Lecturer + PhD Student
Hongfei Li is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. student in the College of Built Environments with a background in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and art and design pedagogy. She has extensive experience working on a wide range of projects with Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Reed Hilderbrand. Her research interests focus on the experiential qualities of environmental design and how they can be enhanced by attending to our perceptual capacities. She investigates this topic via theories that acknowledge bodily relationships with space, including Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception, embodiment in cognitive psychology, enactive architectural experience in neuroscience, and East-Asian spatial concepts. During her graduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, she translated these theoretical insights into practice by instructing a seminar and studio, “A Garden as Meditation.” This pedagogical endeavor explored design strategies rooted in East-Asian garden principles, with a particular emphasis on the mindful body in space. Her research and teaching aim to bridge theory and real-world applications in the domains of art, design, and environmental perception. Currently, Hongfei Li collaborates with NBBJ architecture as part of CBE’s applied research consortium program, working on optimizing perceptual experiences within workplace environments.