What do the airplane, the ocean-liner, Ultraman, a Sony transistor radio and the Apple iPhone have to do with Hong Kong's 20th-century architectural heritage?
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When people talk about architectural heritage, they often ask, "What is the style of this building?". Such an attention to style has its basis in classical architecture, which was revived during the Renaissance and developed into different aesthetic expressions ("styles") based on the principles established in ancient Greek and Roman times.
However, with the emergence of Modernism in the 20th century, architecture became an internationally standardised design, based on the principle of "form follows function", and refrained from being labelled by styles.
Given this, how do we understand the architectural heritage of the 20th century?
Dr LEE Ho Yin, Associate Professor Head, Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, The University of Hong Kong, Founding Vice-President, The Hong Kong Institute of Architectural Conservationists, Former Member, Antiquities Advisory Board, HKSAR Government
Dr LEE Ho Yin is a co-founder and the longest serving Director (2006-2015) of the Architectural Conservation Programmes — the first postgraduate academic unit in China dedicated to the discipline of architectural conservation. In 2015, the unit was elevated to a Division, and he became the founding Head. Before joining HKU in 2000, he was a practising architect, having been involved in projects in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mainland China and Singapore, and rose to the position of Associate Director of an architectural practice in Hong Kong. A well-published academic and an experienced practitioner in built-heritage conservation, he has been appointed by government agencies in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas as an advisor or a consultant for conservation projects.