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M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City

M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City
Organised with the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture
November 23, 2019

Miller Theatre, Asia Society Hong Kong Center
9 Justice Drive
Hong Kong


M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City is a joint effort between M+ and the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture, which seeks to initiate public conversations in Hong Kong on the under-represented histories and contemporary realities of women in architectural production. The discussions examine the life and work of nine women and their roles in shaping the built environment in Asia, prompting the reappraisal of criteria and methods used to assess architecture.

The series of dialogues brings together historians, editors, and educators to probe issues related to values and approaches in the practices of women architects between the 1950s and the 1980s—as well as the visibility of these practices. Conversations begin with a focus on Minnette de Silva (1918–1998), a pioneering woman architect in Sri Lanka; and Wang Chiu-hwa (born 1925), an architect known for her designs of libraries in Taiwan, who made a generous donation of a large part of her archive to M+. An examination of their work raises questions of how their histories could be constructed. Taking the editorial and curatorial work of Julia Fung and Corrin Chan as a point of departure, a further exchange of views explores the role of women as mediators in architecture. This is followed by discussions of women’s contributions to public service that focus on the work of Anna Kwong and Winnie Ho and. The challenges of women pursuing private practice as individuals and in collaborative partnerships are studied through the work of Joan LeungNora Leung and Joanlin Au. Invited interlocutors include the prominent scholars and practitioners Wallace Chang, Thomas Chung, Hsu Li-yu, Tariq Jazeel, Clover Lee, Cole Roskam, Koon Wee, and Marisa Yiu.

The event marks the first collaboration between a museum and a university to address this topic in Asia. It informs both institutions’ collecting and research methodologies, which take into account the non-linear narratives and fluid identities of women architects as part of an expanded and more inclusive effort for the profession.

M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City is organised by Eunice Seng (Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong) and Shirley Surya (Curator, Design and Architecture, M+), with Ina Wu (Research Assistant, University of Hong Kong) and Noel Cheung (Curatorial Assistant, Design and Architecture, M+).

For more information and to register, please visit:

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s 21st century.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.

About the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture
The Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, founded in 1950, is one of the preeminent institutions for architectural education in Asia and around the world. The department features an internationally recognised design curriculum in architecture, urbanism, and landscape that prepares students for the environmental, social, and aesthetic challenges of contemporary architectural practice. The department offers an accredited Bachelor’s degree programme of Architectural Studies and an accredited Master’s degree programme of Architecture. It also features Postgraduate Research MPhil and PhD degree programmes.

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