Develop More Livable High-density Cities | An Interview with UABB Participant Wang Weijen


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The 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) (hereinafter referred to as “UABB”) themed “Urban Interactions” was officially opened on December 22nd at the two main venues at Futian High Speed Railway Station and the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE). The exhibition consisted of two sections, namely “Eyes of the City” and “Ascending City”. Nine sub-venues in the different districts of the city well interacted with the two main venues, completing an organically interactive network throughout the city. On August 19, 2020, the 8th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) officially closed online.

Exhibitions are practices that generate thoughts through vision and space. The work “Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape” presented at this UABB is an “urban forest” consisting of over 20 tower models and intends to explore vertical spaces of more freedom. As one of the five most voted works at this UABB, it received the Public Award at the closing ceremony. In this article about the interview with Prof. Wang Weijen from the Department of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and project director of the aforesaid work, he shared his views on “how to bring about real changes and redefine people’s understanding of planning through these discussions”, a dream he is cherishing now.


Wang Weijen is the design director of Wang Weijen Architecture, Andrew K F Lee Professor at Department of Architecture, HKU, and director of Center of China Building Centre. He also previously served as head of Department of Architecture, HKU, curator of Hong Kong Pavilion at 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, lead curator of 2007 UABB (HK), and associate of The Architects Collaborative (TAC) based in San Francisco, USA. His research mainly focuses on Chinese architecture and cities, including the transformation of courtyard typology.

Source: Archiposition


Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape, 2019 UABB

In 2018 Venice Biennale, 100 Exhibitors, including architects from Hong Kong and other cities, are invited by WANG Weijen, the chief curator, to design their towers of freespace, making statements on tower typology in the vertical city. Responding to “Ascending City” of UABB (Shenzhen), the project celebrates the notion of “Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape”, illustrates Hong Kong Exhibition of 2018 Venice Biennale with the theme of freespace. 


Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape, 2019 UABB

Selecting 20 towers models among the 100 proposals in Venice Hong Kong Exhibition, this project demonstrates the high-density urban conditions of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, explores the visionary design of freespace through towers. 


Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape, 2019 UABB

The project manifest innovation within constrains while generating extraordinary spaces from ordinary. The white tower model-base with infrastructures are open for the 20 exhibitors to re-define the typological, spatial and façade potential while maintaining the constrain of its envelope as a collective urban form. The project not only illustrates the compactness of Hong Kong’s urban form, and outlines multiple and diversified tower propositions addressing issues on communal spaces, public as well as landscape spaces in vertical fabric. 


Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape, 2019 UABB

Other than installing 20 towers marching along the exhibition rooms, the project also presented the images and videos of 100 proposals in Venice Hong Kong Exhibition.The project provides a platform of dialogue with the world, shaping a discourse of Hong Kong’s urbanism and vertical architecture. And most importantly, the venue provides architects with opportunities to re-think the design of tower typology beyond, incubating visions for vertical free space facing global challenges in technology, environment, society and culture.


Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape, 2019 UABB

Origin of “Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape” & Reflection on Future High-Density City

Q: Archiposition

A: Wang Weijen

Q: As chief curator of 2007 UABB (HK), the curator of Hong Kong Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale, and participant of 2019 UABB (SZ), how do you think the specialized exhibitions of urbanism and architecture mean for design practice and disciplinary discussion?

A: If architecture is deemed as a “discourse”, we as architects need to think about architecture in addition to building production. There are many ways to think about architecture, including writing, researches, and exhibitions as well. Strictly speaking, exhibition should be a declaration that has a purpose and voices out opinions. In history, publication and exhibition were always important parts in the professional lives of many architects in addition to architectural creation, such as the renowned Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.

