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Design Advocates for Underserved Communities

Dear Members and Friends,

Design Advocates is a collaborative, nonprofit network of independent design firms and individuals who work together with small businesses and organizations in disadvantaged communities to adapt their spaces and operations to COVID-19, and beyond. An advocate for the potential of small firms and interdisciplinary / collaborative practice, architect and Design Advocates’ co-founder and board president, Michael Chen will present recent work by the group, as well as his own firm’s civic-minded projects. He will also discuss the potential of citizen science, collaboration and craft and how these can serve both communities in need and the public good.

You can use your smartphone, tablet or PC to join. Install the application prior to the meeting.

  1. Please use your real name for registration so that we can credit 1 LU/HSW to you.
  2. All attendees should mute their audio during the presentation to avoid signal interference.
  3. On this occasion, only the host and panellists will be allowed to speak.
  4. You may, however, type questions in the Q&A box at the bottom of your zoom screen
  5. The panellists will review your questions and provide responses, time allowing.
  6. The presentation will be recorded.

Please register in advance here:



Presenter’s Profile

Michael K. Chen AIA
Michael is a co-founder of Design Advocates and principal of Michael K. Chen Architecture (MKCA) with offices based in New York City.

He studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and at Columbia University, and now teaches design studios and seminars at Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Michael previously taught at UC Berkeley, Cornell, Columbia, and the Parsons School of Design.

He is the recipient of grants for independent research from the Graham Foundation, Pratt Institute, Columbia University and the Van Alen Institute, and was the 2004 John Dinkeloo Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.


AIA Hong Kong – September 2020 Newsletter


Updates from EXCO


Dear Members,


Thank you for supporting our Honors & Awards Program. Despite the unprecedented challenges we are all facing this year, we are pleased to see that many of you invested substantial time and effort and we now have an outstanding collection of entries. We received almost the same number of submissions as in 2019, an inspiring testament to our members’ belief in the importance of an AIA Hong Kong design award.

In the third quarter, we continued to host design-focused webinars and expanded our range by curating two special events on land use and landscape design, both of which were well attended. We will continue to diversify our selection of topics so that every member can obtain what he or she needs from what is on offer. If you have suggestions for future programs, please feel free to email the Chapter office at

As we approach the end of 2020, we also hope to host some in-person events. If the law allows, these will include grumpy hours at the PMQ office, and a Housing Symposium at The Mills, to announce the result of the Light Be Design Competition on December 14th.

Please mark your calendar for our Annual General Meeting which will take place on October 27th, when we will vote for our next EXCO and present an update on the Chapter’s finances and operations for this year.

We have also concluded a member survey and Phase 1 of our strategic plan for 2025, which will be announced early in the fourth quarter.


Third Quarter Webinars


Lantau Tomorrow Vision provided an opportunity for a heated debate between the presenter, Tom Yam, and our panelists who considered the topic of the proposed reclamation on Lantau and its environmental impact. There was some good news about the health of aquatic life in Hong Kong’s harbor, and members were excited to see more citizen architect’s efforts to promote change.

A recording of the webinar is available here:




Landscape in Urban Spaces attracted many seasoned AIA members hoping to effect change. Mathew Pryor, FHKILA, presented some very insightful research on the benefits of rooftop farming in Hong Kong. Steven Cantor, ASLA, filled in many technical details on landscaping and green rooftop design. The duo got the members very excited about the future of landscape in our city – including the potential for renewable energy and productive rooftop farms.

A recording of the webinar is available here:




Visually Dynamic Façades gave members valuable insights into the coil and extrusion industry via an expert from Sherwin-Williams and Florence Chan, AIA, who gave us a brief introduction to how KPF uses coil and extrusion on their buildings in China.

A recording of the webinar is available here:



Citizen Architects


AIA Members, Michael Luk, Janice Hui, Kevin Lim and Vicky Chan worked with Asia Society Hong Kong to deliver a 4-part webinar exploring the heritage value of architecture via sketching, history and model making. Although the volunteers weren’t able to meet the students in person, the zoom lectures were successful and resulted in a broad range of impressive models and sketches by the young students.


