People

Professor Xing Ruan

Professor of Architecture
Architectural Studies, Architecture

PhD (VUW, NZ); MArch (SEU, Nanjing); BArch (SEU, Nanjing)

Phone: 
54957
Fax: 
+61 2 9385 4957
Bio: 

Xing Ruan 阮昕, PhD, joined UNSW Sydney as Professor of Architecture in 2004. He was Associate Dean International 2015-2018, Director of Architecture (2014-16), and Chair of Architecture Discipline and Director of Master of Architecture from (2005-09). Prior to his appointment to UNSW, he was Head of Department of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney (2002-04). Since July 2018, Xing has been appointed the Founding Dean and Chair Professor of Architecture at School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Xing has published on a cultural history of housing, architecture and anthropology, vernacular architecture, architectural education, Louis Kahn and modern architecture, China’s pre-modern, modern and contemporary architecture, as well as Australian contemporary architecture. His books have received critical acclaim and enthusiastic appraisal both in academic journals and from some mainstream media outlets around the world.

Xing’s essays have appeared in leading academic and literary journals, such as JSAH (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians), Jianzhu shi [The Architect 建筑师] and Wenhui Xueren of Wenhui Ribao [Wenhui Scholar of Wenhui Daily 文汇学人, 文汇日报]. Xing is co-editor, with Ronald Knapp, of the book series Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture published by the University of Hawai’i Press, with published titles encompassing China, Japan, Korea, India and the Middle East. He has also contributed, as a critic, to professional architecture journals in Australia and China.

Research Activities: 

Xing’s scholarly interests lie in the study of physical laws of architectural forms, as well as their ‘social life’ in a broad historical and cultural context. More specifically, his work, while concerning legible relations between humans and their built world, searches for pattern and meaning through the study of building configurations and types. His research topics include: comparative study of Western and East Asia’s architectural history, a cultural history of housing, vernacular architecture and cultural anthropology, architectural education, contemporary architectural critique, the study of Asia’s architecture and urbanization against the background of Western discourse.

Grants: 

Australia-China Council Grant, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, 2010.

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, Chief investigator 2007-2010.

The Graham Foundation and The Asian Cultural Council (USA) grants 2003.

Awards: 

Third Prize, UIA (the Union of International Architects) International Competition: research papers in Architecture and Urban Design, 2011.

Curtin University Innovative Teaching Award 2001.

First Prize, Kunming City Planning Department Competition 1987: design of Hugou Mansion – a 24-storey building complex located in downtown Kunming (with Dongmin Zhao), built between 1988-91.

Teaching & Supervision: 

Xing teaches architectural design, history and theory. He has been invited to give keynote and public lectures at conferences and universities in China, South-East Asia, the USA, the UK, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia. He also serves as a supervisor for PhD and Master’s research degrees.

 

Publications:
Books

Murray A; Ruan X, 2019, Hand and Mind Exchanges on Architecture and the Built World, NewSouth

Ruan X, (ed.), 2009, Skyplane: What effect do towers have on urbanism, sustainability, the workplace and historic city centres?, UNSW Press, Sydney

Ruan X, 2006, Allegorical architecture: Living myth and architectonics in Southern China

Ruan X, 2006, New China Architecture, Periplus Editions, Singapore

Book Chapters

Ruan X, 2018, 'Architecture by hand and mind: Why the usefulness of an architectural education lies in its uselessness', in Hand and Mind Exchanges on Architecture and the Built World, NewSouth, Sydney, pp. 6-16

Ruan X, 2017, 'Yizhong zhuwu wenhua de shigang 一种住屋文化的史纲 [A Cultural History of Housing in Outline]', in Ma X; Yang H (ed.), Guoji shiye zhong de dushi renwen yichan yanjiu yu baohu lunji 国际视野中的都市人文遗产研究与保护论集 [An Anthology of Global Studies of Urban Heritage and Conservation], edn. First, The Commercial Press, Shanghai, pp. 303-355

Ruan X, 2011, 'Architectural Enclosure, Topophilia and Topophobia: What are the effective "words" in architecture?', in Cousins M; Chen W (ed.), Architecture Studies 01 - Words, Buildings and Drawings, edn. First, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing, pp. 81-102

