School of Architecture, CUHK

Director’s Message


Our cities and our natural environments face unprecedented challenges. Yesterday’s patterns of development do not fit the century ahead and yesterday’s models for educating architects are outdated. Against a backdrop of rapid urban growth and a deepening crisis of the natural world, the ambition of the School of Architecture is to innovate architectural education – to educate tomorrow’s architects.

Embedded in the Faculty of Social Science, the School of Architecture nurtures cross-disciplinary design thinking and its application in the societies of our region. Its Architecture and Urbanism programmes share a focus on environmental and social responsibility. Research-led and design-oriented, our work is grounded in the historical and cultural contexts of East Asia. We celebrate the relationship between design practice and the histories, environments, traditions and technologies of the places we work. Our creative practices celebrate East Asia’s regions, their diverse cultures, transforming landscapes and burgeoning cities: our studio culture focuses on application to and influence on these places and peoples.

Our School of Architecture sits at the threshold of mainland China and in one of the world’s most wonderful cities. Density, spatial, energy and environmental innovation in the Greater Bay Area are set to be globally leading and we are uniquely positioned to contribute to a transformational programme of regeneration. Our classroom is the world’s most exciting urban network.

Our graduates must have the capacity to think through, but also beyond the design of “buildings”, to enter a world of design and spatial practice that addresses the complex environmental and urban challenges head on. To that end, the School embraces the multiplicity of disciplines and complexity of application inherent to the profession: it nurtures an open, pluralistic environment.

Above all, I want our graduates to be independent, agile thinkers, habitually experimental and relentlessly rigorous. They are creative people who can synthesise complex problems with a high degree of technical expertise. They are practical, articulate – team players, driven by an ethical commitment and a sense of social responsibility, educated to lead the design professions in the societal contexts of the region.


Prof. David Dernie
Director and Professor of Architecture
School of Architecture
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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