Resource Bargaining

Resources lead to exploitations and developments; cities also grow around resources.

There are two important resources in our daily lives: water resources and energy resources.

As technology becomes more advance, we build ambitious infrastructure to make our daily lives more convenient. The connection between resources becomes more and more easy. Boundary and location is no longer a problem. Mega infrastructures can extend thousands of miles to reach mineral and energy resources. These connection spines, other than creating monotonic landscapes, can other values be added?

As the Chinese government is going to construct a mega water pipeline from Bohai to Xinjiang in the coming years. Its thirst to exploit resources in the region has created a political imbalance relationship with Xinjiang. Xinjiang is rich in fossil fuels and renewable energy resource such as solar energy and wind energy. Its important geographical border location also interests the Chinese government to exploit the region. Mega infrastructures have been built in past years to speed up local industries development and resources harvest. However, the industries boom does not benefit local people and communities. My thesis attempts to change this situation by introducing a flexible, adoptable yet self-sustained infrastructural system along the going-to-be built water pipeline to stimulate growth and to facilitate a trade of resources.

Chak Pui Chuen, NOMAD: FACTORIES ON MIGRATION, 2011

NOMAD

The thesis researches a responsive corporate factory typology that reacts to the ever-changing economical/political climate and as a catalytic ‘device’ for active, organised, sustainable rural conversion.

Alice Pun, Volumetric Adaptor, 2011

Volumetric Adaptor

With the changing social structure in Hong Kong, more and more people become single or small-sized families, but the supply of public housing units for different household sizes has not changed for years, mainly due to the planar design approach that prioritizes spatial and economic efficiency. With the transition of basic component from family to individual, existing public housing policy and specifically the gross generalization of design approach should be reviewed. There is an urgency to develop a balanced and up-to-date system in the public sector.

People undergo status change from time to time in a lifetime, which can alter the way they use and their expectation toward a house. This thesis proposes a new strategy, using cubic manner, to design and evaluate the quality of space.

Lawson Lai, Dharavi Water Tower for Informal Urbanism, 2011

Dharavi Water Tower for Informal Urbanism

Water inaccessibility is a global challenge. The issue becomes more critical as urban population grows rapidly. The lack of water infrastructure creates enormous difficulties for residents in developing countries and results in poor living standard.

Conventional water infrastructure in developed countries is not applicable to the extreme density and dynamics in contemporary cities in the developing world. An alternative water distribution strategy is relevant to deal with regional climate, culture and economic structure.

As a daily essential for human beings, water is potentially a tool for contemporary urban development to enhance urban life. It can form nodes for social activities in the vibrant urban context.

Biodegradation Cradle 20+

This thesis explores the integration between architecture and nature. It rethinks the whole life span of architecture from construction to demolition. Today long-lived architecture consumes enormous energy and resources for construction, operation and demolition. Meanwhile, it creates lasting toxic waste to our environment. Through the study of material biodegradation, this thesis experiments how architectural volume, massing and program are decomposed, with an intent to reinterpret architecture as an organic object from the earth, part of the earth’s ecosystem and back to the earth.

Mai Po is a vivid undisturbed realm in which every life is interacting, interrelating and inter-depending on each other in a harmonious state. Eco-tourism development by Hong Kong government increases human interruption in the area. Mai Po becomes a testing site for this zoetic habitat, and along with the passage of time, its architectural role and structure as a tourist habitat integrates with the nature (animal roost structures the site, organic construction components becomes the fertilizers). Architecture hence responds to ecosystem, opposing to nature occupancy.

Stephen Chan, Hong Kong New Squatter, 2011

Hong Kong New Squatter

High land price policy and current mode of housing production take away from Hong Kong people the Right to the City. For the cost we pay for our house, we have little control over our dwelling environment. To some, non-subsidized housing is unaffordable, while those who can afford purchase developer-imposed “lifestyle”.

This situation urges us to look into the primitive mode of dwelling — squatting. In squatter villages, people pay minimal or no cost for the land. People are the user, designer and builder. Each squatter house is a unique reflection of spatial autonomy.

Hong Kong New Squatter is a group of people who no longer tolerate the situation. The design of New Squatter House is to provide a mobile framework for any user to make and change space. In the thesis, architecture becomes an act (of fighting a guerilla warfare against the authority) with the goal of re-capturing our Right to the City.

Choi Kit Wang, THE CULTIVATION OF URBAN CRACKS, 2011

THE CULTIVATION OF URBAN CRACKS

A critique on the abuse of “superficial green” and “sustainable technology” in contemporary architecture and city planning.

To go beyond imaging symbols or ornaments of “green” and seek a correlation between urban dwellers and the high-density environments that eventually lead to renewed ecologies in cities.

Identify fabrics among the preconditioned urbanism and deploy architectural interventions of various scales that, hopefully, will induce a series of “green disturbance” that grows from within the dense city.

Lee Katrina, POST-80s COMMUNE, 2011

Post-80s Commune

In Hong Kong, there has been an emerging social group called the Post-80s. They are a group of young people with active engagement in various political activities. Their critical mass, the spontaneous nature and the multidimensional new form of campaigns all contribute to their unique characteristics of social movement.

The thesis is to add a spatial dimension – to build a commune – a physical form in the urban setting to accommodate the development of the Post-80s within a time span for strengthening their political identity and social bonding, in which two extreme conditions – individual privacy and communal space – will be maintained in different configurations of site adaptation.

Periscopic Landscape: A Chinese Embassy in Tokyo

Incompleteness encourages participation. When we see chaos, we look for order. When we see fragments, we imagine the whole.

The notion of “Architectural Sequence” should then be re-examined in terms of discontinuity, fragmentation and montage. In such perspective, our own trajectories become the order to the space. Architectural elements become disconnected objects in space which can only be connected through our body movement and perception. One space is incomplete without experiencing the others. The underlying relationships between the apparently disconnected spaces are gradually revealed through one’s memories and articulated over time.
Our readings of space are then radically altered by the way we approach, we experience and we juxtapose those fragments. The duality of architecture is perceived through conflicts and juxtaposition, and thus encourages reading after reading by the user.

Architecture can now be understood through active composing of architectural fragments into a meaningful entity. To compose means to participate. It requires the awareness of our own bodies and movement in space. It is about “being in the place” rather than perceiving the scripted journey by architects.

The design of this Embassy is to address those ideas. Embassy is a place that deals with a complicated network of relationships; relationship between people of its own country, between people of different identities and nationality, and also, between counties. It represents a territory on a foreign soil and it embeds the history of the country and the civilization of its people. It should then resist a single interpretation, but rather present multiple readings of both architecture and the country.