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Meet The Author

17.06.2021  |  JUAN DU 杜鵑

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Meet Juan Du (杜鵑), one of the twenty women architects featured in the “New Chinese Architecture: Twenty Women Building the Future” (Thames and Hudson, 2019).


Presently an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, Associate Dean (International and Mainland China Affairs), and Director of the Urban Ecologies Design Lab of the Faculty of Architecture at the Hong Kong University, Juan Du is a recognized scholar on China’s rapid urbanization, and her works have been featured by international journals and media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, CNN, Wired, and Nature.

Learn more as she shares her current research and design focus on the relationships between urban planning and informal development within rapid urbanization, specifically on the “urban villages” of Shenzhen in her book, “The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story of China’s Instant City” (Harvard University Press, 2020).

In this book, Juan Du unravels the myth of Shenzhen and shows us how this world-famous "instant city" has a surprising history-filled with oyster fishermen, villages that remain encased within city blocks, a secret informal housing system-and how it has been catapulted to success as much by the ingenuity of its original farmers as by Beijing's policy makers. The Shenzhen Experiment is an important story for all rapidly urbanizing and industrializing nations around the world seeking to replicate China's economic success in the twenty-first century.

A rich history of China’s famous ‘instant city’, which may not be so instant after all. Juan Du takes us on an informative and unexpected journey through a major metropolis.

- Yung Ho Chang, Principal of Atelier FCJZ, Beijing


"Juan Du has given us an architect’s magical encounter with a place that we cannot quite see with our eyes, but can experience in fragments. I love this account of Shenzhen.

- Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University

Juan Du also designed the interior space for TheBookshop at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

This talk serves as a farewell event as well as she is leaving Hong Kong for Toronto soon. Juan Du has been appointed as the next dean of John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, effective July 1, 2021. She will join the Daniels Faculty at the rank of full professor. We all wish her all the best in her next journey!

JUAN DU (杜鵑)

Thursday, 17 June 2021

6 - 8 pm

TheBookshop, G/F., Hong Kong Museum of Art

10 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

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