The Iron Skeleton and The Imperial Skin: Materiality and The Construction of Modernity in Colonial Hong Kong and Singapore

Event Date:


Event Time:

7:00 pm

Event Location:

Online event ZOOM Speaker: Dr. Ian Tan

CPD Event: The Iron Skeleton and The Imperial Skin: Materiality and The Construction of Modernity in Colonial Hong Kong and Singapore
Date: 10 October 2023 (Tuesday)
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Speaker: Dr. Ian Tan
PhD in Architecture at the University of Hong Kong
Venue: By online media – ZOOM
CPD Points: 1.5 CPD credit hours
Language: English
Fee: Free admission

Limited to 100 Participants

  1. The CPD will be conducted online via ZOOM. Successful registrants will be notified separately via email with the web link and password in due course to the online event. For Mobile phones, iPads & Android, install the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app from App Store or Play Store.
  2. For PC and Mac, download and install the ZOOM Client for Meetings.
  3. Please input your full name when joining the Zoom call for ease in taking attendance.
  4. As a respect to the speakers, we encourage participants to turn on your cameras, especially during the Q&A session.
  5. Zoom CPDs may be recorded.
About the CPD Talk


This presentation sums up Ian’s five-year research on the history of iron architecture in colonial-era Hong Kong and Singapore. It aims to not only understand the material’s circulation between Britain and these two imperial outposts and its effects on local building practices and culture, but the extent to which it catalysed broader movements of physical objects, building expertise, and architectural practices around the imperial British sphere between the late 19th through the early 20th centuries.


His research explores how iron served as a key material component in structures beyond those typically considered as constitutive of the built environment, including quotidian infrastructure such as lighthouses, quarantine stations, godowns for storage, markets, as well as religious and cultural edifices such as churches and printing houses. These iron structures, as Ian’s study argues, emerged as a crucial mediator between different constituencies of colonial societies, such as between native merchants and colonial administrators, foreign missionaries, and their local congregations, as well as Western-trained building professionals and Asian craftsmen, among other relationships.


About the Speaker


Dr. Ian Tan


Dr. Ian Tan recently completed his PhD in Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. He previously worked at One Bite Design Studio, an architecture-based design company that bridges the gap between place and people through placemaking, community engagement, and design research. He holds professional membership in architectural and heritage organisations such as SIA, ULI, IHBC, ICOMOS, and ICOM. He is currently apprenticing as a welder.


Photo: The Clyde Terrace Market under construction in 1870″. (Collection of the National Archives, CO1069/484)

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Event Location:

Total Seats: 100


  • Online event ZOOM
  • 1.5 CPD credit hours
  • Speaker: Dr. Ian Tan
  • Language: English
  • Fee: FREE

Event Schedule Details

  • 10/10/2023
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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