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Dean's Creative Talks: Asia Cities Initiative

The USC School of Architecture presents Li Hu, Lyndon Neri, Vanessa Cheung, Bryant Lu, and Sean Chiao in conversation with Dean Milton S. F. Curry.

September 1, 2021 6:00pm

LI Hu, founding partner of OPEN Architecture, is an internationally known architect, visiting professor at the Tsinghua University and Central Academy of Fine Arts, China. He is the former partner of Steven Holl Architects, and director of Columbia University GSAPP’s Studio-X Beijing.

LI Hu and HUANG Wenjing co-founded OPEN in New York City and established the studio’s Beijing office in 2008. Some signature projects by OPEN include: Garden School/Beijing No.4 High School Fangshan Campus, Tsinghua Ocean Center, Pingshan Theater, Tank Shanghai, UCCA Dune Art Museum, and Chapel of Sound.

Lyndon Neri co-founded Neri&Hu Design and Research Office with Rossana Hu in 2004, an inter-disciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China. Through his practice, Neri has reinforced a core vision: to respond to a global worldview incorporating overlapping design disciplines for a critical paradigm in architecture, while believing strongly in research as a design tool, as each project bears its unique set of contextual issues.

Alongside his design practice, Neri has been deeply committed to architectural education and has lectured across the globe in various universities and professional forums. Neri was appointed as the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2019, and received the distinguished Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor Chair at Yale School of Architecture in 2018.

Neri is also Founding Partner of Design Republic in Shanghai since 2004, a design platform incorporating retail concept, design and cultural exhibitions, and education. In 2015, he was appointed as the Creative Director of Stellar Works, and has been a board member of Roll & Hill LLC. in Brooklyn since 2010.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Neri received his Master of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Bryant Lu, the Vice Chairman of Ronald Lu and Partners (RLP), is a sustainability leader for the architecture and design industry. Under his leadership, RLP “designs better life” by creating robust, practical and environmentally responsible built solutions that adhere to the highest standards.

During Bryant’s 20-plus years at RLP, the firm has received over 300 design awards and participated in major projects like the award-winning Xiqu Centre and Zero Carbon Park.

Bryant is also the deputy chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, serves on the board of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and speaks regularly about societal issues from a social architecture standpoint.

Vanessa Cheung is the Group Managing Director of Nan Fung Development Ltd., managing the Group’s real estate development portfolio.

She is also the Founder of The Mills – a revitalization project of transforming the Nan Fung Textile Mills into a global techstyle innovation destination comprising of start-up incubator, heritage and cultural center, and experiential retail. The Mills project piloted many of the Group’s current social innovation and environmental sustainability works. Along with her experience in working for AECOM as a Landscape Designer as well as a part-time lecturer at HKU on City Branding, she hopes to inspire the younger generation and push Hong Kong’s leadership potential beyond the status quo.

Vanessa obtained her Master in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University and Bachelors in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sean Chiao is Chief Executive of the Buildings + Places global business line at AECOM, where with over 30 years of experience in urban design and management, he actively oversees global business operations and mobilization of AECOM’s international talent across architecture and interiors, urbanism and planning, building and systems engineering, cost and project management. Sean has spearheaded award-winning masterplans for new towns and regeneration of existing urban landscapes across Asia, including the Kuala Lumpur River of Life; Metro Manila Bonifacio Global City in the Philippines; and Suzhou Industrial Park new town in Suzhou, China.

Sean is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Global Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, a member of Asia Society’s Executive Committee and Harvard University’s Master in Design Engineering External Advisory Board and Council Member of Harvard University Graduate School of Design Dean’s Leadership Council.