GALLERY INDEX
CURB SCALE: THE STREET AS NEGOTIATED INFRASTRUCTURE

Related Staff : Sony Devabhaktuni

Students: Chan Shu Man, Cheung Hoi Ching, Cheung Ngai Yan Sherry, Choi Chung Hei, Das Shivangi, Li Xue Chen, Munot Coral, Soo Kwan Yau, Szeto Wai Ching Regina, Wong Ka Lam.
Year: BA(AS) Year 4 Fall 2018
Tutor: Sony Devabhaktuni

WHERE

While Hong Kong is well known for the complex network of large-scale infrastructural projects that make the functioning of the city possible, the studio proposes a research into the material conditions of an aspect of everyday infrastructure that is no less important for urban experience in Hong Kong: the street. While the street is the site of countless social exchanges, events and happenings, the studio looks specifically at the accumulation of small and large-scale design decisions that together condition our experience of moving through the city. These decisions can either result in a street that is open to diverse, unexpected forms of appropriation or closes off such possibilities.

As a site of constant negotiation, the street becomes ever more important as cities around the world begin to question the late 20th century prioritization of vehicular traffic over other ways of occupying urban space. These questions are, for Hong Kong, ever more challenging due to the extreme diversity of the street: in spatial and programmatic terms.

RESEARCH & PROPOSITIONS

The method explored during the research tests the limits and interactions of photography, drawing, text and model to address the research questions. Photography is used as a first step towards documentation. Students are encouraged to develop a systematic mode of photographing the street that allows them to narrow the focus of their investigation while establishing a resource of material.  Students then use their documentation to draw the specific aspects of the street that are of interest. Working primarily in plan, the intention is to develop an abstracted language that makes it possible to frame qualities they have observed into a specific reading of the site that moves toward a generalized condition.

Drawings are supplemented by texts that further describe this condition. Through naming and narrative, sites become abstracted from their original context while maintaining the complexity of their origins. Students work in model for the final phase to reinforce this process of abstraction, such that the condition they have identified is figured as a new site of intervention, awaiting the proto-typing phase of the second half of the semester.

UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE