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The Journey of Sustainable Exhibition Design and Practices: A Conversation with Joel Austin and Roger Wu

Jul 29, 2023
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Para Site
22/F, Wing Wah Ind. Building, 677 King's Road
Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Speakers: Joel Austin and Roger Wu
Moderator: Celia Ho


As part of our talk series responding to the exhibition design for ‘signals…瞬息’, we will hold a series of discussions throughout the exhibition period to explore the interdisciplinary relationship between art, architecture, urban planning, and environmental concerns. In the first conversation of this series, the exhibition spatial designer Joel Austin and UK-qualified architect Roger Wu will share their professional experiences and insights on sustainability in exhibition design and making.

Joel Austin will introduce his design process and ideas of the exhibition’s reusable display system, reflecting on how the system continues to respond to and transform the exhibition space into unique spatial configurations based on the themes of the three chapters of this exhibition. Roger Wu will share his vision for tackling carbon emissions in exhibition making, drawing on his experience as Chief Curator of the 2019 Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, the first biennale to deliver a Carbon Footprint Study on the carbon intensity of the biennale. He will share the different strategies for improving implementation, tracking, and analysis of similar future events in Hong Kong and beyond. 

The two speakers will engage in a multifaceted discussion on how to incorporate sustainability in exhibition design and making, how to share knowledge and promote collective awareness among all stakeholders throughout different processes, as well as what different roles curators, artists, designers, organisers, and audiences play. This conversation is an opportunity to investigate how we can improve the exhibition making process, promote sustainable practices, and raise awareness of pressing environmental concerns.

The conversation will be in English and moderated by one of curators of ‘signals…瞬息’, Celia Ho.

About the speakers

Joel Austin

Joel Austin is an architect and educator based in Hong Kong. He is a Registered Architect in the United Kingdom, holding a professional degree from the Royal College of Art (MA), and a post-professional degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SMArchS) where his research focused on sustainable design and building lifecycles. Having obtained several years of professional experience on a broad range of cultural and commercial projects, he is currently practicing as a freelance architect and teaching in the design school of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


Roger Wu

Roger Wu is an architect born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK. In 2023, he co-curated ‘The Full Gamut’ exhibition for Hong Kong Design Centre’s Design Spectrum programme and, in 2022, Roger co-curated ‘Beyond Territories – Made . Make . Making’, Hong Kong Institute of Architects’ Urbanism and Architecture Exhibition for Excellence to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which was shown in Hangzhou, Beijing, New York, and Hong Kong. He was also the Chief Curator of the 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Hong Kong) and co-curator of the 2015 edition of the Biennale. Roger is actively involved in both the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), where he is a member of the Membership Board Committee, and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), where he is a member of the Heritage & Conservation and Planning & Urban Design Committees. He is currently lecturing in Hong Kong University’s MSc programme in Conservation and HKU Space’s MA programme in Art and Cultural Enterprise. He has lectured at architectural schools in universities across the UK and taught design studios at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong, as an Adjunct Associate Professor. 

Presentation slideshow