Lawrence Chua
Assistant Professor

Ph.D. History of Architecture and Urban Development, Cornell University

Lawrence Chua is a historian of the global modern built environment with an emphasis on Asian architecture and urban culture. His current research excavates the historical relationship between modernism and fascism in the architecture of Thailand, a nation that was never colonized by an imperial power and which aligned itself politically and culturally with the Axis during World War II. His teaching focuses on architecture’s historical potential to both foster and obstruct social change. Before coming to Syracuse, Professor Chua taught courses in the history and theory of art and architecture at Hamilton College, New York University, and Chulalongkorn University.

Professor Chua received his Ph.D. in the history of architecture and urban development at Cornell University in 2012. He was awarded an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council for his dissertation, “Building Siam: Leisure, race, and nationalism in modern Thai architecture, 1910-1973” and was a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.

In addition to his scholarship, his collaborations with visual artists such as Julie Mehretu, Paul Pfeiffer and Akram Zataari have resulted in public murals, digital sculptures and videos that have been widely exhibited. He was the recipient of a 2014 Central New York Humanities Corridor Visiting Scholar fellowship to conduct research on modernist architecture and hip-hop culture. Chua is also investigating a series of un-built utopian projects that sought to transform agrarian society on an urban, industrial model in China, Cambodia, and Thailand.