Direct Grant for Research 2018 - 19

Redefining a New Material Consciousness for Chinese Hakka Villages

Hong Kong  2019

“Architects don’t invent anything, they transform reality. Architecture does not have a pre-established language nor does it establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation of transformation” (Siza, 2015)


1- Proposed Investigation

This design research project looks at the possibilities of rethinking abandoned rural Chinese villages and capitalizing on a disappearing rural culture. After the catastrophic effects on urban heritage, modernization is now in the process of decimating most of China’s rural villages. By designing “prototype” for the abandoned Hakka village of Hexin Wu (何新屋), located in Guangdong Province, China, our ambition is to present an alternative way to re-think the issue.


The project wishes to challenge conventional preservation paradigms, instigated by a national rural heritage policy focused on introducing tourism as a rural solution. In short, we aim to make abandoned villages operational again. By conceiving the village as an ecosystem, we will study a series of “real” prototypes with associated implementation strategies. “Real” in this context relates to showing sensibility and practicality to deliver proposals that can be achieved (financially) and implemented (buildable) by the community.


Research Team

Prof Peter W. Ferretto

WANG Haoran Howard


Prof CAI Ling (GZU)


100,000 HKD