Hai-Yin Kong has been an urban researcher, curator, designer, photographer, and cooking instructor. She has degrees in Urban Design and Urban Studies from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Columbia University. Coming to Beijing 2007 for research positions in architecture offices, her work was exhibited at the 2007 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism under Approach Architecture, and at, Mapgames, a group show at Today Art Museum under URBANUS Architecture and Urbanism. She later worked independently traveling through China as a photographer and researcher with a solo photography exhibition, “Tibetans Drink Coke Too…,” portraits of everyday life on the Tibetan plateau.
Yin’s graduate studies brought her in London and Istanbul for fieldwork. She returned to Beijing in 2012 to work on the Dashila(b) project on behalf of Approach Architecture. Through Dashila(b) she was one of the main organizers and curators for the Dashilar Alley portion of Beijing Design Week 2012. Her time working with start-up creative businesses through Dashila(b) led her to an approach to the city from a smaller scale. In combination of her lifelong interest in food, she now works with the Black Sesame Kitchen, and Okraworks.
Topics of her previous research include: urban development processes in mega-city periphery, generic architecture in peripheral Istanbul, sustainable practices inherent to Dai and Tibetan communities, the creative economy in Jingdezhen, produce and grocery vending in Manhattan.