Ruan X, 2011, 'Bligh Voller Nield', in Goad P; Willis J (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, edn. First, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 91-92

Ruan X, 2011, 'Discussions at the Symposium 3 April 2010', in Cousins M; Chen W (ed.), Architecture Studies 01 - Words, Buildings and Drawings, edn. First, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing, pp. 131-159

Ruan X, 2011, 'Discussions at the Symposium 4 April 2010', in Cousins M; Chen W (ed.), Architecture Studies 01 - Words, Buildings and Drawings, edn. First, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing, pp. 279-297

Ruan X, 2011, 'Grose, James', in Goad P; Willis J (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, edn. First, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 300-3001

Ruan X, 2011, 'Nield, Lawrence', in Goad P; Willis J (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture, edn. First, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 496-497

Ruan X, 2010, 'Yang Tingbao, China’s Modern Architect in the Twentieth Century', in Cody J (ed.), Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts, edn. First, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, pp. 153-168

Ruan X, 2009, 'La villa e la bella vita: una a Sydney presso l'Opera House', in Giani E (ed.), Worhshop 2008 Facolta di Architettura di Venezia, edn. First, Marsilio, Venezia, pp. 170-175

Ruan X, 2009, 'The Dong Tower', in Skyplane: What effect do towers have on urbanism, sustainability, the workplace and historic city centres?, edn. First, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 74-83

Ruan X; Hogben PE, 2007, 'Architectural Enclosure: A Prologue to Topophilia', in Ruan X; Hogben P (ed.), Topophilia and Topophobia: Reflections of Twentieth-Century Human Habitat, edn. First, Routledge Press, London, pp. 1-11

Ruan X, 2007, 'The Character of a Building: Paul Cret`s Human Analogy, Louis Kahn and Yang Tingbao', in Ruan X; Hogben P (ed.), Topophilia and Topophobia: Reflections of Twentieth-Century Human Habitat, edn. First, Routledge Press, London, pp. 92-113

Ruan X, 2006, 'Jianzhu Lishi Yu Renxue [Architectural History and the Constitution of a Human Person]', in Rykwert J (ed.), Yadang Zhijia [Chinese Versions of Adam`s House in Paradise], edn. 1st, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing, pp. 7-15

Ruan X, 2006, 'Kongjian Yinshi De Maodun [Paradox of the hidden Figure]', in Chang YH (ed.), Jianzhu Dongci [Architectural Verb], edn. 1st, Garden City Publishing, Taipei, pp. 17-23

Ruan X, 2005, 'Flower Architecture', in Bligh Voller Nield (ed.), Bligh Voller Nield, edn. 1st, China Architecture and Building Press, Beijing, China, pp. 14-21

Ruan X, 2005, 'Sustained awareness', in Architectural Review Australia, edn. Original, Niche Media, Melbourne, pp. 96-101

Ruan X, 2003, 'Paradox of the Hidden Figure', in Gutierrez L; Portefaix V (ed.), Yung Ho Chang: Atelier Feichang Jianzhu - A Chinese Practice, edn. First, MAP Book Publishers, Hong Kong, pp. 25-36

Ruan X, 2003, 'Pile-built Dwellings in Ethnic Southern China: Type, Myth and Heterogeneity', in Knapp R (ed.), Asia’s Old Dwellings: Tradition, Resilience and Change, edn. Original, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 347-371

Ruan X, 2003, 'Wenhua Renleixue Shiye Zhong De Chuangtong Mingju Ji Yiyi [Anthropology and Vernacular Architecture]', in Jianzhu Shi [The Architect], China Architecture and Building Press, pp. 57-61

Journal articles

Ruan X, 2016, 'Cong tingwu dao shengshi zhi wu zhige yitiao “zoulang” – cong yingguo jüzu shi tan “sixiang zhi neibu fengjing” 从厅屋到绅士之屋只隔一条“走廊”- 从英国居住史探“思想之内部风景” [The evolution from hall to gentleman’s house via “co', Wenhui xueren – wenhui bao文汇学人 – 文汇报 [Wenhui Scholar of Wenhui Daily], pp. 12-14

Ruan X, 2016, 'Platform and receptacle: Musings of modernity arising from Utzon׳s own houses', Frontiers of Architectural Research, vol. 5, pp. 332-340, 10.1016/j.foar.2016.06.003

