Domestic Landscapes: Foreign Migrant Workers and the Production of Public Space

Landscape Design Studio 3 (2019-20)

Related Staff : Marta Catalan, Pat Xiao

This studio examined the relationship between people and the built environment in the city, with a focus on an often overseen community: foreign domestic workers. Foreign domestic workers, mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia but also from other countries in Southeast Asia, account for a labor force that, according to the law and unlike any other group of migrant workers, must live-in with their employers. Propelled by this condition, domestic workers flee the confines of their employers’ homes on Sundays and occupy large portions of Hong Kong public space to socialize and attend to personal matters. The studio relied on ethnographic fieldwork as a way to complement the production of spatial mappings. The examination of domestic workers as peripheral communities and the surrounding competing narratives allowed the students to ask questions about the centers of power and in this way explore notions of migration, ethnicity, class, gender, and domesticity projected onto Hong Kong’s public space. Through a series of exercises, students learnt to identify, analyze, and document the key dimensions and functions of the urban public realm; to build a vocabulary that communicates an externally- informed process; and to propose appropriate forms and conditions of intervention.

Enlarge Photo: Final review: Presentation of LI Ho Lok Klaus's work.Enlarge Photo: Plan of Central and comic from the exercise visualizing readings. By CHONG Man Ting Mandy.Enlarge Photo: Axonometric for the exercise imagined communities. By FONG Joyce.Enlarge Photo: Section for imagined landscapes. By LEUNG Chun Fai Anson.Enlarge Photo: Final project 'Playgrids'. By MOK King Hei Jack.Enlarge Photo: Final project 'Sunday Business District'. By CHEANG Yuk Ching Sarah.Enlarge Photo: Final project 'Learning In-Between'. By YOUNG Hoi Yan Sabrina.Enlarge Photo: Planting schedule. By TSE Pui Hei Anson.Enlarge Photo: Final project 'Community Gardens'. By GOROKHOVA Anna.Enlarge Photo: Final project 'The Common Bridge'. By MAK Sum Yuet Faustine .