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Personal profile


Dr. Yun Gao works as an academic and an architect. She is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Course Leader for BA programme at the University of Huddersfield. Yun received her PhD in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in 1998. Her academic research explores design of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable built environment, traditional and cultural changes reflected in architectural and urban development in developing countries, and cross-cultural architectural design and education. After receiving her Ph.D, Yun worked with architectural practices in Bristol and became an RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Chartered Architect and ARB (Architects Registration Board) Registered Architect before subsequently joining the University of Huddersfield in 2005.

Yun’s book Architecture of Dai Nationality in Yunnan was published by Beijing University Press in 2003. She was funded by HEA (Higher Education Academy) in the UK to publish the book Being There on cross culture architectural design in 2010. Yun is currently completing another book, co-authored with Professor Nicholas Temple, entitled The Temporality of Building: European and Chinese Perspectives on Architecture and Heritage, which will be published by Routledge in 2018.

Research funding Yun has been awarded include those from Higher Education Academy, and British Council, University of Huddersfield Teaching and Learning Funding and School Research Funding. She was recently awarded a grant from China of 200,000RMB (about £23,500) over two-years (2017-2018) to support research activities related to sustainable rural development in China.

Yun worked as academic editor for a Special Issue for the journal Buildings in July 2016. She is member of the Editorial Board for the AAE (Association of Architectural Educators, UK) journal Charrette and a reviewer for journals Habitat International and Buildings, and reviewer for Research Development Fund in Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China. She was also one of the co-organisers of the architectural exhibition held in Huddersfield in 2016 entitled ‘Rural/Urban: The Changing Face of Globalisation’.

Yun has held a Visiting Professorship at the Yunnan Arts University in China since 2010 and recently have been awarded the title of Distinguished Professor in Chongqing Jiaotong University from 1st January 2017 to 30th December 2018.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Design of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable built environment
  • Traditional and cultural changes reflected in architectural and urban development in developing countries
  • Cross-cultural architectural design and education
  • Work place learning in architecture

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Professor Yun Gao

External positions

Visiting Professor, Yunnan Arts University

2010 → …


  • Sustainable architectural development
  • sustainable urban development
  • China
  • Social changes
  • cultural changes
  • Development in developing countries
  • Cross cultural design
  • cross cultural education

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2018 2020

Sustainable and Creative Village Research Network - South West China

Pitts, A. & Gao, Y.


Project: ResearchResearch Council

Research Output 1995 2019

Improving the Sustainability of Traditional Dwellings in Yunnan, China: Seismic Resistance Testing of Wood-frame and Earth-Built Wall Dwellings

Bai, Y., Gao, J., Pitts, A., Gao, Y., Bai, W. & Tao, Z., 14 Feb 2019, In : Sustainability. 11, 4, 19 p., 977.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
residential building
Sustainable development
Earth (planet)

Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage and Encouragement of Development to Retain Local Character: A Case Study of Saltaire In Yorkshire, UK

Gao, Y., Jun 2018, Protection and Development of Chongqing's Historical and Cultural Villages and Towns under the Multi-dimensional Perspective . Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press, p. 134-156

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

cultural heritage
World Heritage Site
architectural design

Self-built housing in Hanoi: The study of socio-cultural values and its influence on housing design

Ngo, K., Gao, Y. & Pitts, A., 26 Mar 2018, AMPS Proceedings Series 10: Cities, Communities and Homes: Is the Urban Future Livable?. Tracada, E. & Cairns, G. (eds.). AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics and Society), p. 366-377 12 p. 35. (AMPS Proceedings).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
regional identity

Sustainable Building Practice and Guidance for Dai Villages, Southwest China

Gao, Y. & Pitts, A., Dec 2018, Proceedings PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture) Conference 2018: Smart and Healthy within the 2-degree Limit. Hong Kong, p. 1103-1104 2 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
rural development
ethnic minority
research method

The Commercial Street as “Frozen” Festival: A Study in Chinese Mercantile Traditions

Gao, Y., Temple, N. & Li, Y., 2018, In : Architecture and Culture. 6, 3, p. 411-421 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tall buildings
religious behavior

Activities 2001 2019

The Temporality of Building

Yun Gao (Speaker), Nicholas Temple (Speaker)
20 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Chinese and European Perspective on Architecture and Heritage

Yun Gao (Speaker), Nicholas Temple (Speaker)
13 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

5th Symposium of Sustainable and Creative Villages Research Network - SW China

Adrian Pitts (Organiser), Yun Gao (Organiser), Lili Dong (Organiser), Quan Wen (Organiser)
22 Mar 201924 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Sustainability (Journal)

Yun Gao (Editor), Adrian Pitts (Editor)
1 May 20181 Oct 2018

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work

Chinese and European Perspective on Architecture and Heritage

Yun Gao (Speaker), Nicholas Temple (Speaker)
21 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk