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Kai Wood Mah

Kai Wood Mah

Associate Professor, McEwen School of Architecture
McEwen School of Architecture
Science, Engineering and Architecture
TE-218, School of Architecture


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 (, 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


cultural landscapes

material culture 

educational environments 


development through design

design ethnography 

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) ""