Gathering and calling on some architects to stage a small exhibition is a quite common way of discourse. Yet when architects are involved to curate some major exhibitions like Venice Biennale for which Aldo Rossi was the curator in 1980’s, it will be quite impressive. Rossi was an architect, a scholar and thinker of architecture. With a very clear discourse, he engaged the general public through some strategies and showed both diversity and consistency in his curation, which was a way of exhibition. The Venice Biennale curated by Rossi represents an important step forward in the development of architecture in the 1980s.


Poster of Hong Kong Pavilion at 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

A:Of course, I didn’t think I’m as important as Rosie, nor did I purposely plan to curate exhibitions all the way through. I just happened to have some opportunities. For example, 2007 Hong Kong Architecture Biennale was a new thing at that time, but it happened at a critical time for the development of architecture in Hong Kong. So I was interested and took the job to advocate the urban agenda I’ve been following for a long time. Similarly, the exhibition title at 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, i.e. the “Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape” presented at this UABB, is actually the subject I’ve been thinking over in the past decade, and in recent years I started to feel it is the right timing to present it.

For architects, it took less efforts to participate in an exhibition. But to curate an exhibition, the workload is just huge. So we can’t do this too often. But if we do it every five or ten years, it can generate very important rethinking and reflection on our architectural topics and practice. Of course, it does not necessarily have to be curation. Researches and publications can do the same. We should always find some ways to push ourselves, and to keep our architectural thinking moving forward.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Weijen WANG), 2019 UABB

Q: You have worked on the topic of “Density in Landscape” for years, why?

A: First, it offers a very strong sense of vision. I usually stay in Hong Kong, and I can see all buildings closely cling to each other, “growing vertically”. This is a very special perception of urban architecture. So I imagine that it will have a more distinct visual expression and spatial identity after being abstracted at the exhibition venue, and show the characteristics of the city.


“Hong Kong Model”

A: A bigger reason for this is the problems of urban density and human living environment. The biggest dilemma facing people nowadays is the deteriorating ecological environment resulting from ruthless exploitation of natural resources. If we still need to develop that amount of floor area in the future, and if we adopt the “Hong Kong Model”, which means to keep the majority of lands as natural reserves, and use the remaining 1/3 or 1/4 for development at a very high FAR, we can save another half of land for nature in cities like Shenzhen.  

Could we make our buildings in higher density and more compact layout, so we can leave more natural lands for agriculture and forests? How could we make urban buildings more livable, ecological and human-oriented within the given density? These are my considerations as premises of this exhibition. If human beings are to live in a more sustainable way, many of us have to live in high-density cities. This is acceptable for me. But the challenge is how we should design and build high-rise buildings?


Vertical landscape in Hong Kong

A: High-rise buildings are generally deemed as the result of economy and vanity. “Economy” means the higher the buildings are, the greater efficiency is achieved, and the larger the floor area is, the more money is made, as all area excluding elevators, stairs, and structural equipment can be sold for money. What else can we do about design following such design idea? In addition to the efficient utilization of floor area, the skin and appearance of the external walls is another focus of the design, I suppose. That's why all design competitions of high-rise buildings nowadays in Shenzhen regard high-rises as landmarks to showcase the city or companies.

“If most of us were to live in high-rise buildings in the future, 1,000 people working and living in a tower may form a village, 10,000 people from ten towers in a residential quarter form a town, and 100,000 people in a larger block is equivalent to the population of a city in Europe.”

A: In that case, should we look for good quality space in high-rise buildings as we expect to see in a good city? Conventionally, we believe a good city should have various types of public space like larger parks and small patches of green space, as well as diverse urban fabrics like museums, theaters, sports venues, well-arranged squares, alleys, cafes, bookstore, and galleries. So in a high-density district of a city now, is it possible to make all these happen through a different way of design thinking and a different urban mechanism?


Q: In the academic seminar of 2019 UABB (SZ), your remarks centers on three key words, scale, fabric, and public. What thoughts do they represent as far as high-rise buildings and high-density cities are concerned?

