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1995 …2024

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Last updated 18th April 2024


Dr. Yun Gao works as an academic and an architect. She is a Reader in Architecture, REF UoA13 Coordinator, and Director of Sustainable Living Research Centre at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Huddersfield. Yun received her PhD in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in the late 1990s. 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 2000s.

Yun published the book Architecture of Dai Nationality in Yunnan, China by Beijing University Press and was funded by HEA (Higher Education Academy) in the UK to publish the book Being There on cross culture architectural design. She is completing a 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 2024. 

Research funding Yun has been awarded include those from British Academy to examine the temporality of building and AHRC Research Networking Highlight for International Development. Recently she has been awarded two University Research Funds from the University of Huddersfield and AHRC design accelerator fund to explore sustainable living and place-making in Kirklees.

Yun works as the International Corresponding Editor for The Journal of Architecture (UK), academic editor for Special Issues for the Journal of Architecture, Sustainability, and Buildings. She is member of the Editorial Board for the AAE (Association of Architectural Educators, UK) journal Charrette and a reviewer for journals such as Habitat International, Sustainability and Buildings etc.. Yun is currently supervising 5 PhD students.

Yun has held a Visiting Professorship at the Yunnan Arts University in China since 2010 and have been awarded the title of Distinguished Professor in Chongqing Jiaotong University from 2017 to 2019.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Visiting Professor, Yunnan Arts University

2010 → …

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Sustainable architectural development
  • sustainable urban development
  • China
  • Social changes
  • cultural changes
  • Development in developing countries
  • Cross cultural design
  • Cross cultural education
  • Vernacular architecture
  • Architectural culture heritage
  • Environmentally sustainable built environment
  • Traditional and cultural architecture
  • Urban development in developing countries
  • Relationships between European and Chinese Building Practices
  • Cross-cultural architectural design and education
  • Work place learning in architecture


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