PhD Research

Historically the School of Design’s PhD programme commenced with a strong focus on digital design technology during the nineties. Since then, the programme has expanded into several directions, including social design, management, media design, universal design, as well as design studies, culminating in a diversity of research work, comprised out of a 50 strong student body of whom mostly conduct research on a part-time basis.

As set out under the initiatives, all PhD research is encouraged to link to the three distinct themes of Social Design, Design Economy and Design Making.

Over and above the mandatory requirements of completing 15 credits coursework, each PhD thesis has to produce an independently authored PhD thesis document as proof of the creation of new knowledge fields within the various domains of enquiry. In order to facilitate [a] research process, [b] independent thinking and [c] critical engagement the School of Design requires each PhD student to participate in biannual seminars organised in the format of a PhD Winter and Summer Schools.

PhD Seminars are doctoral seminars organised by PhD students committee and driven by their research interest and progress. Enabled by technology, we can now connect the global community on Zoom from wherever we are. Since 2020/21 Academic Year, the PhD Seminar Series has provided an unprecedented platform to engaged the following speakers on an interactive form of knowledge sharing and critiques.

Academic Year Date Speaker Title/ Topic
2021/22 Sep 15, 2021 Patrick Healy Everydayness/Modernity: A design dilemma
2021/22 Sep 29, 2021 Heather Wiltse Designing for Platformed Relations in Fluid Assemblages
2021/22 Nov 10, 2021 Roberta Comunian Complex creative and cultural ecologies: rethinking the creative city
2021/22 Nov 24, 2021 Heidi Sohn TBC
2021/22 Feb 16, 2022 Peter-Paul Verbeek TBC
2021/22 Mar 9, 2022 Paul Frosh TBC
2021/22 Mar 23, 2022 Anne Boddington TBC
2021/22 Apr 20, 2022 Mar González Franco TBC
2020/21 Sep 16, 2020 Abdumaliq Simone  Design Research and the Social Component
2020/21 Oct 7, 2020 Paulo Favero  Living, Loving and Dying: Reflections on Ethnography, Existence and the Senses
2020/21 Nov 4, 2020 John Thackara  The New Geographies of Innovation: Urban-Rural Reconnection and Relational Design
2020/21 Nov 18, 2020 Terry Irwin  Transition Design: Design for Systems-Level Change
2020/21 Jan 21, 2021 John Wood  A Superset of Supertools
2020/21 Feb 24, 2021 Dominique Lämmli  Practitioner research on working with art in socio-cultural settings
2020/21 Mar 17, 2021 Arturo Escobar  Designing with/in Crisis: Envisioning paths for pluriversal transitions
2020/21 Mar 31, 2021 Lara Penin  Thinking Design for This Century
2020/21 Apr 7, 2021 Julian Petrin Next Level Participation – Strategies and Examples

Visit here for all applications questions, and tips for preparing PhD applications questions, and tops for preparing PhD applications.

Current PhD research:

