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Elaine Yolam Kwong

Architect and Urban Designer, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

In her talk, Architect Elaine Kwong discusses the common association with the term 'vernacular' and reveals that it is not always tied to ideas of tradition. She shares a fresh interpretation and overview of the unexpected successes of today's fastest growing collective urban forms, supported by examples in China.

Elaine's past work experience in the developing context of China lead to her research in finding alternative ways of development that enable people to be agents of their environments rather than passive beneficiaries or victims. Stemming from historical building types and vernacular practices, her projects explore how the built environment can be governed by rules without identifiable boundaries and where space and program express a loose fit. 

Elaine is a Chinese-American Architect and Urban Designer. She graduated in 2017 with a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Southern California. Prior to graduate school, she gained considerable experience working on mixed-use and master plan projects across China. Elaine currently lives in Tokyo and works at Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects.

Follow her on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/elaine_yolam_kwong/

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Urban Vernacular in the 21st Century

BY ELAINE YOLAM KWONG
@ VOL 150 ON SEP 27, 2017

"My thesis is to rethink how to plan cities in the future and reveal that these vernacular settlements are not frozen in time."

In "Urban Vernacular in the 21st Century" from PechaKucha Tokyo Vol. 150, Architect Elaine Kwong, backed by success stories of today’s fastest-growing urban collectives in China, shares with us fresh perspectives of the term ‘vernacular’.

Elaine spent the last couple of years at Harvard University researching alternate ways of urban development that can enable people to be agents of their environments rather than passive beneficiaries or victims.

建築家のElaine Kwongさんは、ハーバード大学で数年過ごした後、社会に対し積極的に環境について伝えるため、都市開発の代替方法を研究しました。 今日の中国で急成長している都市集団の成功事例研究に裏打ちされ、Elaineさんは私たちと共に「vernacular」という言葉の新しい視点を共有したいと考えています。

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PAST VOL 150

Tokyo @ SuperDeluxe
Sep 27, 2017