Tony Chung Man Ip - PhD. Sustainable Design

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PhD Researcher
Ip Chung Man, Tony
 
Tony Ip has demonstrated a flair for multi-disciplinary practices and academic studies in the building profession. He learned sustainable design knowledge since 1995 when he started reading Environmental Engineering in Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. Having worked in engineering and architectural fields for over ten years, he equipped his interdisciplinary design skills and obtained master degrees in Geotechnical Engineering, Architecture and Urban Design with distinctions from HKU and his fourth master degree in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment from the University of Cambridge. His thesis research topics focused on social and environmental sustainability, comprising cultural interaction spaces for intangible heritage preservation, transit-oriented urban development and sky garden design in high-density high-rise residential developments.
 
Tony is a practising architect specializing in interdisciplinary design collaboration for sustainable innovation. Tony has over 18 years of local interior design, architectural, urban design and engineering experience. He is the Founder of Tony Ip Green Architects Ltd. His passion and contributions to green architecture have been highly recognized by receiving Australia China Alumni Award for Arts and Creative Industries 2018, Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award 2016, EcoStar Award 2014 and HKIA Young Architect Award 2010. His design and research were exhibited and presented in Venice, London, Copenhagen, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
 
ORCID iD
0000-0001-7689-9145
 
PhD Title
Urban Living with Nature: Design for Human-nature Interactions in Communal Green Spaces at Residential High-rises
  
Keywords
Human-nature interaction, urban living, communal green space, residential high-rise
 
Research Abstract
Compared with people residing away from the metropolitan area, urban dwellers lack personal and open space and may seek room to escape from the hustle and bustle of city living. Urban dwellers are characterised by a more affluent living style and exhibit patterns of routine related to gaining affluence with few opportunities for unplanned chances of human-nature interactions, that are critical for developing neighbourhoods and a sense of community, or chances of appreciation for the natural environment.
 
This thesis aims to study human-nature interactions in compact high-rise city. The hypothesis is the significances of human-nature interactions in pursuit of sustainable urban development. Different types of direct and indirect human-nature interactions facilitate co-evolution of human and the biotic community.
 
There are three main research questions in this study, as follows:
(i) What are the perceptions and experiences of urban dwellers to interact with nature in urban living?
(ii) What are the key substances to advocate human-nature interactions?
(iii)What are the design opportunities for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces in the high-density high-rise contexts?
 
In this study, the significances of human-nature interactions in urban living are investigated. Characteristics of high-density high-rise contexts and opportunities for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces are identified, in particular to communal green spaces at residential high-rises. Interpretative qualitative research methods are adopted. Photo-elicitation surveys were conducted to investigate whether urban dwellers appreciate the significance of human-nature interactions, how they interpret, perceive and experience nature in urban living, and whether their perception and experience are various from different ages, in search of human-nature interactions for benefits of human and nature. Further to examining the key substances for human-nature interactions, their implications in terms of ways of interpretation, anthropocentrism, location and space use are discussed. Case studies were carried out on the topics of a new typology of communal green spaces, a transformation of undesignated spaces, design processes with community engagement and design intention for co-evolution of nature.
 
Direct and indirect human-nature interactions facilitate co-evolution of human and the biotic community. "Design for humans" utilise nature for the benefit of humans; "design for humans with nature" allows humans and the biotic community to co-exist; and "design for nature" considers human intervention for the benefit of the biotic community. There are implications to intentions and practices on design for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces in high-density high-rise contexts, and further research would be suggested.
 
Research Methodology
The research study is divided into two parts in a conceptual framework. The first part intends to establish the main body of knowledge of urban dwellers’ interactions with nature in compact high-rise contexts, followed by analysing essential elements attributed to these interactions. The second part aims to examine and relate the findings to specific architectural settings and urban contexts.
 
Literature review on philosophies and theories of nature and interaction with nature in urban contexts and desktop studies on characteristics of high-density high-rise contexts and urban communal green spaces at high-levels are carried out to establish the main body of knowledge for an inquiry of significances of human-nature interactions in urban living. Meanwhile, significances, conflicts and indicators of communal green spaces in high-density high-rise contexts are depicted.
 
Photo-elicitation surveys on the topics of urban dwellers’ daily record of nature, perception of nature in urban living, children and elderly persons’ interpretation of nature, and human-centric and nature-centric design interpretations are conducted in search of urban dwellers’ interpretation, perception and experiences of nature in urban living. Types of human-nature interactions and their key substances are interpreted from the research findings. Furthermore, potential design implications in terms of ways of interpretation, anthropocentrism, location and space use are expected to be identified.
 
