Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Student Support

Creativity Learning Module (CLM) for Architecture and Surveying Students


Undergraduate architectural programs throughout the world tend to focus on training highly creative individuals without adequately acknowledging the importance of collective creativity in teamwork. This pedagogical tradition is reinforced and exacerbated by the recent phenomena of “Star-chitect” emulation, or the “Howard-Roark syndrome”, within the profession. Individual achievement is typically celebrated to the point that team contributions to the making of good Architecture is very much overshadowed.

In complete contrast, the pedagogical training of the project team within the surveying profession, which includes working with architects, is quite the opposite. Students are trained to analyze sets of ill-defined data or parameters, often through case studies in a group project format. Individualism in tackling problems is either suppressed or discouraged when working as a group. But within this rubric, there seems to be an overwhelming sense of conformity that encourages individuals to suppress dissenting viewpoints in order to minimize conflict in the group environment.

The Faculty of Architecture at HKU operates in a unique position in having undergraduate programmes in all of the main built environment professional streams: BA (Architectural Studies) and BA (Landscape Studies) BSc (Surveying). BA (Conservation) and BA (Urban Studies). Our aim is to introduce a Creativity Learning Module (CLM) within all undergraduate curricula so that our students can better understand the importance of balancing the role of individualism and teamwork inherent in the nature of their respective disciplines. We propose to start with BAAS and BASurv.

The learning outcomes should enable our students to have more assertive direction and goal. And that our Architecture students should be creative team players while our Surveying students can become effective leaders in their respective fields of interests. Video interviews of the participants of CTM on their feedbacks and experience on the Module could be posted on the University’s T&L website for public access.

Principal Investigator

Professor C.J. Webster, Faculty of ArchitectureContact

Project level

Programme-level project

Project Completion

September 2016


  1. Two-day workshop at the HKU Shanghai Study Centre (HKUSSC) in Shanghai during Fall 2015 – Creativity Learning Module (for 30 (BAAS 3) students and 30 BSc(Surv) students) Download
  2. Two-day workshop in Hong Kong during Spring 2016 – Preparing Yourself for the Marketplace Workshop (for 15 (BAAS 4) students)Download
  3. Spring 2016 – Preparing Yourself for the Marketplace Workshop Download

Please contact Mr. Anderson L.C. Lee, Director, HKU Shanghai Study Centre, Co-Investigator of the project, by email (andelee1@hku.hk) if you are interested in obtaining more information on this project.