Chong Keng Hua

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Associate Professor & Collaboration and Social Programme Coordinator

Telephone: +65 6303 6672
Pillar / Cluster: Architecture and Sustainable Design
Research Areas: Architectural History, Theory and Criticism, Sustainable Design Science, Social Architecture, Architectural Design, Urban Planning, Architectural Information Management

Faculty Monograph


Dr. CHONG Keng Hua is Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where he coordinates collaboration and social programmes, directs the Social Urban Lab (SOULab), leads the MND-HDB New Urban Kampung Research Programme, and co-leads the Opportunity Lab (O-Lab). He is also a Founding Partner of COLOURS: Collectively Ours, an award-winning design practice specialising in public space and social impact.

Author of Second Beginnings: Senior Living Redefined (Lien Foundation, 2018) and Creative Ageing Cities: Place Design with Older People in Asian Cities (Routledge, 2018), his research on ageing, health and data-driven collaborative design has contributed significantly to the field of social architecture. Through behavioural studies and data analytics, his works raise the urgency of rethinking eldercare typology and advocate for ageing-in-community. His projects SilverCOVE Senior Wellness Centre and TOUCHpoint have won numerous awards at the APAC Eldercare Innovation Awards including the Best Silver Architecture – Community Space (2016) and the Wellness Integration of the Year (2019), and nominated for Singapore President’s Design Award (2020), among other awards and shortlists.

Graduated with PhD in Architecture from National University of Singapore (NUS), Dr. Chong has been a visiting faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Zhejiang University, as well as visiting researcher at TU Delft and Tsinghua University. He was also trained in design thinking at Rotman Business School, Toronto University. Prior to joining SUTD, he has practiced architecture at LOOK Architects, Li Xiaodong Atelier and ARC Studio. He has since been invited to speak at many reputable institutions, including University of Tokyo, Tongji University, ETH Future Cities Lab, RMIT University, Royal College of Art (UK), University of Hong Kong, and CENTRO University (Mexico).

A firm believer in design activism, Dr. Chong has been advocating social architecture and community design in the region. He initiated PARK Day Singapore in 2013 which has since become a nation-wide annual urban design movement, and led several community development projects in Vietnam, Thailand, and China. The strong emphasis in social impact is also evident in his public service. He was appointed member of the Jurong Lake District Steering Committee (2014-2017), Curator for Singapore Pavilion at Seoul Biennale 2017, Curator for Singapore Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018, and Festival Director for Singapore Archifest 2020.

Dr. Chong’s current research focuses on healthy environment and community development, as he serves as Visiting Senior Academician at Changi General Hospital, Adjunct at MND Centre for Liveable Cities, and member of multiple international organisations including Pacific Rim Community Design Network, and Design for the Common Good Network.


  • PhD, National University of Singapore, June 2008
  • MArch, National University of Singapore, June 2002
  • BA Architectural Studies, National University of Singapore, May 1999

Research Interests

  • Social architecture and community design
  • Ageing demographics and healthy urban environment
  • Data-driven collaborative design
  • Environment-behavioural studies
  • Social impact design and assessment
  • Design with developing world

Research Projects

  • Dementia-friendly Neighbourhoods Study (Principle Investigator)
  • Mindful Placemaking: Participatory Action Research With Persons Living With Dementia Toward Inclusive Community Space Design (Principle Investigator)
  • Ren Ci 2025 Workstream Collaborative Innovation for the Community Hospital @Novena (Co-Investigator)
  • Community Behavioural Needs Assessment (BNA) for Boon Lay Healthy Precinct Project (Principle Investigator)
  • Urban Acupuncture: From AI Health Park to Healthy Precinct (Principle Investigator)
  • New Urban Kampung Research Programme (Programme Lead)
  • Vietnam Community Participatory Action Research (Lead Faculty)
  • Liveable Places (Co-Principle Investigator)
  • Creative Ageing Cities (Principle Investigator)
  • Social Urban Lab (Principle Investigator)
  • Redhill: Multidimensional Narratives (Principle Investigator)
  • Living in an Aging World: in search of new elderly housing and neighborhood design typology (Principle Investigator)
  • Representation of architecture in Jiehua & Yingzao Fashi; cognitive studies on graphical representation of geometric space (PhD Thesis)

Research Opportunities

  • PhD Student
  • Research Assistant / Research Associate / Post-doc Fellow
  • Architectural / Urban Designer
  • Data Scientist
  • Student Intern