Michael Luk






Venus Rover Award Announcement

Founder and Managing Director of Sepia Design Consultants Limited, Thomas Schmidt was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the NASA Exploring Hell: Avoiding Obstacles on a Clockwork Rover design competition. Organized by HeroX, the design challenge called for a mechanically based obstacle sensor system for a rover that would be able to withstand the extreme temperatures and pressures on the surface of Venus. The international design competition attracted 572 entries from more than 80 countries. Schmidt’s solution was among the top 15 entries that received awards from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).



Members News


Hinki Kwong Assoc. AIA

Hinki Kwong recently completed all seven sections of the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) and is now waiting for the final paperwork to complete his registration. In addition to volunteering with the Programs Committee, Hinki participated in our ARE study group for the last two years and has now donated his study materials to AIA.



New Corporate Affiliates



Neolith is the market-leading brand of Sintered Stone, a revolutionary new product that has become a material of choice for architects, designers, specifiers and fabricators. This material can be specified for the most demanding interior and exterior building projects. Combining high-definition detailed decoration with high-performance qualities, Neolith offers the triple reassurance of strength, beauty and longevity. Tried, tested and trusted, Neolith’s combination of realistic appearance, high performance and versatile formats make it a go-to material for a wide range of projects.

Neolith is the optimum surfacing material for both indoor and outdoor applications. From tower façades to kitchen countertops, Neolith’s physical and mechanical characteristics deliver ultimate performance, unmatched beauty and long-term value.





Established in 1988, Amtrac is a one-stop furnishing resource for hospitality designers, developers, institutions and private clients.

Our comprehensive furnishing products include furniture, lighting, wardrobe, wall unit, rug and accessories. Over the years our product range has expanded to include a variety of architectural and landscape products. These include a broad range of timber products, architectural stonework and metal work, clock system, street furniture, auditorium and stadium seating, outdoor furniture, outdoor lighting, shade and gazebo, pots and planters. Our products are selected for their design, quality, value, and environmental friendliness.

Today we are proud to have served many developers, hotel groups, private and public institutions in Hong Kong, China and Asia Pacific areas.



News from Our Corporate Affiliates



How Dyson Helps To Reduce Carbon Footprint

At Dyson we strive to use technology to solve problems, be more sustainable, and contribute to mankind. Since 1983, our bagless vacuum cleaners have saved billions of vacuum bags from clogging landfills.

In 2006, Dyson launched Airblade™ hand dryers, to dry hands quickly and hygienically without the need to use paper towels. This can help to reduce up to 85% of CO2 emissions per hand dry. Since then, it has become a sustainable solution for many sectors including M+ Museum, Hong Kong FT Life Tower, Guangzhou Taikoo Hui and Serpentine Galleries, London.


Building Design with Automation


Dear Members and Friends,

This webinar will address the future of building design utilising automation and artificial intelligence. Anthony Hauck, chair of the AIA Innovation Awards Committee and COO of Hypar, will introduce our members to their proprietary software and demonstrate how it can be used to automate the generation of building design proposals. Experts and newcomers alike will learn how the Hypar ecosystem eliminates the drudgery of routine tasks and fosters quality and consistency.

You can use your smartphone, tablet or PC to join. Install the application prior to the meeting.

1. Please use your real name for registration so that we can credit 1 LU to you.
2. All attendees should mute their audio during the presentation to avoid signal interference.
3. On this occasion, only the host and panellists will be allowed to speak.
4. You may, however, type questions in the Q&A box at the bottom of your zoom screen.
5. The panellists will review your questions and provide responses, time allowing.
6. The presentation will be recorded.

Please register in advance here:



Speaker’s Profile


Anthony Hauck, COO of Hypar


Anthony Hauck had more than 20 years’ experience in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) IT before entering the software sector. As a member of the AIA CIO Large Firm Roundtable, he was part of a community of CIOs who helped guide their firms through the transition to BIM while developing methodologies for project collaboration still in use today.

Joining the Autodesk Revit development team in 2007, Anthony became the Director of AEC Product Management and, finally, the Director of Product Strategy for AEC Generative Design.

