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AIA Hong Kong 2020 Q1 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of AIA Hong Kong:

Upcoming for 2020

The Chapter’s theme for 2020 is Citizen Architects. Our goal is to use our expertise, creativity and professional network to empower our community.  Our building tours, design competitions and annual awards will be curated around this theme.

In response to the coronavirus, in-person events will be postponed to June 2020.  Between March and June, we will provide online content and webinars for your continuing education. These will include a video demonstrating how seasoned AIA firms weathered previous economic downturns, an online Hello Fellow discussion with Moira Moser, FAIA, and a joint webinar with AIA California.

We hope the coronavirus will subside by early June, which will allow us to resume in-person programs. In anticipation of this, our early summer schedule includes our kick-off summer party and building tours to the Museum of Art, Rosewood Hotel and K11 Atelier in Quarry Bay. We will also launch a joint design competition, to establish a prototype of communal spaces for transitional housing.


Hello Fellow with Moira Moser, FAIA


Hong Kong Museum of Art by ArchSD



COLOURLIVING, the ultimate lifestyle curation brand, has launched a new pop-up store, focused on boosting the health of Hong Kongers in a stylish manner.

Set within its three-storey luxury retail space in downtown Wan Chai, this new Wellness Living concept has three distinct strands – special kitchen, customized tea and indoor pool.

Its singular take on the kitchen space has been designed, first and foremost, to make food preparation a fun and engaging experience for the entire family. As for the chosen teas, the lifestyle brand has opted to incorporate local award-winning brew dispenser brand.  The indoor bathing facility – evocatively titled the Faraway Pool – summons the sheer sensuality of an al fresco immersion, with its luxury KOS tub the perfect solution for the aspirationally inclined.  Mood lighting and submerged shelving are also all available as add-on extras.

A fascinating and most welcome addition to COLOURLIVING’S core offerings, Wellness Living takes comfort, style and personal care to a whole new level.


Making Kitchen Time Special


Relax the Body and Mind in this Cutting-Edge Home Pool



Highlights of 2019

In 2019, we convened two programs designed to increase AIA Hong Kong’s impact in the community through greater cooperation with other professional associations and by making unusual, creative connections.

The first was a joint design competition to explore the future of Smart Cities. Thanks to generous sponsorship from COLOURLIVING and the Hong Kong Design Centre, we launched this event together with the HKIA and RIBA Hong Kong to seek smart street furniture designs that reimagine the existing phone booth. The winning submission by Leo Li and Grace Yeung was prototyped in full scale and unveiled at our Symposium at EKEO in Kwun Tong. The prototype remains on exhibit at The Mills until March 15, 2020, as part of the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) in Hong Kong.

The second program was an experiment to create a link between architecture and music. At the event, sponsored by Betrue, members listened to three pieces of music from the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Grand Opening Concert and were asked to respond to each piece by drawing sketches. The result was three sets of stunning architectural drawings.  Click here to see all three sets.  And a big Thank You! to our contributors for creating these lovely drawings.


Smart City Symposium and Phone Booth Prototype at EKEO


Members’ Sketches from Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Concert Movie Screening


Our Citizen Architects

Professor Nelson Chen, FAIA FHKIA FRIBA

As practicing architects, we are not only designers of buildings but also builders of communities.  A graduation message I share with architecture students is that we enter the profession to serve the needs of society.  When you design for yourself, you may be called an artist; when you design for others, you can become an architect.

Outside of practice, we can all contribute to society by serving on community boards – whether for a church, school, institute or other organization.  From education and experience, we are trained to understand and synthesize complex problems to achieve innovative solutions.  For several years, I served on my Church Council as well as a School Board – lots of late nights with prolonged discussions, but invaluable in engaging all stakeholders to build consensus. These lessons served me well when I later became head of the School of Architecture at CUHK.

For the entirety of my practice, now over three decades, I have donated professional services to a local community project every year.  Sometimes these commitments extended way beyond expectation – one of them lasted 12 years!  But, at the end of the day, God provides for all who seek His ways first.  The more we are willing to give away, the more He gives back to us in ways that cannot be counted or measured.

