Ying Zhou is an architect who joined the faculty of architecture at the University of Hong Kong in 2016. Her expertise is at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, and visual art. Her current research investigates the arts ecologies manifested by Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore’s art spaces. She also researches on and writes about heritage conservation, architectural reuse, gentrification, and creative cities. Her research and teaching question how architectural spatial productions—the processes and pathways for creating built environments and the drivers and actors that propel these processes—manifest the larger relationships between urban restructurings, new economies, and governance systems, particularly in East Asian cities.
Prior to her move to Hong Kong, she had been teaching and researching contemporary cities at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ). She was a lecturer and researcher with the chair of Kees Christiaanse at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) of the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) 2011-2015, where she focused on how contemporary urban developments impact cultural industries in East Asian city centres, and with the chair of Herzog & de Meuron at ETH Studio Basel 2007-2011, where she taught urban research on Kolkata, Damascus and Cairo and produced a book about MetroBasel.
Her work has been exhibited at the at the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, at the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Architecture Biennale, at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, in the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, amongst other places. She has published in Critical Planning, Monu, Urban China [城市中国 ], LEAP［艺术界］, Art Journal, amongst many others. She has given talks at Tai Kwun, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Shanghai Modern Art Museum amongst other and has been quoted in the Economist on architectural heritage conservation in China. She is a member of the Built Heritage Research Collaborative at the Faculty of Architecture’s Urban Labs.
Born in Shanghai, Ying holds a B.S.E. in Architecture and Engineering from Princeton, a M.Arch. from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, a Ph.D. from the ETHZ, and was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Stuttgart. She has taught and practiced in New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Detroit, Boston and Basel.
Dr. Zhou’s newest publication is her book Urban Loopholes: Creative Alliances of Spatial Production in Shanghai’s City Center (2017, Birkhäuser, ISBN 978-3035611045). For more information, see for example,
The Making of the Book : Urban Loopholes: Creative Alliances of Spatial Production in Shanghai’s City Center
Zhou, Ying. “Lujiazui Shanghai: Urban Paragon for a Post-Socialist China.” In The Grand Projet: Towards Adaptable and Liveable Urban Megaprojects, edited by Kees Christiaanse, Anna Gasco, and Naomi Hanakata, 105–48. Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2019. (url:The Grand Projet )
Zhou, Ying, and Desmond Choi. “West Kowloon, Hong Kong: A Transport-Oriented Development with Culture.” In The Grand Projet: Towards Adaptable and Liveable Urban Megaprojects, edited by Kees Christiaanse, Anna Gasco, and Naomi Hanakata, 149–98. Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2019. (url:The Grand Projet )
Zhou, Ying. Urban Loopholes: Creative Alliances of Spatial Productions in Shanghai’s City Center. Berlin: Birkhäuser, 2017.
Taking cases from the until-now little-analyzed un-demolished remains of city center neighborhoods in Shanghai, the book Urban Loopholes: Creative Alliances of Spatial Production in Shanghai’s City Center by Dr. Ying Zhou unpacks the seemingly anarchic and opportunistic urban spatial production system of the contemporary Chinese city to address what has perplexed Western public as well as scholars alike.
Zhou, Ying. “Gentrification with Chinese Characteristics? City Centre Transformations in Shanghai.” In Progress & Prosperity The Chinese City as Global Urban Model, 68–83. Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2017.
Zhou, Ying 周颖. “After the Natural: Studies in Singapore’s Built Environment [自然之后：新加坡建成环境研究].” LEAP [艺术界], January 2017, 29–35.
Zhou, Ying. “上海中心城区: 在全球愿景和本土构架之间 [Between global aspirations and local frameworks: city center Shanghai].” Urban China 城市中国 56 (2013): 68–73.
Zhou, Ying. “Urban Loopholes: Tactics of Survival and Manifestations of Desires in Damascus.” Critical Planning 17, no. Resilient Cities (October 2010): 88–107.