including: Archigram Symposium (2018), Symposium on Critical Architectural Histories – in conjunction with the inauguration of the Kenneth Frampton Book Collection. HKU (2016), The Speculative City: Emergent Forms and Norms of the Built Environment. HKU (2015), and 2020: Housing China Symposium. HKU (2013). She also serves as panel chair and discussant in various conferences and workshops, including the European Architectural History Network (EAHN), Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), Society of Architectural and Urban Historians of Asia (SAUHA), International Association of the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), Southeast Asian Architectural Research Collaborative (SEAARC), Docomomo International, M+ Hong Kong, Docomomo Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Singapore Institute of Architects.
Recent lectures include, “Scales of Habitation” (Bartlett UCL, 2022), “Resistant City, Jardine House and Urban Imaginaries” (SEAsia International Program, Pratt Institute, 2021), “Resistant City” (SAUHA Book Talk series, 2021), “Making Visible: Women and Architecture in Asia” (CSIS, Washington DC, 2021), “Translating Lin Huiyin’s References of Modern Housing Design” (SAH/GAHTC, CCA, Montreal, 2021), “Bauhaus and Modern Architecture in Hong Kong and Singapore” (100 Years Bauhaus, Goethe Institut & HKU Museum and Art Gallery, 2019), “Jardine House and Visions of Modern Hong Kong” (P&T, M+ and HKU, FCC Hong Kong, 2018), “Architecture of Artefacts” (Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore, 2018), “Building Agency, Manila” (Anthology Architecture and Design Festival, Instituto Carvantes of Manila and Intramuros Administration, Manila, 2018), “Monsters, Sand and Towers: A Radical Tokyo Episode” (Cities in Asia, Tokyo, 2018), “Architecture of Artifacts” (Anthology Architecture and Design Festival, Manila, 2017).
As co-director of the 2017 Singapore Institute of Architects Archifest in Singapore themed Building Agency, SENG organized and co-convened over fifty events, including the Conference at ArchExpo held in Marina Bay Sands Conference and a panel discussion on Women in Architecture. At SKEW, Seng directs design research and has exhibited their work at a number of international platforms, including Seoul Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (2017), Parasite Gallery, Hong Kong (2015), Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale (2007-08 2009-10, 2013-14, 2017-18), 2020 Housing China, Hong Kong (2013), Chengdu Biennale (2011), Singapore Hub-to-Hub Public Art Program (2011), 100% Design Exhibition, Shanghai (2009), You-Prison Exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2008), Art Asia Pacific, Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (2007), Organized Spaces Exhibition at the New York Asian American Art Center (2005), Shanghai Contemporary Art Exhibition (2005), Get-It-Louder Exhibition in Shanghai & Beijing (2005), Venice Biennale (2004), Singapore Art Festival 2004, and SENI Art Festival at the Singapore Art Museum (2004).
Teaching & Supervision
At HKU, Seng supervises PhD and MArch thesis. She teaches core and elective undergraduate and graduate courses on the history and theory of Architecture and Urbanism, architectural and urban design. These include a research postgraduate course on Research Methods (ARCH6057), a lecture course on the History and Theory of Modern Architecture (ARCH2058/ARCH7173), and a common core course, Architecture and Film (CCHU9034). Until 2021, Seng was a guest lecturer for the faculty foundation course “Housing & Cities.” She is a member of the Faculty’s Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Initiative (AUHI) and the Affordable Housing Research Network (AHRN).