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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

  • Intercultural city and postcolonial urbanism, in particular relating to cultural identity, migration, decolonisation and globalisation
  • Colonial and postcolonial architecture
  • Minority spaces and spaces of diasporic experience, in particular (Overseas) Chinese urbanism
  • Urban Memory, Heritage and Regeneration
  • Transcultural Architectural Design
  • Architectural History and Theory

Personal profile

Expertise Summary

I am a registered architect, urbanist and architectural historian. My academic objective is to explore methods aiming at a global understanding of architecture and urbanism linking the experience, knowledge and practices in the West and Asia, in particular Southeast Asia and the Far East. I have experience in practising, teaching and researching architecture and urbanism in Malaysia, China and the UK. Prior to joining UNNC, I have taught at The Bartlett’s MA Architectural History and University of Brighton and have served as a regular design critic for many institutions including University of Westminster (MA Architecture, Cultural Identity and Globalisation).

My teaching is informed by my research. I have taught and supervised students from Europe, South Americas, Africa, Asia, Middle East and North America. My current teaching at UNNC is Architectural Humanities II and III which includes lectures on migration, hybridity, Orientalism, global culture, architectural identity, memory, modernity and postmodernism etc.

My teaching in design studio is mainly exploring how transcultural exchange and architectural design processes happen within interdisciplinary and cross-cultural contexts. Previous studio unit includes “Slow Cities in a Fast World: Navigating Heritage, Identity and Slow Living for a Future Life Style in Ningbo, China” (Team: Yat Ming Loo, Jing Xie, Eugenio Mangi, KeMing Wang, Kathy Zhang); “Dwelling, Place and Identity: A Housing Project with a Community Library in Yinzhou” (Team: Yat Ming Loo, Rosangela Tenorio [lead], Jing Xie & Xin Wang, 2016); Community-led Design (Co-leader with Rosnagela Tenorio, 2015-16): Designing a School in Gansu for Hepan Primary School. Current teaching in design studio now explores placemaking and community-building in Shanghai (refer with Eugenio Mangi, Yimin Su and Kathy Zhang.

My research is inter-disciplinary, incorporating approaches from architecture, architectural history, cultural studies, ethnography and urbanism. I completed my PhD in Architecture and Urbanism at the Bartlett, University College London and my thesis was shortlisted for RIBA President's Award for Research 2010 (Outstanding PhD Thesis). Main research focus is to explore ways of connecting cultural identity, architecture and globalisation with decolonisation in envisioning intercultural and postcolonial urbanism. Major publications include:  Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur (London: Ashgate, 2013), The Chinese East End (London: Historic England and Liverpool University Press, forthcoming), Beyond the Market: Building Sino-Latin American Cultural Relations (2016), ‘Towards a Decolonisation of Architecture’ (RIBA JoA, 2017), and ‘Banyan Tree and Migrant Cities’(London, John Wiley and Sons, 2013). My researches have been supported by funders including English Heritage, Paul Mellon Centre of Art, RIBA Research Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund. I am serving as Reviewer for prestigious publishers and journals such as Routledge, RIBA’s JoA, Cities etc.

I have also experience in collaborative research with public engagement beyond the academia. I worked closely with various organisations which include museums and archives, local libraries, community groups, local residents, volunteers and students. Between 2007 and 2012, I was the Principal Investigator and Project Leader for two heritage/oral history archival and research projects in London - ‘The Legacy of Limehouse Chinatown’ and ‘Footprints of the Dragon’ - funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

My current research includes: A Transcultural and Transnational Interpretation of Contemporary Architecture in China; Ningbo City-Image and City Branding; Port-City, Film and Architecture; Globalising Port-Cities in China: The Architecture and Branding of International Ports in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates who are interested in the following research areas: Intercultural city, migration, decolonisation and globalisation, Colonial and postcolonial architecture, Minority spaces, Urban Memory, Heritage and Regeneration, Transcultural Architectural Design. My current PhD students research: Hybrid Architecture and Urban Spaces of the Five Avenues in Tianjin’s Former British Settlement; A comparative study of UK's and China's architecture industry: Transnational Architectural Production in China and the Copycat Architecture Phenomenon; The Paradigms of Revitalization of Historic Quarters in China in Wenzhou.


  • Architectural Design Studio (Vertical Studio – Year 2 and Year 3)
  • Architectural Humanities II: Critical Thinking and Architecture
  • Architectural Humanities III: Critical Theory and Interpretation in Architecture

Person Types

  • Staff


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