I am a registered Part 3 architect, urbanist, architectural historian and theorist. My academic and research objective is to develop new methods aimed at a global understanding of architecture and urbanism linking the experience, knowledge and practices in the West and Asia, in particular Southeast Asia and the Far East.
I obtained my Master’s degree in Architectural History and PhD in Architecture and Urbanism from the Bartlett, University College London. My PhD thesis was shortlisted for RIBA President's Award for Research 2010 (Outstanding PhD Thesis).
I am the author of Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur: Race and Chinese Spaces in a Postcolonial City published by Ashgate Publishing (2013). Currently I am writing a book on London’s Chinese East End, due to be published by English Heritage in 2015. This book is based on rigorous research spanning over 6 years funded by various research bodies including RIBA Research Trust, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Heritage Lottery Fund.
I have worked in the field of architecture and built environment since 1992 and have experience in practising, teaching, writing and researching architecture and urbanism in Malaysia and the UK. I am an active researcher and my teaching is informed by my research and writing.
Architectural Practice and Teaching
I was a design studio master for undergraduate architectural design studio. My design studio explores themes such as “Philosophy and Architecture” and “Regionalism and Architecture”, focusing on interrogating the relational exchanges between the East and West and the issue of identity.
As a practicing architect, I have designed and managed more than 40 architectural projects (consisting more than 2,000 building units) of various building types, including housing scheme, residential buildings, factories, shophouses, offices and hotels.
I have been a Tutor for The Bartlett’s MA programme since 2005 and was a Teaching Fellow at the Bartlett since 2010. In The Bartlett, I have taught MA Architectural History courses and supervised students’ essays and Master’s dissertations. I was also a Tutor for MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) Dissertation.
Between 2008 and 2011, I was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Brighton and was a tutor for Year 3 Architecture students’ dissertations. I am also a regular visiting design critic for University of Westminster (MA Architecture, Cultural Identity and Globalisation), University of Brighton, University of Nottingham and The Bartlett, UCL.
Apart from teaching, I have been actively conducting research on architecture and urban history. My research is inter-disciplinary, incorporating approaches from architecture, architectural history, cultural geography, ethnography and urbanism. One of my main research focus is to explore ways of connecting the issues of cultural identity, architecture and globalisation in envisioning intercultural urbanism.
My most recent research is on the urban history of the Chinese community in East London. I have recently completed a research project entitled ‘Architecture and Immigration in London: The Lost History of Limehouse Chinatown (1900-1970)’ to trace the changes of the spaces affected by the 1930s slum clearances and social housing developments of the 1960s (funded by RIBA).
I have also completed a research on ‘Tracing the Histories of London’s Limehouse Chinatown in China (1860 to 1960)’ in Hong Kong and Southern China. This research is funded by The Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art and the Bartlett’s Architecture Research Fund.
Public Engagement and Collaborative Projects
I have experience in collaborative research with public engagement beyond the academia. I worked closely with various organisations which include museums and archives, local libraries, community groups, local residents, volunteers and students. Between 2007 and 2012, I was the Principal Investigator and Project Leader for two heritage/oral history archival and research projects - ‘The Legacy of Limehouse Chinatown’ and ‘Footprints of the Dragon’ - funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
Besides architectural projects, I am so keen on community-based cultural production and social activities, seeing them as a form of intervention and spatial tactics in making cities and history. This includes co-founding the Strategic Info Research and Development (SIRD) in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to publish books on social, political and economic issues.
Since 2011, I am an expert consultant representing the Asian communities for English Heritage National Heritage Protection Plan.
I was also a member of the Core Consultative Group at The Museum of London Docklands with a steering and consultative role for ‘Many East Ends’ project, a new major permanent gallery of the history of London’s East End in the museum.
