Alumni Contribute Mentorship And Experience In Unique Course Collaboration: Hacking Kowloon East: Technology for Activating Urban Life

“Hacking Kowloon East: Technology for Activating Urban Life” is a course taught during MIT’s Independent Activity Period (IAP) this past January, and continuing in the spring semester. It uniquely brought together the School of Architecture, industry partners, global alumni, and students to examine socioeconomic challenges and urban regeneration in Hong Kong neighborhood of Kowloon East. Sean Kwok ’97, MArch ’01 recounts his experience:

4.247J/ 11.337J | Hacking Kowloon East: Technology for Activating Urban Life, jointly organized and run by the MIT SA+P DUSP and the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, was the perfect example of how our MIT community could work together to create a “Better World.” I am proud to see that the organizers had overcome the challenges of social distancing, lockdowns, and travel restrictions during the current pandemic with MIT ingenuity by taking advantage of available online tools and talents to create an education program that is both grounded in Hong Kong yet virtual enough for global participation. Not only had they “hacked” Kowloon East, they successfully “hacked” MIT education in the process by developing a new model for stakeholders’ participation, government collaboration, alumni engagement, and mixed-reality education that would serve MIT long after the pandemic.Architecture and urban design have had a long tradition of mentorship and apprenticeship as part of our professional development. And in the Hacking Kowloon East workshop, MIT graduates spanning 5 decades volunteered to teach and guide current students, exemplified this fine tradition. In return, this workshop gave us, former MIT students, the rare opportunity to participate in the MIT academic life again, learn from our colleagues, and give back to the school at the same time.I look forward to participating in many more joint educational opportunities between MIT and our global MITArchA (MIT Architecture Alumni) community like this one in the very near future.

Check out the course brochure for course and participant descriptions.

Full list of participating MIT alumni:

Teaching Team:

Prof. Brent D. Ryan, DUSP Ph.D. ’02
Sunnie Lau, M.Arch ’13
Mengqi (Moon) He, SMArchS Urbanism ’20

Domain Experts and Mentors:

Dr. Ronald Lu, M.Arch A.S. ’73
Kimberly Vermeer, B.Sc. in Architecture and Design ’82
Constance Bodurow, SMArchS, MCP ’91
Sean Kwok B.Sc. in Architecture and Design ’97 & MArch ’01
Wai-duen Lee, MCP ’01
Dr. Yi Zhu, DUSP Ph.D. ’14
Dr. Xiaosu Ma, DUSP Postdoc ’14
Yong (Tong) Wang, MSRED ’07
Dr. Jianxiang Huang, MCP ’07
Helena H. Rong, SMArchS Urbanism ’19
Juncheng Yang, SMArchS Urbanism ’19

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