A: I’d like to talk about public and fabric first. In fact, they are closely related to each other. Fabric refers to the relation between units, while public refers to the shared area excluding individual units. Fabric is not just about units, but more importantly the relations between units, between high-rise buildings, and between the floors in a high-rise building.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Jesse REISER), 2019 UABB

A: Nowadays, most towers in cities are efficiently built together with shared podiums. The places we visit in daily life are basically parking lots, ground levels, podiums, shopping malls, and perhaps roof gardens. We arrive at home or office from the underground parking lot via elevators. This vertical experience based on elevators is apparently deficient compared with the abundant fabric in the past urban life. What can we do about it? Reserving more diverse public and outdoor space in the transitioning between elevators and stairs? Should we see the public space in a building as a part of the entire urban environment? But of course, doing so will certainly contradict with the idea that "high-rise buildings must be the most efficient money makers" or with corporate images.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Hua TANG), 2019 UABB

A: For example, is it possible to design a small courtyard for every twenty households in a high-rise residential building for seniors or kids so that they don't have to go downstairs to the community garden? Is it possible to design a large green platform for every two hundred households for basketball playing and walking, which is connected to another platform via a pedestrian bridge? One or more towers may share five or six large community places or even twenty to thirty small ones like tea houses and grocery stores. Perhaps people may access the air gardens or stores in the neighboring high-rise building through an air street.

These are quite complicated. Surely, we can make all these happen in terms of architectural technology. But we still need to work on design, law, management system, etc. We even come out with even more radical ideas. Should we reconsider the land property right, development model and volume management in the air by calculating the land price based on not just the footprint, but also the development of the vertical urban space? Should we consider the public space in the twenty, forty or sixty floors above the ground, including the connecting bridges and green land, as part of the infrastructure system, that is, considering the high-rise buildings as a three-dimensional urban space?

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Ida SZE & Billy CHAN), 2019 UABB

A: The other key word is scale. Architects usually don't like to talk about it because they’ve known about it in their freshman year. But scale does impose problems in today’s cities, especially in Chinese cities. This UABB (SZ) is about future cities. But no matter what changes we may encounter in the future, I don't think our average height ranging between 160 and 180 cm will be different in one hundred years. Scale is the relation between the body of a person and his/her surrounding space. But what exactly is scale in real life? For a one- or two-floor building on the street, we may perceive it well as a whole. But for a ten- or twenty-floor building, we don’t even know what it is like any more. When it takes us great efforts to pass Shennan Avenue guided by the traffic lights, the scale of the road makes no sense to us any more. That's the problem facing today’s cities.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Qun ZENG), 2019 UABB

A: Despite the fact that Chinese cities have exhibition halls, shopping malls etc., they are so large and the scale is usually inhuman. Quite often in cities, unless using Google Map, it would be practically impossible to experience the large urban space. Sometimes you can’t even find your way into a building after you walk around it, and when you do get in, you will find that it is so large that you don't know where to go. Things like this happen because of the wrong scale. A good architect should be able to design a complicated large building into smaller components like small buildings, squares, streets, etc.


“Architects should be able to keep the scale of space under control to make progress in buildings. The significance of appropriate scale of high-rise buildings, as far as I’m concerned, is to make people feel the ‘urban space and fabric’ in daily life.”

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Xiaofeng ZHU), 2019 UABB

A: Last but not least, I'd like to mention another key word, green. When we ruin the forests, what should we do to plant trees in high-rise buildings and build roof gardens that are of true ecological significance? I've been working on the idea of “urban quadrangles”, that is, building a courtyard in a building to plant a tree which has access to sunshine and rainwater. But in today's cities with vertical fabric, how can we build more gardens and platforms that will form ecological systems among buildings with a sense of scale? Is it possible to connect these green spaces of various sizes in the air to establish a larger ecological system consisting of waters, plants, and animals? These aspects of a city are what architects should reflect on and contribute to.