Awards & Achievements

  • Nominated Finalist for Singapore President’s Design Award 2020
  • Festival Director, Singapore Archifest, 2020
  • Best Paper Award, International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), 2020
  • Silver Architecture Award – Wellness Integration of the Year, APAC Eldercare Innovation Awards: TOUCHpoint, 2019
  • Finalist, INDE Awards, Influencer: Second Beginnings, 2018
  • Curator, Singapore Pavilion, Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, 2018 
  • Curator, Singapore Pavilion, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, 2017
  • Shortlisted for LafargeHolcim Awards: Dande-lier, 2017
  • Best Paper Award, International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), 2017
  • Best Paper Award, NUS Great Asian Street Symposium (GASS), 2016
  • Best Silver Architecture (Community Space) and Best Approach to Support Ageing-in-Place, APAC Eldercare Innovation Awards: SilverCOVE Senior Wellness Centre, 2016
  • Finalist for EDRA Great Places Awards (Place Design): SilverCOVE, 2016
  • President, ReallyArchitecture [re:ACT], 2015 – 2017
  • SUTD Award: Excellence in Serving to the Community, 2015
  • Best Paper Award, Int. Soc. Habitat Engineering & Design (ISHED), 2012
  • Co-Curator, Hub-to-Hub: Urban Art Project, 2011
  • Highly commended for AR (Architectural Review) Awards for Emerging Architecture: Yuhu Primary School & Community Center, China (Design & project team), 2005
  • Jury commendation for Innovation for UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards, 2005
  • Winning entry for URA Southern Ridge Bridge Design: Alexandra Link, Singapore (Design team), 2004
  • Jury mention for URA Design Ideas Competition: Green Deck over CTE, (Chief designer), 2003

Key Publications

  • Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan, Keng Hua Chong (2020), “The prospect of community-led place-keeping as urban commons in public residential estates in Singapore”, Journal of Built Environment, 46(1): 100-123.
  • Denise Nicole Lim, Keng Hua Chong (2020), “Rise of Virtual Community Initiatives and O2O Community Development Framework, The 13th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), Nanjing, October 9-12.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Fong Ing Kang (2018), Second Beginnings: Senior Living Redefined, Lien Foundation, Singapore.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Mihye Cho (eds.) (2018), Creative Ageing Cities: Place Design with Older People in Asian Cities, Routledge, UK.
  • Erwin Viray, Keng Hua Chong, Tomohisa Miyauchi, Jason Lim, Wu Yen Yen (2018), No More Free Space: Catalogue for Singapore Pavilion, 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, DesignSingapore Council.
  • Keng Hua Chong (2018), “Creative Ageing: Co-designing with Seniors”, New Architecture Journal 新建筑  (China), 02/2018, 20-25.
  • Mihye Cho, Tshui Mum Ha, Tony Lim, Keng Hua Chong (2018), “Small Places of Ageing in a High-Rise Housing Estate” Journal of Aging Studies, vol.47: 57-85
  • Keng Hua Chong, Kien To, Michael M.J. Fischer (2017), “Dense and Ageing: Social Sustainability of Public Places Amidst High-density Development”, in Joo Hwa Philip Bay & Steffen Lehmann (eds), Growing Compact: Urban Form, Density & Sustainability, Routledge, UK.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Tongchaoran Gao (2017), “Urban Village of Start-ups: The Case of Sungei Road Market”, 10th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU): The Entrepreneurial City, Hong Kong.
  • Keng Hua Chong, et al. (2016), “Homelessness on the Streets of Singapore: Contestation and Alternatives”, Great Asian Streets Symposium: Crossroads, Singapore: 218-226.
  • Keng Hua Chong (2016), “The Making of Elderly-Friendly Places: Investigating Urban Design, Ageing Population, and Social Sustainability”, Singapore Architect, 2016/04, 55-63.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Zheng Jia, Debbie Loo, Mihye Cho (2015), “Successful Aging in High-density City State: A Review of Singapore’s Aging Policies and Urban Initiatives”, in Caro, Francis G., Kelly Fitzgerald, eds., International Perspectives on Age-Friendly Cities, Taylor & Francis.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Quin Yow, Debbie Loo, Ferninda Patrycia (2015), “Psychosocial Wellbeing of Elderly And Their Perception of Matured Estate in Singapore”, Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 29:3, 259-297.
  • Keng Hua Chong, Denise Tan (2015), “Designing Communities: Evolution of Precinct Public Space Design in Singapore Public Housing Estates”, International Conference on East Asian Architectural Culture: Practical History, Gwangju.
  • Keng Hua Chong & Mihye Cho (2014), “Appropriating Traditions in Contested Space: Creative Place Making by Elderly”, Traditional Dwelling and Settlements – Working Paper Series, vol. 261, 40-63.
  • Kien To, Keng Hua Chong (2013), “Heritage Conservation vs. Commercial Redevelopment in Historic City Centers: The Case of Hanoi’s French Colonial Quarter and Lessons from Singapore”, Journal of Habitat Engineering and Design, March 2013: 89-96.
  • Li Xiaodong, Chong Keng Hua (2010), Form-making in traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing: China Building Industry Press.
  • Heng Chye Kiang, Chong Keng Hua (2006), “Urban revitalization through housing induced public space”, 4th Great Asian Street Symposium (GASS), Singapore.
2022-05-18T11:13:04+08:00March 15th, 2021|Faculty, Faculty ASD|