People Stories

Talent & Sector Development

Enhancing people’s lives through architecture

Rain Chan: “I hope there will be more open and organic space for development in Hong Kong.”

Architecture stands at the core of our lives. Every day we live and work in buildings of different types, but we seldom look at our relationship with architecture. Architect Rain Chan believes “Architecture is a set of thinking methods. It helps us think how to create the cityscape and transform our ideas of urban life into reality. We should care for architecture, just like we care for our lives.”

Rain went to study architecture at Harvard University in the US after he received the Scholarship. Bit by bit, he found he was more interested in academic research and teaching. He also preferred working on smaller projects which gave him more room for imagination and innovation than the large-scale projects handled by architectural firms. Finding inter-disciplinary cooperation projects especially intriguing, Rain worked with environmental biologists to develop a coral ecosystem model for Hong Kong waters, and collaborated with an artist on an augmented reality project. Being a fan of natural materials, he also tried testing whether bamboo scaffolding could replace welding and cement to build a children’s theatre stage.

Rain frankly admits that the construction business runs counter to environmental protection. The cement industry alone accounts for 8% of global emissions of carbon dioxide. Now working as a teaching assistant at the New York Institute of Technology, he hopes to enrich his experience while conducting research on construction methods that are friendlier to humans and the environment.

The Graduate Scholarship from The Hong Kong Jockey Club supports promising students studying overseas every year. A gradually established and expanding network of overseas JC Scholars has helped Rain build friendships among fellow Harvard students and gain valuable support in his new life. Though now thousands of miles away, “Hong Kong is always my home, I will promote Hong Kong culture to more people” he promises. Every Friday night during happy hour, he treats his classmates to Hong Kong-style snacks – fish balls and siu mai. Sometimes, he will introduce them to Cantonese songs. “Maybe one day I can set up my own architectural firm, return to Hong Kong, and make my dreams come true,” Rain says.

Rain actively promotes Hong Kong culture to his classmates, though being far away from the city.

Did you know?

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships programme hopes students it supports will not only fulfil their academic potential, but also serve the community.

Over the past 25 years, scholarship recipients have come from a wide range of backgrounds, from local Chinese students to ethnic minority students, and from those who pursue music, atmospheric science, aerospace engineering and zoology, to budding teachers and educators. The programme has supported a number of students with special learning needs.

All scholarship recipients are members of The Jockey Club Scholars Alumni Association, forming a close-knit group to perform community service.