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A: These few key words represent the purposes of the exhibition. Those are what I’ve been thinking about, but I am not sure if others are doing the same. So it is in fact an experiment and architects are invited to reflect on these things too.


Q: You invited many domestic and overseas architects to participate in your work. How do you manage to do that?

A: For this work, we need many towers to create diverse urban fabric while ensuring the overall quality and visual unity and diversity that an exhibition must have. But the thing is, we couldn't afford so many towers which may cost fifty thousand yuan each. So we came up with a set of rules. We made three models of wooden bases with a surface of 36×36 cm in the scale of 1:100. Each designer was invited to design towers of different forms and space on these three models of bases, which is favorable for the control of cost and transportation.


The size of a flat square is equivalent to one thousand square meters, namely the floor area of a typical office building floor. To allow for changes, the three models of bases vary in height, and have three structures: 1) Frame, having four pillars at the four corners; 2) Core, having a pillar in the middle, a bit like a cross-shaped residential buildings in Hong Kong; and 3) Wall, having walls on both sides. In fact, they represent three types of high-rise buildings. For example, some elevator cores are in the middle, while others on the sides or in the four corners. They happen to present the relations between structures, elevators and services. Most architects came up with design on these bases. But some of them would like to use their own structures. For example, Mr. Zhu Tao didn't want to be like others. So he built his own base, and the results turned out really good too.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Kai CUI), 2019 UABB

A: The permutation and combination of the three bases with three structures and different height offer nine variants. These also better present the real situation in cities as buildings are different in height from the ground. We first asked each exhibitor to “choose from a menu”, and then engaged a factory in Dongguan to made a hundred bases, costing a few thousand yuan each. We then asked the participating architects to have everything they need prepared in two months. We rented a warehouse in Hong Kong, where all architects gathered to assemble their models. It’s kind of like a collective activity for architects. The similar model dimensions also make it easy for packaging and transportation using containers. That's how we manage to ship them to Venice, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Yung-Ho CHANG), 2019 UABB

A: The final result is quite fascinating. It turns out that many of my hypothetical thoughts are actually common concerns. The plan strikes a chord with some designers. For example, Liu Xiaodu from Urbanus designed three-dimensional units and public community space in a residential building; Winy Mass created interconnected towers. It's pretty clear that they follow the topic. But many other architects came up with inspiring tower design topics that I didn’t expect before, such as structural changes, and adjustments to floor heights and functional modules. The keywords “public, fabric, and green” proposed when I started to curate the exhibition also reflect architect’ common reflection: how to create human-oriented and eco-friendly urban and community space in high-rise buildings.


Q: How do you pick the 20 models exhibited of the UABB (SZ) from the one hundred towers in 2018 Venice Biennale? What do you expect the visitors to 2019 UABB (SZ) to feel about the “vertical fabric”?

A: Frankly speaking, I had the entire Hong Kong Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale on my own, so I got to do whatever I want (laughter). But I am an exhibitor at 2019 UABB (SZ), so I decided the number of towers to present depending on how much space the curator allocated to me. I did some calculations later, and the space was enough for about 20 or 30 towers, sufficient to present the sense of a vertical city. Just imagine, if the number were to be increased by five times, the exhibition would've been more spectacular. Visitors walk around the towers, as if they were in a maze. That is the case in 2018 Venice Biennale. As for the key issues of public and ecological design of towers I just talked about, did the visitors to 2019 UABB (SZ) realize them? I hope so, even a little bit.


A: As for why I “picked” these twenty towers, it has something to do with the previous exhibition. After 2018 Venice Biennale ended, we found it very challenging to deal with the one hundred towers. I was thinking may be all architects would like to take the towers back with them, and about a quarter of them did, like Zhu Tao, took his tower back affectionately. After several times of handling, about 20% of the towers were lost or damaged. So in the end, there were about forty models left, and I picked half of them for 2019 UABB (SZ).


