‘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. The challenges of women pursuing private practice as individuals and in collaborative partnerships are studied through the work of Joan Leung, Nora 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+).

23 November 2019 (Saturday)


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

English and Mandarin, with simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese and English

Free admission. Limited capacity on a first-come, first-served basis


Sessions Speakers

Session 1:
Histories, Archives, and the Lack thereof: Constructing Stories of Women in Architecture

Tariq Jazeel on Minnette de Silva
Tariq Jazeel in conversation with Shirley Surya

Wang Chiu-hwa
in conversation with Hsu Li-yu
Discussion moderated by Shirley Surya

Session 2:
Thinking, Writing, and Building: Mediating Architectural Publics

Eunice Seng on Julia Fung

Corrin Chan
in conversation with Thomas Chung 

Discussion moderated by Eunice Seng and Thomas Chung 

Lunch Break (1:25pm–2:30pm)   
Session 3:
Negotiating, Building, and Preserving: Serving the Public

Anna Kwong in conversation with Cole Roskam 

Winnie Ho
in conversation with Wallace Chang

Discussion moderated by Cole Roskam and Wallace Chang 

Session 4:
Building, Designing, and Drawing: Individual and Collaborative Practices
Joan Leung in conversation with Koon Wee

Nora Leung
 in conversation with Marisa Yiu

Joanlin Au in conversation with Clover Lee  

Discussion moderated by Koon WeeMarisa Yiu, and Clover Lee


Adverse Weather Arrangements:
Programme will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is still in force 3 hours before the event starts.

Co-presented by:

Mplus Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong

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Other M+ Matters events