School of Architecture, CUHK

BSSc student receives General Education Best Essay Award

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CUHK architecture current student Hui Chai Yeung (BSSc Year 2) has received the General Education Best Essay Award 2020-21 – Bronze Award for his essay “Architecture and Freedom” (建築與自由).

The essay follows Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between a negative and a positive sense of freedom, discussing their presence and impacts on human activities in architecture. The first part of the essay focuses on J.S.Mill’s notion of negative freedom, using Building 20 of MIT as an example. The unplanned architectural piece offered a transformable space, allowing researchers to develop their individuality without restriction while achieving scientific advances. The second part features Takeru Shoji Architects’s Hara House to demonstrate Neo-Confucianism’s notion of Confucian freedom, as a form of positive liberty. With the semi-public design, the owner of the private house sacrifices personal privacy partially with the intention to bring together a closer neighbourhood, transforming it into a spot for community gatherings. This act can be perceived as a practice of benevolence, thus reflecting the spirit of Confucian freedom.

CUHK introduces the General Education Best Essay Award to recognise outstanding student essays from two courses, “In Dialogue with Humanity” and “In Dialogue with Nature”, which encourage the reading of classics and critical thinking.


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