A: Some architects didn't take them back simply because they are not from Hong Kong. They wanted to do so, but the freight was extremely high. So I said I would keep them. I have the works of Ge Ming, Spanish architect Fernando Menis, Brazilian architect Angelo Bucci, etc. So naturally, as you see, towers designed by overseas architects exhibited in 2019 UABB (SZ) account for a higher proportion.

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Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape (Ming GE), 2019 UABB

Q: Will these towers be presented in another exhibition after 2019 UABB (SZ)?

A: We do have a problem now. After 2019 UABB (SZ), these towers will be shipped back to Hong Kong, but we don’t have a suitable place for them. So I was thinking if any exhibition halls or organizations would like to take them in as permanent exhibits. If yes, in addition to repairing, I'm willing to collate all the curatorial materials, and provide pictures and other materials needed for exhibitions and “after-sales services” for the next 20 years for free.


A: I’d love to do so because I want to voice out my opinions. For the topics related to high-density cities and vertical towers, I may seem to be a little over-confident to say I have “a sense of mission”, but that’s how I feel. As non-mainstream architects, we know very well that no major real estate developers would engage us in high-rise residential projects or high-rise towers. Most projects we design are schools and community buildings, or cultural or small business buildings at most.

So it’s not our wishful thinking to promote ourselves through these exhibitions so that someone someday will entrust us with such large-scale high-rise projects. I just feel these topics are important. If we want to create eco-friendly urban space of appropriate scale in high-density cities, there has to be someone advocating reflection on these topics. This is a bit like the “Metabolism” movement in 1950s in Japan, that is, dreaming. It doesn’t matter if what we discuss can be directly put into practice. Just like Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine, which didn’t affect the design of urban space until half a century later after it was proposed. But we need to think about architecture that way.


Wang Weijen at 2019 UABB (SZ) Academic Forum

A: We have set aside some funds for one thing we haven’t done, publishing. At first, I was thinking getting an international publishing house to do the job because many foreign architects participated in the exhibition. But then I feel that this will also be a critical agenda in China. So Chinese version of the materials should be published too for the benefit of Chinese architects, and that’s what I care the most. How to bring about real changes in the understanding of planning through these discussions. This is what I’ve dreaming about.

Other Works

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Campus, Library

Shenzhen, China, 2018

The design of library of Shenzhen Campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong breaks the six-floor large volume into two three-floor C shape volume. Through turning and elevating, it becomes coherent with the entrance and green land of the campus, keeps the sight from central green land to the hill, and also maintain a natural landscape for the campus.

The library’s center is a hall with multi-storey-high book shelves and skylight. This space extends all the way to the bottom of the building, which is the reading room. The outdoor spaces of the library are yards, corridors, and platforms, and they fit to the indoors hall and rooms, creating frame view for both interior and exterior. The design is based on a high storage efficiency module, and lead indirect light to the reading space through transition from external wall to partition and wood and metal sunshade. On the elevation we designed recessed veranda and opened wall, to support a thick and flexural upper volume. And along with people’s walk, they get various views of this building with traditional image and temperament of a university.

Chinese University of Hong Kong (SZ) Student Center

Shenzhen, China, 2015

The student center of Shenzhen Campus of Chinese University of Hong Kong inherited the vertical yard and the horizontal corridors from traditional Lingnan architecture. Intersected space are transformed into a number of ascending courtyards and platforms, which bring students from lower level to the semi-open courtyards and landscape of the back hill on a higher level. This building faces the central plaza and leans back on the slope of the hill, and it is connected with the library at the north and the teaching buildings at the east. The interior space of the student center aims at vision guiding towards the green space in campus and the hill. Stairs and platforms penetrate through the building and forms a series of semi-open space, and while the space moves up, it also frames layers of view.


