Research Activities

Recent Publication

Institutional Cultural Space and Participation –The Public Space of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre” PhD dissertation. 2023 (unpublished)

Abstract: The public space at museums, theatres, or cultural centres overlaps with everyday urban space, but it possesses a different quality than the nominal public streets or plazas. Through spatial design and operation, the exterior and interior public spaces associated with cultural buildings are carefully curated to manifest the cultural institution’s vision and value, which is described as institutional cultural space in this dissertation. Cultural and spatial production is inseparable from economic and urban development, especially in late capitalistic cities such as Hong Kong, where public and private interest is often found to be in the opposite position. How does the design of cultural space reflect institutional intention in response to different developmental forces? Furthermore, the cultural centre as a public institution is inhabited by a spectrum of public participants, involving in various activities that contribute to the production of cultural space. How do they react to the institutional and capitalistic influence through intended or unintended cultural practices?

Cultural Centers in Hong Kong: Welfare Provision or Economic Instrument?Architecture and Culture. 2022. <link>

Abstract: “Cultural center” is a new type of architecture and institution that has emerged since WWII and has become a model for many contemporary cultural institutions. It reflects the physical realization of the European welfare-state cultural policy, especially in Britain and France. With reference to the European cases, this paper examines three major cultural centers in Hong Kong from the 1960s to the present day (City Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the Xiqu Center at the West Kowloon Cultural District). Employing a socio-spatial approach, the methods include an archival study of government documents and spatial analysis of public space at the selected cultural centers. The paper demonstrates how the positioning of culture has shifted from a public welfare provision into a capital-oriented urban development strategy and, in this context, questions the role of contemporary cultural institutions.

Project: Experience Cultural Space

An ongoing research project to study spatial experience at cultural venues through multi-media methods to collect first-person perspective spatial data.

Untapped resources at cultural venue

Project Brief for the current research: Experience Cultural Public Space | Key issues and problems Most cultural buildings in Hong Kong are publicly funded, where the cultural institution carries a public mission and its space…

The study of public life

Research Background for the current project: Experience Cultural Public Space | There was a paradigm change around mid-20th century in urban design and planning, from the Modernist top-down planning manifesto to a concern in human-scale…

From static to dynamic experience

Research Methodology for the current project: Experience Cultural Public Space | The proposed research will consist of three stages in response to the project aims. Stage 1 is a spatial analysis of existing conditions, followed…

Workshop / Participatory Design

TechBox: Space

Jan 2022 | Creative workshop with theatre students on Space Design | co-curated by School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts of HKAPA and WKCD Freespace | Collaborator: Artist Pak Sheung-Cheun About TechBox: a…

Conference Organization

design(ing) for change

Fall 2022/23 | cuhk SoA public lecture series design(ing) for change: Global Framework. Local Implementation. Global frameworks such as the UNSDG and the New Urban Agenda bring awareness…

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Making Place GBA Symposium

14-15 May 2021 | Organizing Team & Session 2 Moderator International (online) symposium with over 20 scholars and practitioners to share their work in 6 sessions around the…

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Other Publication

Francesco ROSSINI, Melody YIU, “Public Open Spaces in Private Developments in Hong Kong” <link> | Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. Jul 2020

Hiroyuki SHINOHARA, Melody YIU, “Collective Form for Post-Developmental Inner-city Regeneration”. <link> | 2019 XJTLU International Conference: Architecture across Boundaries Volume 2019, KnE Social Sciences, pages 168–181. DOI 10.18502/kss.v3i27.5525. Nov 2019.

Melody YIU, “Design Trust, Design Criticism: Does the Xiqu Centre live up to its promise?” | Zolima City Magazine. May 2019

Conference Paper and Presentation

The 7th International Conference on Architecture and Built Environment | “The Formation of Public Space at Cultural Buildings”  | Tokyo, Japan. April 2020 (online)

XXVI International Seminar on Urban Form: Cities as Assemblages | “Beyond Building Envelop: Urban Form of Cultural Public Space” | Nicosia, Cyprus. July 2019

2019 XJTLU International Conference: Architecture across Boundaries | “Collective Form for Post-Developmental Inner-city Regeneration” (co-author with Hiroyuki SHINOHARA) | Suzhou, China. Jun 2019

Island Dynamics International Conference: Culture in Urban Space | “Culture for a city: a brief account of the evolution of cultural buildings and its public space in Hong Kong.” | Macau. Apr 2019

International Forum of Urbanism: The Entrepreneurial City | “In between the Suburb Masterplans” & “Patchwork City” (co-author with Hiroyuki SHINOHARA) | Hong Kong. Dec 2017