1 GUAN, Jing A Design Toolkit for Visually Impaired People on Travelling Experience. 
2 IP, Chung Man (Tony) Urban Living with Sky Gardens.
3 JIA, Xiao (Micheal) A Study on the Integration of 3D Digital Technologies in the Context of Holographic Production as a New Generation of Films and Entertainments.
4 JIANG, Ying Ageing at Home: An Exploration of the Meaning of 'Home' for Care Design.
5 KING, Pui Yuk (Alex) Universal Product Design for Elderly Living: A Comparative Case Study of User Behavior between Elderly Living Alone and in Residential Care Homes in Hong Kong.
6 LI, Qingchuan Design and Evaluation of Game-based Interventions for Children with Autism: A Visual Perception Analysis from the Perspective of Human Factors.
7 LI, Yang (Karen) Cultural Integration as a New Path for Reforming Design Education in China.
8 LIU, Helene Self-Reflexivity as a pathway to nurture and sustain individual creative processes in the context of innovation and design.
9 NASKOVA, Julija Comparative studies of interactive systems that enhance user experience and marketing results on the cloud, with emphasis on Cross Cultural Differences Between China and the USA. 
10 NG, Po Choy Computational Design System for Brand Identity.
11 TIAN, Yao (Yolanda) Finding and Broken Links in the Design Thinking Process in Chinese Designs through Systematic and Culture Based Innovation.
12 WAN, Chi Kwong (Bruce) Flourishing Through an eTourism Platform- HCI model on Fostering Tourists’ Eudaimonic Growth in Cultivating Character Strengths and Serious Leisure Pursuits. 
13 WANG, Shisi Creating the Online Images of Cities Populated with Chinese Ethinic Groups: Taking Tibetan Cities as an Example.
14 WERNLI, Markus Fermenting the City – Embodied Affinities for Closing Energy and Material Cycles in Hong Kong.
15 ZHU, Mingjie Using Participatory Design in Urban Community Building: Case Studies in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
16 VENKATESH, Aruna  A Study on the Learning Development of Interior Design Students in Designing Interior Spaces.
17 SHAH, Parth Bharat  3D Human Head and Face Modelling Considering Both, 3D Shape Variance and Soft Tissue Deformation Parameters.
18 NAVARRO, Louie T.  The Perfection of the Interior Render: Reconsidering Representations in Interior Design and its Impact on Thinking, Practice, and Policy.
19 ZHANG, Jiaxin 

Understanding and leveraging user characteristics, security features and use context to improve security experience of mobile payment. 

20 FU, Fang  3D ear anthropometric research and product designing application for Chinese population.
21 MA, Yuanhong  Embedded community elderly centre architectural design in China: based on social design perspective.
22 PENG, Yixuan  Ecological Conflicts in Chinese Megablock Urbanism - a Landscape Urbanism Approach.
23 NEL, Darren  A morphological exploration of urban spatial resilience: The case of Hong Kong and Tshwane.
24 SHAW, Chris  Identifying An Educational Framework To Develop Imaginative Thinking For Animation Students : An Asian Perspective.
25 ZHANG, Suxin  Placemaking and Revival in Heritage Conservation Areas Located in the Centre of the City in China.
26 ECHEVERRI, Daniel  A Study on Transactive Episodes: Exploring Interaction, Memory & Narrative.


Creativity in Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of the Hong Kong Startup Ecosystem.


FONG, Wai Man Tiffany

Development and Prospects of Entrepreneurial Capability: A Framework for Design Education in Hong Kong.


QIN, Sabrina Zhenzhen

Design Intervention to Prevent Urban Cultural Disintegration in China: Bridging the Gap between Traditional Culture and Urban Civilization through Digital Innovation.



Study on the Effect of Sports Bra on Yoga Practitioners Exercise Behaviour based on the Biomechanical Analysis of Bra-breast Interaction.


YANG, Chien-Hui (Aria)

Living Together for Social Interaction: Design Factors of Senior Housing for the Third Age.



Design Museums in China: A Research on the Cultural Landscape of Design Museums.


LEE, Jen Yoohyun

A Study on the Relationship between Site-Specific Narrative Elements and Local Regeneration.


GERA, Krity

Facilitating Social Innovation Through Design to Overcome Barriers to Car Sharing in a Multi-Modal Transportation Scenario in Developing Countries (New Delhi, India).



Videogame Spectatorship and Secondary Fandom Value.



Product Trustworthiness, Anthropomorphism, Product Personality.


LEE, Kate Sangwon

How social media design can induce users' behaviour to be socially responsible?


WEI, Xintong

Design strategies of Urban Residential Area Based on Environmental Well-being in China.



University Campus Navigation: A Cross Cultural Study of Signage Understanding in University Campus Navigation Design Using VR Technology.


MILLER, Marty 

‘Home’, Experienced as a Production of Presence in Hong Kong.