Research Assistant Professor
University of Hong Kong

Max Hirsh is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong and a leading expert on airports, mobility, and urban infrastructure. He is the author of Airport Urbanism: Infrastructure and Mobility in Asia (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Studying the expansion of international air traffic since 1970 and its implications for the planning and design of Asian cities, the book models a new understanding of urban space that fundamentally reconceptualizes the relationship between global mobility patterns, transport infrastructure, and urban form.

Max’s research focuses on practical and theoretical approaches to infrastructure and mobility in the fields of architecture and urban design. Beyond that, his secondary interest in the history of landscape architecture interrogates the formation of periurban industrial landscapes in a variety of national contexts ranging from Germany to China.

His writing has appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, History & Technology, Journal of Architecture, South East Asia Research, Places, Mobilities, Log, The Next American City, and Informationen zur modernen Stadtgeschichte; as well as in edited volumes on architectural history, urban design, and Asian studies. In addition, Max regularly contributes to architectural exhibitions. Notable projects include Panyu: Rural Becoming Urban? (with Margaret Crawford and Dorothy Tang), a study of village development in Southern China; Sound Shuttle (with Michael Schiefel), an acoustic investigation of urban transit; and Low-Cost/Low-Tech (with Anna Gasco), a multimedia exploration of budget air travel in Southeast Asia. These projects have been shown at Videotage (Hong Kong), De Trouw (Amsterdam), Metropolitan Exchange (New York), Architekturforum Aedes (Berlin), the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, and the Boston Society of Architects.

Max’s research activities have been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, German Research Foundation (DFG), National Research Foundation of Singapore, Swissnex, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Max holds a BA, MA, and PhD from Harvard University; and a Magister from the Technical University of Berlin. He is an associated researcher at the ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory, as well as a lead author of the International Panel on Social Progress.