Vivien Chan is a design historian, educator, writer, and imagemaker based in the UK.


I research, write, and teach about space. I think about materials, relationships, and how people connect in space.

I completed my PhD in 2024 and my thesis is titled “A Colony of Shopkeepers”: Spaces of Consumption in New Towns public housing estates, Hong Kong, 1954-1989. My research was part of the Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth-century Asia project (COTCA) led by Dr. Jeremy Taylor at University of Nottingham. I completed my MA History of Design thesis Assembling the dai pai dong: Living and Occupying the Street in Hong Kong, 1950s - present at the Royal College of Art/ V&A Museum in 2017.
I’m also interested in multi-disciplinary research methodologies and archives. Moving through space and experiencing it holistically forms my thinking of the research itself. Touching the page, tasting and smelling the market, navigating the landscape, making light or deep conversation, all help to ground myself in the work.