He founded Hypar with his partner, Ian Keough, in 2018 and recently had a chance to return to his AIA roots by chairing the 2019 AIA Innovation Awards committee.


Rescheduled: AIA Hong Kong 2020 Annual General Meeting | October 28, 2020



Dear Members:

You are cordially invited to join our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday October 28, 2020. This event is free and exclusive for members only!  The meeting agenda will include a Chapter Report by the President, a Financial Report by the Treasurer and the Chapter Election for 2021 Executive Council (EXCO) Members.

Due to COVID-19’s gathering restriction order, our Annual General Meeting will be held online via ZOOM this year with details below:

Date: October 28, 2020
Time: 6:30pm HKT
ZOOM link:
Your participation is highly encouraged.

On behalf of AIA Hong Kong, we look forward to seeing you there!

Vicky Chan, AIA                             Winston Yeo, AIA 
2020 President                                Vice President / President-elect 2021

AIA Hong Kong 2021 Chapter Election – Call for Nominations


Dear Members,

As a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, AIA Hong Kong is required to hold an annual election for the following positions:

Vice President / President-elect 2022

Although these positions are voluntary and unpaid, it is essential to the health of the Chapter that qualified individuals contribute their time, energy and professional experience in whatever capacity they can to ensure that AIA Hong Kong continues to thrive and to serve its members effectively.

There are also five standing committees:

Honors and Awards
The Young Architects Group (YAG)

As we rely heavily on the personal involvement and commitment of our members, we strongly encourage and welcome your participation either as one of our three elected Officers or as a member of a Committee / YAG based on your area of interest.

Note that self-nominations for any of the above positions and committees are welcome.

Please click here for further details about the upcoming election and send the completed Nomination Form(s) to the Chapter Office by  Friday September 18, 2020. The Chapter Election will take place at our 2020 Annual Meeting on Tuesday October 6, at 6:30pm in the AIA Hong Kong Chapter Office at PMQ and via Zoom.

Your continued participation and involvement is greatly appreciated and we thank you in advance for your support.

Vicky Chan, AIA                       Winston Yeo, AIA
2020 President                          Vice President / President-elect 2021


Lantau Tomorrow Vision | August 18, 2020


Dear Members and Friends,

The Lantau Tomorrow Vision (LTV) is a Hong Kong Government reclamation project comprising approximately 1,700 hectares that is intended to house 400,000 residential units upon completion.

The project has generated a long list of both pros and cons for consideration.

This webinar will feature Tom Yam, from the Citizens Task Force on Land Resources, who will share his assessment of the LTV with our members. He will give us an overview of current land and housing policy in Hong Kong and the likely environmental impact of this massive reclamation project.

The webinar will be followed by a panel discussion with urban planners Dr. Sujata Govada, Dr. Peter Cookson Smith and Gary Stokes from OceansAsia.

You can use your smartphone, tablet or PC to join. Install the application prior to the meeting.

  1. Please use your real name for registration so that we can credit 1 LU/HSW to you.
  2. All attendees should mute their audio during the presentation to avoid signal interference.
  3. On this occasion, only the host and panellists will be allowed to speak.
  4. You may, however, type questions in the Q&A box at the bottom of your zoom screen.
  5. The panellists will review your questions and provide responses, time allowing.
  6. The presentation will be recorded.

Please register in advance here:



Speaker’s Profile


Tom Yam MBA PhD


Tom is a member of the Citizens Task Force on Land Resources. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

His professional experience spans aerospace, telecommunications, and management consulting in the USA and East Asia, where he has headed the AT&T and Ernst & Young management consulting practices in Shanghai.

Tom contributes to the SCMP on science, technology, waste management and urban development.


Landscape in Urban Spaces | August 13, 2020


Dear Members and Friends,

This webinar will present examples of creative landscape design and examine how public open spaces can be of particular benefit to our cities, especially during a time of pandemic.

Steven Cantor, ASLA, will discuss parks, gardens and green roof designs he has studied, written about and photographed in North America and Europe while Mathew Pryor, FHKILA, will share his research into rooftop farming in Hong Kong. Together they will explain the meaning of “urban sustainability” and how landscape design contributes to our wellbeing.