Ruan X, 2015, '"Fusheng·Jianzhu - Youguan shuiping yu chuizhi de caixiang (Xiapian) 浮生·建筑 - 有关水平与垂直的猜想 (下篇) [Floating Life·Architecture: On Horizontality and Verticality (III) ]"', Jianzhushi, vol. 175, pp. 6-17

Ruan X, 2015, 'Fusheng.Jianzhu (Zhongpian) [Floating Life . Architecture: On Horizontality and Verticality (II)', Jianzhushi, vol. 173, pp. 56-63

Ruan X, 2015, 'Heyuan shenchu de zhongxi juzhu wenhua 合院深处的中西居住文化 [The Inner Meanings of Chinese and Roman Courtyard]', Wenhui xueren – wenhui bao文汇学人 – 文汇报 [Wenhui Scholar of Wenhui Daily], pp. 10-13, http://wenhui.news365.com.cn/html/2015-10/09/node_80.html

Ruan X, 2014, 'Fusheng.Jianzhu (Shangpian) [Floating Life . Architecture: On Horizontality and Verticality (I)', Jianzhushi, vol. 172, pp. 6-13, http://www.oriprobe.com/journals/caod_4095/2014_6.html

Ruan X, 2013, 'Huojiang . Jianzhu [Award-winning . Architecture]', Jianzhushi, vol. 161, pp. 35-40, http://www.oriprobe.com/journals/caod_4095.html

Ruan X, 2013, 'The Temperament of a City: A postscript to post-olympic Beijing', Footprint, pp. 55-66

Ruan X, 2012, 'Book Review: XUFEI REN. Building Globalization: Transnational Production in Urban China', Asian Studies Review, vol. 36, pp. 551-552

Ruan X, 2012, 'Building Globalization: Transnational Architecture Production in Urban China.', ASIAN STUDIES REVIEW, vol. 36, pp. 551-552, 10.1080/10357823.2012.740909

Ruan X, 2012, 'The Great Form Has No Image', Architecture Australia, vol. 101, pp. 100-100

Ruan X, 2012, 'Wuyong zhiyong: jianzhu jiaoyu zhaji [On the Usefulness of Useless Architectural Education]', Jianzhushi, vol. 159, pp. 78-82

Ruan X, 2011, 'Greed is the Enemy of Great, Ecological Life', Landscape Architecture China, vol. 18, pp. 57-59

Ruan X, 2011, 'What Happened Before Designed Ecology?', Landscape Architecture China, vol. 19, pp. 175-177

Ruan X, 2010, 'Review of Architectus: Between Order and Opportunity', Architectural Review Australia, vol. 114, pp. 18-20

Ruan X, 2010, 'What can be taught in architectural design? - parti, poché, and felt qualities', Frontiers of Architecture and Civil Engineering in China, vol. 4, pp. 450-455, 10.1007/s11709-010-0098-y

Ruan X, 2008, 'Beijing Olympic Tennis Centre', Architectural Review Australia, pp. 78-87

Ruan X, 2008, 'Ephemeral China/Handmade China', Footprint, pp. 5-13

Designs / Architecture

Ruan X; Zhao D, 2007, Lai-Funston House, publication category: Designs / Architecture

Creative Written Works

Ruan X, 2016, Dear Mr Trump: here’s how you build a wall, The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/dear-mr-trump-heres-how-you-build-a-wall-65544

Ruan X, 2016, Friday essay: why a building and its rooms should have a human character, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-why-a-building-and-its-rooms-should-have-a-human-character-54952

Ruan X, 2016, Shanghai, a modern metropolis born of a refugee crisis, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/shanghai-a-modern-metropolis-born-of-a-refugee-crisis-61849

Ruan X, 2016, Why the Million-dollar View is Bad for our Body and our Soul, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, https://theconversation.com/why-the-million-dollar-view-is-bad-for-our-body-and-our-soul-52983

Edited Books

2007, Topophilia and Topophobia: Reflections of Twentieth-Century Human Habitat, Routledge Press, London

Media

Ruan X, 2017, Why the Sydney Opera House is a little overcooked, https://theconversation.com/why-the-sydney-opera-house-is-a-little-overcooked-64122