Dr Mengbi Li holds a PhD in Built Environment from the University of New South Wales, Sydney. As one of the members of the pedagogic revolution, First Year Model of Victoria University, Mengbi joined VU on a permanent basis in 2018.

Mengbi is passionate about exploring and implementing innovative teaching methods and curriculum design to address pedagogic challenges and help students reach their full potential. She is interested in nurturing curiosity in her students and an enduring enthusiasm for the discipline of built environment in today’s rapidly changing society.

Mengbi’s research interest is in promoting an understanding of the history of architecture, with a particular focus on the pre-modern architecture and settlements in China. She seeks pathways to intellectual understanding and response in architecture from its own history. She is striving for a critical rethink of a series of dogmas, mind-sets and vigorously imposed goals in the production of cities and buildings.

Currently, Mengbi’s research is contributing better practices for low-carbon living and sustainability to architecture by challenging existing principles that clash with these objectives.

Areas of expertise

  • Architectural history and theory
  • Architectural history in China
  • Vernacular architecture
  • Sustainability in the built environment
  • Architectural Design
  • Digital design
 Mengbi Li

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 5879

Research grants

  • National University Students Innovative Experimentation Scheme from China’s Ministry of Education (Grant No.: 101067417) (2010–2012)
  • Postgraduate Research Student Support Scheme Grant, The University of New South Wales (2015)


Refereed journal articles

  • Li, M., Pu, J., & Deng, J. (2013) Lessons from Vernacular Architecture: The Case of Folk Houses of the Bai and the Naxi. Yunnan Architecture. 122 (03), 84–86.
  • Li, M., Tang, X., Fan, H., & Li, Z. (2013) Green Building and Social Sustainability: Mosuo Folk Housing in China. Applied Mechanics and Materials. 1662 (368), 1164–1167.
  • Li, M., Guo, R., & Li, Z. (2011) Construction and Sanitation of Tourist Destinations. Journal of Kunming University of Science and Technology 59 (11), 120–123.
  • Li, M., & Han, Y. (2011) Philosophical Meaning in Architecture. Studies in Dialectics of Nature 278(04), 89–93.
  • Li, M., & Han, Y. (2009) Sanitation and Dustbin Design for Tourist Cities. Ecological Economy 212 (06), 194–197.

Conference presentations

Li, M. (2018) Technology, Craft Culture and Sustainability: The Case of Pre-modern Chinese Architecture. 35th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand.

Li, M. (2015) Le Corbusier’s Promenade Architecturale and Hidden Courtyards. Urban Identity, Space Studies and Contemporary Arts

Li, M. (2014) The ‘Translation’ of Zhaobi in China across Time and Space. 31st Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia & New Zealand.

Li, M. (2014) A More Vivid China for Utzon—in the Case of Shazi. Fourth International Utzon Symposium, The University of New South Wales.

Professional experience

Professional memberships

  • The Society of Architectural Historians, Australian & New Zealand (SAHANZ)
  • ​Society of Architectural & Urban Historians of Asia (SAUH Asia)

Appearances in the media

  • Denham, P. (2016) Chinese Government Awards to a Built Environment PhD Student, UNSW Built Environment News.
  • Report on Mengbi Li winning both First Prize and People’s Choice Award in the 2016 Built Environment 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, UNSW Built Environment Research News.