Kai Wood Mah, PhD is a design historian, licensed architect with l'Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ), and professor. A co-founder of the design research practice Afield (www.afield.ca), his architectural practice is multidisciplinary and grounded in site-specific investigations, employing archives, fieldwork, social science methodologies, and research-creation.
Currently, Mah is the co-investigator of Democratic Early Childhood Development, a research-creation project funded by Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The project will lead to the design and construction of two early childhood development centres in urban and peri-urban sites in Cape Town. Beyond this, the centres will become boundary objects that advance our knowledge of design and politics. This research is an extension of his work on education’s architectural history and constructed environments.
His writings have appeared in Visual Studies, Public, African Identities, Children, Youth and Environments, Space and Culture, and Interventions among other peer-reviewed journals as well as collected volumes. He is a member of the founding faculty at Laurentian University's School of Architecture.
- Ph.D (Architecture), McGill University
- M.A (East Asian Studies), McGill University
- B.Arch (Professional), McGill University
- B.Sc (Architecture), McGill University
On The Web
development through design
architecture and ecology
- Social Science and Humanities Research Insight Grant
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la société et la culture
- J. W. McConnell McGill Major Fellowship
- Ford Foundation Scholarship
Architecture and Landscapes studio
Architecture and Ecology
↵Children, Medicine and the Built Environment of Early Twentieth-Century Toronto," Children, Youth and Environments (forthcoming) ""
- "Economies of Humanitarian Architectural Practice," co-author Patrick L. Rivers, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 20: 4 (2018)
- “Philosopher Children Moving through Decolonized Space” (with Patrick Lynn Rivers). Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris eds., Literacies, Literature and Learning: Reading Classrooms Differently (New York: Routledge, 2018)
- “Le campus urbain que l’espace postcolonial” (with Patrick Lynn Rivers). Du terrain vague au campus urbain intégré (UQAM, 2017)
- "Refugee Housing without Exception," co-author Patrick L. Rivers, Space and Culture 19:4 (2016): 390-405
- "Children, Medicine and the Built Environment of Early-Twentieth Century Toronto" Children, Youth and Environments 25:3 (2015): 90-108
- "Greening Schoolyards," School Planning and Management (August 2015): 28-31
- "A Play-Based Studio: Building Huts," AD 13 (September 2015)
- “Negotiating Difference in Post-Apartheid Housing Design,” co-author Patrick L. Rivers, African Identities 11:3 (2013): 290-203
- “Young Gardeners: On Gardens As Spaces of Experiential Pedagogy” Public 41: Gardens, (June 2010): 98-107
- “Theorizing Canadian Blackness: Moments, Place and Cultural Production of the Black Diaspora” Ebony Roots & Northern Soil (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010): 123-140
- “Children and School Interiors: The User-Material Culture-Environment Nexus in Late Nineteenth-Century Toronto,” Depicting Canada’s Children (Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2009): 305-325
- “Classified Landscapes of Education: The Ontario Educational Exhibit of 1876,” Visual Studies 22 (April 2007): 74-84
- "Reconstructing Blackness: Fanny Jackson Coppin and the Institute for Colored Youths," Transitions: Race, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change (Vienna: Lit Verlag, 2006): 159-174