Photo of Dr Fei Chen

Dr Fei Chen Ph.D, MA, B.Arch

Reader in Architecture and Urban Design Architecture

Research

Urban morphology and typomorphology

Urban morphology and typomorphology aim to study how the form of our cities came about and has changed in a specific cultural context over time, to understand: a) the driving forces behind the change; b) the persistent urban elements and socio-cultural essences embedded in them. I study for example which are the physical forms that have lasted the longer across time, on the assumption that what is still standing through different circumstances might be inherently robust, fit and responsive. This knowledge is important to guide future intervention in the built environment so to ensure a good fit between form and life. A good understanding of the changing process of urban form through time is in fact key to support place-making, cultural identity enhancement and social cohesion.

I am interested in receiving PhD applications in this research area, particularly focus on:
-urban morphology and culture;
-Chinese urbanism;


Urban design and design governance in planning

Urban design as public policy or the term 'design governance' is used to describe the the interconnected tools and mechanisms used to regulate for design quality during the planning process. It is recognised that such tools and mechanisms are different in different cultures. In the trend of globalisation, urban design principles and ‘best practice’ exemplars are travelling from one place to another. I examine how policies or principles from elsewhere are put to work by local actors, and how they are translated, contextualised and embedded, as well as what the impact is on the local areas.

I am interested in receiving PhD applications in this research area, particularly focus on:
-urban design in the planning system;
-transnational impact of urban design theory and practice
-urban design in conservation and regeneration;

Public spaces

The concepts of public spaces or publicness have always been the focus of current debates situated in the neo-liberal discourses that pervade in political agendas and social lives in the last three or four decades. I am interested in how, in different cultures, public spaces are produced, designed, used and managed. I am interested in receiving PhD applications in this research area.

Research Group Membership