Meta Design: Collective Self-construction for the People

Hong Kong’s New Territories have been completely altered by population growth, industrialization, and new town development; and the communities the Small House Policy was designed to preserve are in many cases unrecognizable. As land in the NT is put under increasing pressure by conflicting demands for development and conservation, extending suburban sprawl appears a poor use of Hong Kong’s scarce land resources.

Our Studio worked with the “Small House Policy” to propose new urban ecological development strategies of blending social and environmental concerns, as well as constructing a new publics structure and empowering the community through industrialized open system of self-build construction. Our research and proposal grew out of questioning what is the role of the designer in our dynamic environment in flux? How can we design in an environment where the logics of development are unpredictable and depend on multiple actors intervening at different scales over time? To answer these questions, the students developing research and design proposal for “Small House Policy” in three scales, dwelling unit, community scale and urban scale.

The studio concludes with a self-build lightweight steel system construction workshop of a temporary pavilion on the Kwun Tong Ferry Terminal roof. The design is referenced from the informal/illegal roof top structure in the villages of New Territories.