Fairview Park Alliance Church – 12 years in the making 



Thomas Schmidt, AIA

While many took to the streets in 2019, I took to my drawing board to re-imagine a better Hong Kong.  In an attempt to improve our community through communication of ideas, I created and assembled dozens of design concepts and uploaded them to a new website to share them with the world.  Sometimes architects just need to plant seeds, as things often take on a life of their own.  I would hope that I might be regarded as a “Citizen Architect” by providing food for thought for how our community and lives could be improved, one idea at a time.

Design Proposal in


Community Outreach

The Chapter also partnered with MIT Innovation Node to teach a group of primary school students from Sau Mau Ping about city planning and presentation. We demonstrated methods like storytelling, mind mapping, model making, and body language, to teach the students how to distill their ideas into 2-minute presentations. Our members Vicky Chan, Chris Cho, Sunnie Lau, Fanny Lee and Kevin Lim guided the 2-hour session.


Janice Lam from MIT lectures on presentation techniques


Past Chapter President Fanny Lee, AIA, with students


New Corporate Affiliates

Fresh Accounting

With offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, we provide basic accounting through to CFO services for our clients. In addition to this, we are specialists in implementing cloud based accounting, reporting, and project management solutions. We identify opportunities and strategies to improve business performance and profitability. We offer several measures to SMEs to future-proof their businesses in these abnormal times, ensuring that their businesses will continue to be of value in the distant future.

Glen Raven

Sunbrella fabric gives consumers, designers and architects the material they need to create the extraordinary in shade, indoor upholstery, outdoor upholstery, commercial and contract applications. We feel as responsible for our processes as for the quality of our product, with sustainability as a major initiative. Glen Raven is REACH compliant and participates actively in recycling while using solar power during production of all Sunbrella products.


We started our business as an MEP contractor in 1983. With over thirty years of experience, Keio has proved itself to be an industry renowned integrated solutions provider, specializing in Electrical & ELV, Mechanical, Plumbing & Drainage and Fire Protection Systems. We demonstrate our commitment by achieving and maintaining environmental, health and safety excellence.

In Memoriam: Jack T Sidener, FAIA (1937-2020)

In Memoriam:  Jack T Sidener, FAIA (1937-2020)

Dear AIA Members & Friends,

It is with profound sadness that AIA Hong Kong Chapter has learned that John T (Jack) Sidener, PhD FAIA, passed away in Washington State on February 14, 2020, at the age of 83.

Dr Jack Sidener served as Chapter President in 2000 and received the inaugural AIA Hong Kong Community Citation for co-founding the Designing Hong Kong public participatory design charrette in 1998.

Professionally, in addition to his private practice, Jack was Chief Architect for Bechtel for the KCRC development as well as Campus Architect/Planner at both the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and University of Hawaii.  Academically, he was Professor of Architecture at both CUHK (1997-2000) and U Hawaii (2001-08).

Jack received two degrees at University of California at Berkeley (BArch and PhD in Environmental Planning) as well as two degrees at University of Pennsylvania (MArch and MCP), where he studied with Louis Kahn.

At CUHK, Professors Jack Sidener and Nelson Chen co-taught design studios together in the late 1990s.  Nelson remembers Jack as being “a Renaissance Man for the 20th century.  For his students, Jack was appreciated for teaching and inspiring them with encouraging words and exquisite hand drawings, while furthering the legacy of his own mentors at Penn including Louis Kahn, Ed Bacon and Denise Scott Brown.”

During retirement in Kirkland, WA, with his wife, Katherine, and their family, Jack was actively engaged in writing, painting and photography.

Jack Sidener will be remembered for generously sharing his experience and wisdom in all aspects of his professional and academic life, including his early contributions to AIA Hong Kong.  He will be greatly missed.