Reconstruction of Pingtian Village and Jieshou Village, Songyang County

Songyang, Zhejiang, 2017

The reconstruction of courtyard house in Pingtian Village focuses on opening up all partition walls of the buildings and exposing the structural spaces of the supporting system of beams and columns. The goal is to create totally open and flowing spaces that go beyond public and private uses. Between the neutral and continuous column matrix, the delicate change of light, shadow and temperature of the daylit courtyard becomes the main reference of spatial and temporal experience. Door leafs enclosing the courtyards are important architectural features that enhances the boundary between nature and architecture. They also represent the negotiation between the void and the solid, and serve as natural extension of body experience. The fenestration brings views into the building and incorporates modern rhetoric into facade vocabulary. The thick wall of hammed earth allows for variations of windows in outward or inward operation, size and direction, thus becoming a spatial strategy that responds to the environment, landscape and daylight.

Jieshou Village is located on the north of Songyin Creek Basin. It is the first village where the ancient post road started on the boundary of Songyang, hence the name Jieshou (meaning the beginning of the boundary). During the Ming and Qing dynasties, a prosperous trading street along the bank of Songyin Creek, as well as archways and important public buildings on the street were developed in Jieshou. In the past two years, as part of the preservation and restoration efforts of historical villages in Songyang County, public buildings along the historical Jieshou Street, from north to south, have undergone the acupuncture-like renovation, including the Great Hall built in the 1970s, the riverside plaza behind the Great Hall, the historic site of garden of Yuwang Temple on the opposite side, the surrounding public space of Juyi Hall and Zhuolu Quadrangle. The landscape on the south side was also restored and tourist pavilions designed. These projects aim to improve the public spaces for the villagers and promote the cultural and ecological tourism in Jieshou.

Xixi Wetland Artist Studio

Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 2011

The building sitting on three narrow strips of land opens to water and shoal views in its front and back. Strolling along the road, one may have a dialogue with mountains, water, heaven and earth, exploring the various possibilities of linear landscape experience. Conceiving buildings as a series of “viewers” with different locations, forms and materials, the design attempts to explore the possible relation between time & space and landscape with the editing techniques of film, and provokes people’s new understanding of landscape. Through the conscious shift between the views in the viewers’ eyes, the design intends to re-frame the spatial-temporal relation of architecture and the landscape between framed views and views changing with the viewers’ movement, and thus realize the subjectivity of the viewers.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University Community College

Hung Hum, Hong Kong, China, 2009

This high-rise building located near the KCRC railway terminal at Hung Hum is the new campus of the PolyU. The design seeks alternative ways to divert from the “podium + tower” two-section typology that is typical in Hong Kong. The project attempts to shift from the typical high-rise "dominated by elevators" to the one “dominated by vertical walking experience”, and innovate the typology of high-rises.

The podium is strategically transitioned into several cascaded terraces. The tower is divided into modularized units which intersect with the sky gardens to create a series of vertical public spaces on the campus.

2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)

“Vertical Fabric: Density in Landscape”

List of Participants


Angelo BUCCI, spbr

Located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, SPBR Arquitetos was founded in 2003 by Angelo BUCCI. Based on past experience and rational use of resources, SPBR Arquitetos aims to explore possibilities yet to be realized through multisensory depiction.


Kai CUI (崔愷)

Kai CUI, Chief Architect of China Architecture Design & Research Group (CAG), Director of CAG Land-based Rationalism D.R.C. Adhering to the local architectural creation, he has completed over 50 projects since the founding of the office.


Hua TANG (汤桦)

Hua TANG, professor of School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University, Chief Architect of Tanghua Architect & Associates. TANG is committed to contemporary regional architectural design and urban study and has designed more than 70 built projects.


Ming GE(葛明)

Ming GE, professor and deputy dean of School of Architecture, Southeast University. GE has designed such works as Wei Yuan Garden, Chun Yuan Garden, MURMUR——one of the Chinese pavilions at 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. His research interests include design approaches known as “volume-based design”, “structure-based design”, “design of irregular form” and “six principles of gardens”.


