Mr Devabhaktuni, Sony
Sony Devabhaktuni is an assistant professor in the department of architecture. His research and teaching looks at urban infrastructure and at collaborative processes in architectural design. He is interested in how economic and political forces overlap with imaginations of space. Ongoing projects include: a study of open-ended partnerships between dancers and architects and the development of architectural scenario planning as a speculative method for urban futures.
Recent peer-reviewed writing has appeared in Architectural Theory Review, Public Culture and Global Performance Studies. Public scholarship includes recent contributions to platformspace.net, MayRevue, and the web-journal of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. He is the author of Curb-scale Hong Kong: infrastructures of the street (forthcoming, Applied Research & Design Publishers) which describes intersections of policy, labour, economics, material and design that divide Hong Kong’s street into a contested ground. With John C.F. Lin, he is the co-author of As Found Houses: experiments from self-builders in rural China (2020). The book documents renovations of traditional village house typologies with interviews, photographs and drawings, and reframes architecture’s relation to vernacular knowledge. As Found Houseswas the winner of the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects President’s Medal for Research.
Sony has taught design studios in both the graduate and undergraduate program and directed masters theses. His work with students looks at the public realm as a site of civic articulation; a series of undergraduate studios over three years – Common/Hong Kong/Ground, Hong Kong Nation, and Curb-scale Hong Kong reflect this concern. For the past three years, he has taught masters studios in which students from the department of architecture collaborate with dancers from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. For both architects and dancers, the collaboration is a way to defamiliarize notions of infrastructure, movement, making and the “public-ity” of urban space.
Ongoing projects include: research funded by the Hong Kong SAR government’s University Grants Committee on collaborations between dance and architecture ; HKU funded research on the planning, development and ultimate failure of a new capital for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh; and an ongoing study on the ‘curb-scale’ infrastructure of the Hong Kong street.
With John C.H. Lin, he is the co-author of the forthcoming As Found Houses (Applied Research + Design Publishers)(2020). The book documents self-built renovations to traditional house typologies in rural China. His writing on collaboration includes, with co-author Min Kyung Lee, the essay “Collaboration: Unresolved Forms of Working Together in Contemporary Architectural Practice” in The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture (Swati Chattopadhyay and Jeremy White, eds)(2019). He is the co-editor, with Nasrin Seraji and Xiaoxuan Lu, of From Crisis to Crisis: Debates on why architecture criticism matters today (Actar)(2019).
|Awardees||Award Date||Honours / Awards / Prizes||Category|
|2022-01-01||President's Medal for Research: Royal Institute of British Architects||Research Achievement|
|2022-01-01||RIBA President's Awards for Research, Winner of Cities and Communities Category: Royal Institute of British Architects||Research Achievement|
|2003-05-01||J. Willliam Fulbright Award (France): United States Department of State||Research Achievement|
|Term Period||Position||Professional Societies|
|07/2022-present||peer reviewer||Journal of Architecture|
|10/2022-present||peer-reviewer||Union of International Architecture|
|07/2019-present||peer-reviewer||Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture|
|Spoken Language(s) (EN)||Spoken Language(s) (ZH)|
|Written Language(s) (EN)||Written Language(s) (ZH)|
Are You Missing Publications, Invited Lectures? Click Me.