Thank You Letter from President 2019

Dear Members,


Happy New Year to you all! I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to all our members for your continued support through a challenging year. Despite the difficulties, we were able to provide more than 40 continuing education credits through our events, building tours and collaboration programs.


I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals – members of our Executive Committee and Committee Chairs – who have made 2019 successful for the AIA Hong Kong Chapter.


  • Immediate Past President: Anderson Lee for his continued guidance of the Executive Committee.


  • Vice President/ President-elect 2020: Vicky Chan for his dedication in organizing our collaboration symposium with the three institutes (HKIA, RIBA, AIA Hong Kong) on the theme of Smart City.


  • Secretary: Megan Donges for her coordination and maintenance of our Chapter, and communication with AIA National to continue to improve our chapter operations.


  • Treasurer: Eddie Tsui for safe guarding our finances, and maintaining our self-sufficiency.


  • Programs Chair: Winston Yeo for successfully arranging the year’s events.


  • Communications Chair: Scott Brooks for taking the initiative to launch our long term strategic plan, and for working with our members to develop a framework for the future of the Chapter.


  • Honors & Awards Chair: Greg Leong for his long term efforts in this committee, and continued improvements to the H&A Program throughout the years.


  • International Chair: Christine Bruckner for her relentless efforts in showcasing the Hong Kong Chapter within the larger AIA community.


  • Membership Chair: Ivy Tam for maintaining our Corporate Affiliate relationships, and for seeking out new opportunities to enlarge the AIA Hong Kong community.


  • Nominations Co-chairs: Peter Basmajian and Sujata Govada for bringing our attention to individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to our built environment and the community at large.


  • YAG Chair: Caroline Chou for maintaining and updating our ARE library to stay relevant and initiating a Bootcamp program to help motivate our YAG members for the ARE.


  • Symposium Task Force: Andrew King and Hinki Kwong for helping to organize and execute a series of symposium events.


Thank you all once again for your continued support. Please look forward with me to an exciting 2020 from the new Executive Committee.



Kevin Lim

President 2019


UABB Exhibition

Dear Members,


The Smart City Street Furniture Design Competition held this summer was an outstanding success and the winning design – #CallMe by Grace Yeung, RIBA, and Leo Li, HKIA – was announced at our Smart City Symposium on Tuesday, December 3rd.

A full scale prototype of the award-winning design has been made and is now on display at The Mills, in Tsuen Wan, as part of the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) in Hong Kong.

You are cordially invited to join the Opening Ceremony of the UABB which will take place on December 19, 2019 at 5:00pm.  The #CallMe prototype and all of the other 16 competition entries will also be on display from the 19th until March 15, 2020. Don’t miss the chance to check them out!

At this time we would also like to thank our sponsors for their generous support to our first joint competition, and fabrication of the prototype. We look forward to more opportunities to collaborate in 2020.


The Executive Committee of 2019 AIA Hong Kong Chapter





Designing Human-Centered Neighborhoods: Strategies and Fieldnotes

Dear Members,

AIA Hong Kong is extending our Smart City series to the neighborhood scale.

The Neighborhood Innovation Lab is a joint initiative by AIA members from Architecture Commons and Epiphany Labs. Their teams seek to understand how we can shape our neighborhoods and foster identity through an inclusive, human-centered design approach.

The Neighborhood Innovation Lab has already initiated a pilot project in Wanchai’s Star Street Precinct. They have led community walks, held public engagement workshops, and conducted 1-on-1 interviews and other listening sessions. This workshop will share their findings and will be followed by two panel discussions. 



2019 AIA Hong Kong X’mas Party


Dear Members,

December is a wonderful time for festivities with friends and families!

Since we missed the opportunity to meet face-to-face at the AGM this year, you are cordially invited to join us for a pre-holiday gathering at the Chapter Office on Monday evening, December 9. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

If you would like to attend this free event, please RSVP here before December 6 so we have a good idea of numbers.

We hope to greet many of you next week, to bid farewell to our EXCO 2019 and to welcome EXCO 2020!