Xiaofeng ZHU(祝晓峰)

Xiaofeng ZHU, Founder and Director of Scenic Architecture. ZHU’s design is based on the needs of body, mind, nature and society, and explores a new definition for contemporary architecture between the tradition and the future of China.


Ida SZE & Billy CHAN(施琪珊&陈维正)

Graduating from School of Architecture of Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Ida SZE & Billy CHAN are founders of Ida & Billy Architects. Their philosophy is to solve problems and explore individuality of design through neat and concise approach.


Maggie WU & Kacheung LAM(胡慧中&林嘉翔)

As a young Hong Kong architect, artist and curator, Maggie WU incorporates art, craftsmanship and technologies into modern architecture. Her art works have been exhibited across the world.


Team Matthew HUNG(孔令豪团队)

Matthew HUNG, architect from The Oval Partnership Ltd (Hong Kong), won the DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards-Merit Award for his project about reflections on Hong Kong’s waste production.



Jesse Reiser is a licensed architect in the State of New York. After graduating from Cooper Union, he pursued further studies in Cranbrook Academy where he earned the degree of Master of Architecture. Nanako Umemoto received a degree of Bachelor of Architecture from Cooper Union after his graduation from Osaka University of Arts. In 1986, Jesse and Nanako established RUR Architecture. They won the First Prizes for International Competition of Taipei Pop Music Center and Kaohsiung Port Terminal and Cruise Service Center, which were planned to be completed in 2020.


Chris LAW(罗建中)

Chris LAW is the founding director of The Oval Partnership Ltd, chief curator and founder of the public space action research organization Very Hong Kong. He is also an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and senior member of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.


Thomas CHUNG & Jason LAU(钟宏亮&刘健强)

Thomas CHUNG is an associate professor of School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and a curator. His research interests are to understand how architecture affects the order and culture of modern cities.



Boonserm PREMTHADA is a Thai architect and founder of Bangkok Project Studio. His design intends to explore the poetic relation between architecture and environment. He also participates in many public projects for improving the living standard of the people at the bottom of the society.


Yung-Ho CHANG(张永和)

Yung-Ho CHANG, FAIA, founder of Atelier FCJZ, professor of Tongji University, founder of Peking University Graduate Center of Architecture, and former head of Department of Architecture at MIT.


Joel CHAN(陈祖声)

Joel CHAN, president of Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD) and director of Palmer and Turner Hong Kong. His award-winning designs reflect aesthetic pursuit, environmental consideration and the spirit of inclusive city.


Qun ZENG(曾群)

Qun ZENG is the vice president and associate chief architect of Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd., the postgraduate supervisor and guest judge of School of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University, and a senior member of the Architectural Society of China.


William TSANG(曾伟伦)

Graduating from The University of Hong Kong (HKU) with a degree of Master of Architecture, William TSANG has been working on architectural and urban design projects in Hong Kong, Chinese mainland and the Middle East, etc., including community planning, as well as academic sports, commercial and residential facilities.


Fernando MENIS

In his over four decades of architectural practice, Fernando MENIS worked extensively on convention and exhibition centers, concert halls, sports facilities, waterfronts, parks, residencies and other projects. He founded Menis Arquitectos in Spain, which is reputed for excellent fusion with environment, innovative use of traditional materials and uniquely expressive design.


Interviewer/editor: Yuan Yuan



THEME | Urban Interactions

MAIN VENUE | Futian Railway Station & Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning

SUB-VENUE | Sha Tau Kok Bonded Zone of Yantian District, Bao'an International Art Exhibition Center, Qiaotou Community of Bao’ao District, Ban Xue Gang Hi-Tech Zone of Longgang District, Guanlan Ancient Market of Longgang District, Guangming Cloud Valley, Dapeng Fortress of Dapeng New District, Xichong of Dapeng New District, and Qianhai Cooperation Zone