To investigate possible design opportunities for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces, case studies on the topics of a new typology of communal green spaces, a transformation of urban settings, design processes with community engagements and design intentions for co-evolution of nature are carried out. There are two approaches in the case studies. The first one is to study the cases of experimental community engagement projects of which I was involved to curate and organise in the period of this thesis study. These case studies explored and examine design opportunities in relation to the urban dwellers' association and appreciation of nature and improvised architectural and urban settings for human-nature interactions. The second one is to study the cases of existing architectural design for co-evolution with nature in urban contexts and communal green spaces in residential high-rises.
 
Results / Outcomes
Human-nature interactions should advocate in a broad spectrum, ranging from anthropocentric to non-anthropocentric according to different forms, status and situations of natural and human activities.
 
The photo-elicitation surveys are in search of human-nature interactions for the benefits of human and nature respectively. Appreciation of nature is generally limited to its functional values and benefits to their living. The findings reveal that human-centric design for interaction with nature is more emphasized on the individual level. People pay more attention to desirable sensory experience, relieve and restorative experience and improving thermal comfort. Enhancing social interactions is mentioned and associated with community or neighbourhood level.
 
People are aware of human intervening against nature in urban development. Limiting the growth of plants, endangering animals’ living, depriving interactions with nature and creating pollution and nuisances to the biotic community are aspects of concerns. This supports the significance of environmental ethics and nature-centric design approaches.
 
The nature-centric design considers an ecologically responsible or friendly approach and a regenerative approach to benefits of the biotic community. The findings reveal that the research participants were able to find or associate with different ways of contributing to the growth or co-existence of nature in urban contexts, for instance, creating habitat for plants and animals in urban space, utilizing underused urban spaces or infrastructure for greeneries, planting in multi-dimensions and building services or landscape design to facilitate eco-systems.
 
We have an inborn relationship with plants. Some may see gardening as a hobby, but there are many voluntary activities hosted by individuals and organizations that aim to spread the importance of greenery and empower junior and senior citizens with the ability to cultivate their environment. Even though a high-density, high-rise city, there are various locations to plant your own greens, from indoors to outdoors, communal areas to private spaces.
 
Subject to a better understanding of communal green spaces at multi-levels, potential benefits comprise improving human thermal comfort and urban microclimate; providing green space for communities; providing individuals with a place away from busy urban life; improving community integration and social cohesion so that people of all ages can improve their health; understanding and being close nature.
 
In view of the public engagement projects, human-nature interactions in urban living are found to be developed progressively. Human-nature interactions are built upon on human's discovery and acknowledgement of the co-existence, connection and co-living of nature and human, which was explored in community engagement projects to understand what urban nature to people are.
 
Key publications
Ip, T. (2020). Experimental interactions with nature in the city. World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2020 Gothenburg. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 588, 052001.
 
Ip, T. (2020). Urban living with nature: Design for human-nature interactions in communal green spaces at residential high-rises. World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2020 Gothenburg. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 588, 052002.
 
Ip, T. (2018). Experimental Interactions – Nature in the City. HKIA Journal, 74, 128-130.
 
Ip, T. (2017). Significance of sky gardens for healthy high-rise living of urban children and old adults. Conference Proceedings of World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2017 Hong Kong.
 
任超、吳恩融、葉頌文、鄭世有 (2017). 高密度城市氣候空間規劃與設計-香港空氣流通評估實踐與經驗, 城市建筑, 1, 20-23.
 
葉頌文 (2016). 城市高層居住建築空中花園類型學.《第十二屆國際綠色建築與建築節能論文集》中國科學技術協會.
 
葉頌文、余文娟 (2016). 高層高密度城市下的親生物設計模式研究.《第十二屆國際綠色建築與建築節能論文集》中國科學技術協會.
 
Chung, T. and Ip, T. (2015). Country Report on Hong Kong. FuturArc Year-end Issue 2015 Journal, BCI Asia.
 
葉頌文、梁文傑 (2015). 高密度城市環境中的住宅樓宇能源效益設計及建造指引.《第十一屆國際綠色建築與建築節能論文集》中國科學技術協會.
 
葉頌文、梁文傑 (2015). 亞熱帶高密度城市下以社區為中心的新型垂直綠化校舍.《第十一屆國際綠色建築與建築節能論文集》中國科學技術協會.
 
葉頌文、梁文傑 (2014). 走向低碳城市-高密度城市環境中的零碳建築案例.《第十屆國際綠色建築與建築節能論文集》中國科學技術協會.
 
Ip, T. (2014). Typology of Sky Gardens for High-rise Urban Living. Conference Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Sustainable Innovation 2014 – Cities & Regions as Catalysts for Smart & Sustainable Innovation, Copenhagen,102-110.
  
Qualifications
AP(Architect), Registered Architect(HK), MHKIA, MHKIUD, PIA, BEAM Pro, LEED AP, BREEAM AP, WELL AP, HKGBC Green Building Faculty
 
Supervisors
Prof. Peter Hasdell (Chief Supervisor)
Prof. Tim Jachna (External Co-supervisor)
 
Specialisation / Interests
Sustainable Design
 
Date of Completion
2020/2021

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