- Intercultural city and postcolonial urbanism, in particular relating to cultural identity, modernity, migration and globalization
- Colonial and postcolonial architecture
- Minority spaces and spaces of diasporic experience, in particular (Overseas) Chinese urbanism
- Urban Memory, Heritage and Regeneration Transcultural Architectural Design and Sustainable Cities
- Interdisciplinary research connecting cultural studies, ethnography, urban studies and architecture
- Architectural History and Theory
Yat Ming Loo, The Chinese East End, in preparation (London: English Heritage Publishing, 2015)
Yat Ming Loo, Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur: Race and Chinese Spaces in a Postcolonial City, (London: Ashgate Publishing, 2013)
Book Chapters and Journal Articles
Yat Ming Loo, ‘Contested Sacred Space: Kuala Lumpur Chinese Cemeteries’ in Navigating Space and Place, (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013)
Yat Ming Loo, ‘Architecture and Immigration in London: The Lost History of Limehouse Chinatown’, in RIBA Education Yearbook, (RIBA, 2012), (RIBA, 2012)
Yat Ming Loo, ‘Contesting Space and Identity in Kuala Lumpur: Remembering Yap Ah Loy and Chinatown’, in Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Jonathan Hill (eds.), Research Projects, (The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 2008), pp.22-23
‘Architecture of Malaysia’, in The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, (London:Phaidon, 2008), Project 0258-0263, pp.211-214).
Yat Ming Loo, ‘Contested Burial Space: Multicultural Inscription of Kuala Lumpur Chinese Cemeteries’ in Space and Place: Exploring Critical Issues. http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/loospaper.pdf
Yat Ming Loo, ‘No Chinatown, Please! Contesting Race, Identity and Postcolonial Memory in Kuala Lumpur’, in The Journal of Architecture, (Routledge/RIBA, December 2012)
Yat Ming Loo, Book Review of Architecture for the Modern China (Routledge, 2009) by JianFei Zhu, in The Journal of Architecture, (Routledge/RIBA, October 2010), pp.697-702
Selected Research Outputs
2013 ‘Tracing the Histories of London’s Limehouse Chinatown in China (1860 to 1960)’ research project • Funded by Paul Mellon Centre for the Studies of British Art and Bartlett’s Architectural Research Fund
2011-13 ‘Architecture and Immigration in London: The Lost History of Limehouse Chinatown (1900 -1970)’ research project • Funded by RIBA Research Trust with support of UCL Urban Laboratory
2010-12 ‘The Legacy of Limehouse Chinatown’ Project • Principal Investigator and Project Leader • Research outputs include: oral history archives deposited at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, heritage map of Limehouse Chinatown, guided architectural walks, conference, talks and exhibition
2007-08 ‘Footprints of the Dragon’ Archival Project • Principal Investigator and Project Leader • Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund • This cultural heritage project created the first London’s Chinese archive recording Chinese migration to London, in collaboration with London Metropolitan Archives • Research outputs include London Chinese archives deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives and an exhibition entitled ‘Voices of London’s Chinese Community’ held at London Metropolitan Archives for one month in 2008
Selected Public Lectures, Conference Presentations and Talks
2013 Royal Asiatic Society China in Shanghai • Lecture on ‘Limehouse Blues: History of the Lost Chinatown’
2012 RIBA Public Lecture • Lecture for the Perspectives on Architecture series: ‘Vanishing City: The Story of East London’s Chinatown’
2012 University College London • Presented a paper on ‘Regionalism and Decolonization: Some Reflections on Architecture in Kuala Lumpur’ at Globalisation or Regionalism symposium
2012 National Maritime Museum • Presentation on ‘Limehouse Chinatown Archives’
2011 Museum of London Docklands • Organiser, ‘The Legacy of Limehouse Chinatown’ conference and exhibition
2011 Oral History Society Annual Conference • Presented a paper on ‘Vanishing Limehouse Chinatown: Myth, Memory and History’, University of Sunderland
2011 Royal Academy of Arts • Invited as a speaker at ‘Spaces of Memory” forum, part of RA’s Future Memory series
2011 National Maritime Museum • Presentation on ‘Limehouse Chinatown and Chinese Maritime Heritage in London’
2009 Mayor’s Commission on African and Asian Heritage and Cultural Leadership Programme • Presentation on ‘London’s Chinese Footprints: History and Heritage’ in Re-Visioning London’s Heritage seminar
2008 London Metropolitan Archives • Organiser, ‘Footprints of the Dragon’ conference and exhibition
2008 London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) • Presentation on ‘Chinese Migration from China to London’