Executive Committees 2019 and 2020



AIA Hong Kong, HKIA and RIBA (HK) Smart City Series Symposium and Awards Ceremony

Dear Members and Friends of AIA Hong Kong,

You are cordially invited to join the AIA Hong Kong, HKIA and RIBA (HK) Smart City Series Symposium and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.  Please RSVP via online google form.

Following the success of the 2018 Joint Symposium with HKIA and RIBA (HK), we launched a design competition to explore the concept of the “Smart City” earlier this year – the first step of which was to create smart street furniture for the digital age using innovative, sustainable and urban-focused thinking. This year’s symposium will feature speakers from many different disciplines, including: government officials, architects, planners, IT experts and smart furniture designers to share the their knowledge of, and experiences with, smart city thinking.

Please join us for an inspiring and lively evening and to celebrate our Smart City Competition winners.  The event will be sponsored by COLOURLIVING and is co-organized with HKDC BODW CityProg 2019.

See you on the December 3!


On behalf of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter, we also wish to thank you for your continued support.



Vicky Chan, AIA 

Vice President / President-elect 2020
Chairman, Organizing Committee of the AIA Hong Kong, HKIA and RIBA (HK) Smart City Series


Event Photo

AIA Hong Kong Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Concert Movie Screening

Dear Members:

You are cordially invited to join a movie screening on Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. This event is free and exclusive for our members only!  Seating is limited so please register to attend this event.

We will show a 50-minute film of the premiere concert at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (Review by The New York Times) and a 50-minute companion documentary depicting the making of the building. Our sponsor and Corporate Affiliate, Betrue, have volunteered their state-of-the-art sound equipment to bring out the finest details from the concert and we will provide sketching paper and pens to encourage our audience to document their vision during the performance. The intention is that these sketches will connect the music to the architecture – and the results will be edited and exhibited online.


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

The 2019 Programs Committee of AIA Hong Kong


2019 AIA Hong Kong Annual General Meeting is going online!


Dear Members,

Due to the fact that the Annual General Meeting had to be postponed as a result of uncertain conditions around Admiralty on the 5th October, we have decided to reschedule the meeting and host it online, for the first time ever. You are cordially invited to join this event on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 6:30 – 7:30pm.


As usual, the agenda will be as follows:

– Chapter Report by the President

– Financial Report by the Treasurer

– Introduction of Nominees for your 2020 Executive Committee


The floor will be open for questions and comments at various points during the call to allow participants the opportunity to engage. Afterward, we will ask members to vote on slated topics, using an online form.

The Executive Committee will be hosting the meeting from the Chapter office in PMQ, in person, from 6:00 – 8:00pm. If you are able to do so, please join us there. Light snacks and refreshments will be available.

Otherwise, the meeting will take place via GoToMeeting.  Please join us from your computer, tablet or smartphone. and don’t forget to download GoToMeeting prior to the start time.


On behalf of AIA Hong Kong, we look forward to your participation!



Kevin Lim, Assoc. AIA                     Vicky Chan, AIA   
2019 President                                   Vice President / President-elect 2020




AIA Hong Kong 2019 Chapter Annual Dinner

Dear Members and Friends of the AIA Hong Kong,

You are cordially invited to join us for the 2019 AIA Hong Kong Chapter Annual Dinner on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at the Square Restaurant, Exchange Square.  Seating is limited, so please reserve your tickets now!

The Annual Dinner is a year-end celebration for AIA members and friends and we’re delighted to announce that Thierry Paret, FAIA, President, AIA International Region will be our Guest of Honor for this event. We will be honoring our 2019 Honors and Awards winners during the evening, in addition to recognizing the contributions of all members during the year.

To enjoy the AIA Member rate for the dinner, please complete the Reservation form by October 28th  (Monday).  Thank you and we hope to see you on November 12th for a fun and festive evening!


The Executive Committee of 2019 AIA Hong Kong Chapter


Annual Dinner Reservation Form


Event Sponsors