You can use your smartphone, tablet or PC to join. Install the application prior to the meeting.

  1. Please use your real name for registration so that we can credit 1 LU/HSW to you.
  2. All attendees should mute their audio during the presentation to avoid signal interference.
  3. On this occasion, only the host and panellists will be allowed to speak.
  4. You may, however, type questions in the Q&A box at the bottom of your zoom screen.
  5. The panellists will review your questions and provide responses, time allowing.
  6. The presentation will be recorded.

Please register in advance here:



Speakers’ Bios


Steven Cantor ASLA

Steven Cantor, ASLA, is a registered landscape architect in New York City.  He has taught at the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design, the University of Colorado (Boulder), the New York Botanical Garden, and Anhalt University in Bernburg, Germany.  His two most recent books are Green Roofs in Sustainable Landscape Design (WW Norton, 2008) and Professional and Practical Considerations for Landscape Design (Oxford University Press, 2020).


Mathew Pryor FHKILA

Mathew is an Associate Professor (Teaching), Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) (F. Arch, HKU) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). He teaches courses in sustainable practices, landscape design and landscape construction technologies. His research addresses issues relating to the role of urban agriculture and greening, public space and walk-ability, and the development of new pedagogical approaches for landscape architecture.

He is a recipient of a Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (USA) Excellence in Teaching Award (2019) and both the UGC Teaching (Team) Award 2019 and the HKU Teaching Excellence Team Award (2018) for his work on trans-disciplinary learning.

Mathew is a Registered Landscape Architect in Hong Kong and the UK, and is a Fellow of the HKILA. He is also the author of The Edible Roof – A Guide to Productive Rooftop Gardening which is based on his teaching and research on Urban Rooftop Farms.


Deadline Extended for AIA Hong Kong/RIBA (HK) 2020 Competition


Dear Members & Friends,

In this first of a kind competition, AIA Hong Kong and RIBA (HK) are partnering with Light Be, the first social housing enterprise in Hong Kong, for the design of four prototypical communal spaces to be used as references for other transitional housing projects in Hong Kong. This competition is open to all designers and architects and is aimed at encouraging them to assist at-risk families in our community.

A kick-off meeting will be held on July 24 at the AIA office at PMQ to introduce the project and match teams, each of which will be comprised of both architects and other product designers. After the competition, there will be a symposium to share the results and collect feedback from Light Be.

An online booklet will also be created to share ideas on how to utilize roof and other communal spaces in affordable housing projects to remind architects about the importance of providing suitable communal gathering spaces in all transitional housing being built in Hong Kong in the next five years.

For details of the competition, please follow this link:

Registration Deadline: Thursday August 20, 2020

Should you have any questions, please send your inquiry to: or call the Chapter Office at 2882 6011.


AIA Hong Kong – July 2020 Newsletter


Updates from EXCO


Dear members,

Unfortunately, with the recent resurgence of the coronavirus our summer party and building tours planned for July and August must be rescheduled to later in the year.

While COVID-19 continues to impact our physical gatherings, we have actively sought partnerships with other institutes, including USGBC, Asia Society and AIA International Region, to allow us to continue to deliver high quality programs in the coming quarter.

Last week we announced a design competition with Light Be to redesign their communal space for at-risk families and we will host another webinar on facade coatings on the 28th July.

In August, we have lectures planned on social housing, landscape design and rooftop edible gardening. In September, the USGBC online symposium will partner with famous design practices to present their latest LEED buildings and designs.

Finally, there will be a special discount for submissions to our Honors & Awards program this year due to COVID-19. Please plan ahead to submit before the deadline of August 31.


Second Quarter Highlights


As noted above, the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus led us to suspend all in-person events since February this year. As a result, our Programs Committee and Chapter Leadership shifted focus to allow us to continue to bring educational events to our members through a series of online panels and webinars.

We kicked off the second quarter’s programs on April 28th with Hello Fellow with Moira Moser.

