For round two of the Asia Pacific “Women Across HOK” series, meet Alice Wong, architectural assistant in Hong Kong, who is our most newly minted registered architect. Though most people think she needs to get out of the studio more often, those same people probably aren’t bicycling across the South Island of New Zealand.
Describe a typical day in your life
My typical day is basically going to work, from 9 to ….! As with most people in this part of the world, work occupies a huge portion of my time. But I also enjoy hanging out with my co-workers - team lunches, happy hours or karaoke after work to enjoy special moments. It’s relaxing and a good opportunity to better bond and share thoughts with others outside of the office.
For those weekends that don’t need my time for work and studying for my licensing exams (which I passed!), I always try to maintain balance and use the time for leisure. I like both indoor and outdoor activities, e.g., reading, cycling, shopping, seeing movies.
What is the favorite part of your role in HOK?
I graduated about two years ago and I joined HOK right after, so I would consider myself still pretty green. For me, the advantage of being fresh is there’s no shame to ask questions and make mistakes! For the projects I worked on the past few years, I was like a sponge absorbing knowledge from my seniors and co-workers, hopefully to help to pave the way for my career advancement.
What is your favorite food and why?
Japanese food, simple but delicate; durian, for its unique taste; and white wine, refreshing and ideal for the local hot and humid climate.
What are your hobbies?
I like travelling, cycling and yoga. Learning how to ski is next on my list. I am fascinated by Indian culture, its religion and spiritual meditation. I hope to visit this amazing, ancient country in the near future. Yoga also plays an important role in my life. It is a good tool to relieve stress – through physical, mental and spiritual exercise to achieve tranquility.
Is there a little known fact about you that you would be willing to share with our readers?
I am delighted and relieved to have passed my examinations and become a Hong Kong registered architect earlier this year. Thanks to HOK and the support of my leaders! I also went on a 7-day, 700km bicycle tour this past April from the southern tip of the South Island in New Zealand, all the way up to Wellington. We were 13 Hong Kongers mixed in with about 100 hardcore New Zealand bike enthusiasts – it was so much fun!
What does it mean to be a woman in the workplace/architectural industry?
Many people think men dominate the architectural world. If you just look at the figures, maybe that’s true. However, good female architects are still be found everywhere and I don’t think gender matters to one’s success. It is character and attitude that ultimately contribute to the success of one’s career.