Public keynotes

2019 XJTLU International Conference: Architecture across Boundaries

Professor Flora Samuel: Vice President for Research at the Royal Institute for British Architects

Title: Future Practices

Topic: Architects have become marginal to the design and production of built environment. This presentation, developed through extensive participatory research in the UK construction sector and its institutions, offers a blueprint for how the architectural profession needs to change if it is to continue in anything like its present form. It will argue that, if architects are regain their position as valued leaders of the construction team, they need to be really clear about what it is that they offer and why it is so important. This, I argue, comes down to being truly professional in the development, implementation and dissemination of architectural knowledge.

Flora Samuel is Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment at the new school of Architecture at the University of Reading, UK,the first Vice President for Research at the Royal Institute for British Architects and was the first female Head of the University of Sheffield school. An architect and historian, she is an internationally renowned expert on supporting the development of research in architectural practice and has spoken on the subject across the globe. Her most recent book is Why Architects Matter: Evidencing and Communicating the Value of Architects, the product of over £500k of research funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, was written in the hope of inspiring change.

Dr. Charlie Qiuli Xue: City University of Hong Kong

Title: A Reflexive Modernity: Architectural Importation and Exportation of China

China has long been a recipient of imported architecture since its inception towards modernization in late 19th century. Since 1980 when open-door policy was adopted, importation of international architects’ design has grown exponentially in the country. Thousands of landmark buildings designed by foreign firms quickly change the townscape of costal and hinterland cities. At the same time, Chinese architects and contractors built thousands of infrastructural and civil buildings in the developing world through “construction aid”. This speech locates the two way architectural exportation/importation in a new logic of “reflexive modernity”.

Dr. Charlie Q. L. Xue has taught architecture at Shanghai Jiaotong University; the University of Texas, USA; and City University of Hong Kong. An award-winning architect and writer, he has published 12 books, including Building a Revolution: Chinese Architecture since 1980 (HKU Press, 2006), Hong Kong Architecture 1945-2015: From Colonial to Global (Springer, 2016), and A History of Design Institutes in China (Routledge, 2018), and research papers in international refereed journals such as Journal of Architecture, Urban Design International, Habitat International, and Cities. Xue’s research focuses on modern architecture in China and design strategies for high-density environments.