Dr Hirsh, Max Benjamin
Max Hirsh is a Research Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is currently working on a book that investigates the expansion of international air traffic since 1970 and its implications for the planning and design of Asian cities. Focusing on low-cost, informal, and transborder transportation networks in the Pearl River Delta, the book models a new understanding of urban space that fundamentally reconceptualizes the impact of cross-border mobility on urban form.
Max’s research focuses on practical and theoretical approaches to human mobility in the fields of architecture and urban planning. Specifically, his publications investigate the political economy and aesthetic dimensions of urban and long-distance transportation systems, temporary housing strategies, and global migration regimes. Beyond that, Max’s secondary research interest in post-socialist urbanism interrogates the transition from socialist to capitalist planning principles in a variety of national contexts ranging from East Germany to China.
His writing has appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, History & Technology, Places, Log, The Next American City, and Informationen zur modernen Stadtgeschichte; as well as in edited volumes on architectural history and Asian studies. In addition, Max regularly contributes to architectural exhibitions. Notable projects include Sound Shuttle (with Michael Schiefel), an installation investigating the acoustics of urban transit; and Low-Cost/Low-Tech (with Anna Gasco), a multimedia exploration of budget air travel in Southeast Asia. These projects have been shown at Videotage (Hong Kong), De Trouw (Amsterdam), Metropolitan Exchange (New York), Architekturforum Aedes (Berlin), Inga Gallery (Tel Aviv), and the Boston Society of Architects.
Max’s research activities have been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, German Research Foundation (DFG), National Research Foundation of Singapore, Swissnex, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He holds a BA, MA, and PhD from Harvard University; and a Magister from the Technical University of Berlin. Prior to coming to Hong Kong, Max was a post-doctoral research fellow at the ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore.
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