In addition to an impromptu tour of the M Moser offices in Hong Kong, Moira shared her experience of and philosophy on global practice, with an emphasis on difficult times like these. If you missed it live, a recording of the event is on our YouTube channel:




On May 14th we hosted a panel discussion on Co-Living.  Co-Living by LOD. This first webinar in our Co-X Series featured Yimei Chan, Design Principal of LOD Space, and Doris Hsu of Ascott, sharing overviews of projects in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, as well as their insights on adapting existing/historical buildings to new modes of social activity. A recording of the discussion is available on our YouTube channel:




In the second instalment of our Co-X series on May 28th, we hosted a panel discussion with past Chapter president, Peter Basmajian, and two innovative co-working operators, Jacky Yeung of Desk-one, and Alex Shu of T.H.E Design. Our panelists discussed the evolution of work place design, strategies to adapt in a fast-changing environment, and efforts to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. A recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube channel:




On June 15th AIA Hong Kong and Asia Society Hong Kong Center co-presented Architecture as Vision: A Conversation with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. In addition to presenting an overview of their current projects – including the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago and the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center – Billie and Tod shared their thoughts on the evolution of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, from their initial impressions of the site 20 years ago, through transformation of the abandoned military structures into a cultural landmark. A recording of the discussion is available on the Asia Society’s YouTube channel:


The Obama Presidential Center, Courtesy of the Obama Foundation



On June 23rd we held the third instalment of our Co-X Webinar Series: Smart Learning with Steelcase. Steelcase Education Director APAC, Ambroise d’Hauteville, and Regional Education Specialist, Owen Pescod, shared valuable insights on the rise of interactive learning and how the need for smart learning spaces is reshaping interior layouts. You can watch their presentation here:




Our final event of the quarter was a panel discussion on June 30th with Ir Carmen Chu and Lian Duan, both of Arup, moderated by Greg Yager, FAIA, covering fast-moving trends that are shaping transport systems globally: Emerging Mobility Trends for a Resilient Urban System. The panel and our members engaged in an interesting debate on the history and future of transportation in city planning. To view this webinar click here:



Citizen Architects


Paul Tse, AIA


Like other major cities in the world, many elderly in Hong Kong are being sent to care homes due to severely limited living space at their children’s / relative’s homes and because they often require a higher level of care than family members are capable of providing. Hong Kong faces the added challenge of extremely high density living conditions where most care homes are adaptively re-used (existing) buildings rather than purpose-built facilities. Many of the older care homes, in particular, have rooms that can only accommodate a single bed and bedside table, making them less “rooms” than mere cubicles. As local regulations require beds to be positioned within 9 m of windows to ensure sufficient day-lighting, the result is that communal areas – where most social interaction takes place – often occupy leftover spaces deep inside the floor, without direct sunlight and natural ventilation.

Despite these poor living conditions, private elderly care homes are usually more than 80% occupied, if not more. In recent years, although more operators recognise that the quality of the living environment has an impact on the well-being of the elderly, the enormous rental pressure still means prioritising the number of beds, in order to make ends meet, over considerations of space, light and other amenities. The operator, the landlord and the government all share responsibility for enacting change – but what about the role of the architect?

Sometimes, change begins in the smallest details. What aspects of elderly homes can architects re-think to improve the lives of residents the most, on a daily basis?  Warmer materials might increase the sense of comfort, providing spaces with individuality and privacy while encouraging an active collective life; diffused and indirect lighting would avoid glare while residents are lying in bed. The cruel reality of our aging population means that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong elderly will likely spend the rest of their lives in a care home.

While the larger housing crisis may not be solved anytime soon, the need for a space where one can live his or her last years with dignity, both as an individual and as a collective, should not be a mere luxury.



Citizen Engineers



Seeding love and knowledge: a return visit to Yunnan Chuansi Village Arup SA-PH Primary School


Arup has been supporting Sowers Action since 2015 to support community identified needs. In 2018, the firm part-funded the construction of Arup Sowers School – Chuansi Village Arup SA-PH Primary School (串絲村奧雅納苗圃希望小學) and it is now home to more than 400 children from nearby villages. Last November, a team of 11 Arup volunteers returned to the school with a mission: to establish a library to foster a reading culture.

During the visit the volunteers took turns in setting up the library: the team successfully unpacked, categorised, and shelved over 6,500 books in just three days! The library was decorated and arranged so the students can sit and read comfortably. A sharing session was held to train the teachers and student librarians how to operate the book system, and, more importantly, how knowledge management could create a reading culture among the children. The team also hosted Photography, English, Story-telling and Game classes.

Finally, Arup donated one thousand jackets to less fortunate children in remote areas in China through Sowers Action’s jacket donation programme – Sowers Sending Love. The jackets were distributed to the students on the last day of the visit, and they couldn’t wait to put them on. Before leaving the school, long lines were formed to get autographs from our volunteers. “I was amazed by how welcoming and passionate the students were even though we were complete strangers to them. Working together with the students and colleagues from different offices was a very memorable experience. We definitely do shape a better world!” said one of the volunteers.



Our Corporate Affiliates


5 facts about co-working spaces by JEB

Co-working spaces have been transforming the modern workforce and its values. It has grown from a small room into a tremendous industry that is expanding worldwide. The concept of co-working spaces fosters an entrepreneurial spirit that enhances innovation and creativity.

Below are 5 facts about co-working spaces:

  1. There are currently 13,800 co-working spaces in the world

According to the 2017 Global Co-working Survey, there are currently 13,800 co-working spaces worldwide.Over the past five years, the number of co-working spaces has grown at a rate of 200% and will likely continue to increase.

  1. Core memberships are small businesses and freelancers

Based on the 2017 industry survey conducted by the Global Workspace Association, about 47% of co-working spaces members are from small businesses, 20% are freelancers and, 12% are mobile corporate users.

  1. Open Office ≠ Co-working Space

Open space doesn’t correlate with co-working spaces. The majority of co-working spaces offer private meeting rooms for individuals or teams. Co-working spaces aim towards building a balanced unconventional space.

  1. Co-working space market on a rise

In 2017, GCUC released a co-working forecast regarding the rapid growth that will occur in the next five years.GCUC mentions that “We expect the number of co-working members will grow from 1.74 million in 2017 to 5.1 million in 2022.

  1. Co-working impacts Asia-Pacific Region immensely

Landlords in Asia-Pacific are starting to compete against co-working operators, offering flexible workspace to the market.Swire Properties, the giant property developer in Hong Kong has also set up its own co-working space: Blueprint.




Glen Raven/Sunbrella on Sustainability


One key way designers of restaurants, hotels, spas and even retail locations keep visitors engaged is by responding to top trends in hospitality interior design. Sustainability is more than just a passing fancy for all design industries, and it continues to be one of the top trends in hotel interior design and hospitality interior design at large. Commercial interior designers for hospitality are incorporating durable materials so that an interior won’t need to be renovated or refreshed as quickly. Sunbrella Contract fabrics are a perfect fit for those design projects. Engineered to last through years of high-traffic use, they are also manufactured in a way that honors the environment. For example, says Greg Rosendale, Director, Distribution and A&D for Sunbrella, “With the Recycle My Sunbrella program, instead of throwing away Sunbrella fabrics they’re ready to retire, customers can send back their materials to be recycled.” It’s the ultimate example of sustainability and manufacturer eco-responsibility.


At the Alila SCBD resort, guests are treated to delicious meals in captivating indoor and outdoor spaces designed with Sunbrella Contract fabrics.

Sunbrella Contract fabrics bring comfort and relaxation to the and Beyond Tengile River Lodge in South Africa.

AIA Hong Kong Office Opening Hours

Dear Members and Friends,

In light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases, the AIA Hong Kong office at PMQ will be operating on limited service starting Monday, July 20, as follows:

1. The Chapter’s office at PMQ will be opened on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am to 5pm. The office will be closed on Tuesday and Thursday until further notice.

2. The Chapter’s phone line (2882 6011) will remain in operation during this period, Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm.

3. You can also reach us at email any time:

We are actively working on various webinars, coming up next is Visually Dynamic Facades by Sherwin-Williams on Tuesday July 28. Stay tuned for more updates.

Please stay healthy and vigilant!

AIA Hong Kong Chapter