Industrial Forest

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Industrial Forest is an installation, publication, and set of instructions that examines the transformation of a postindustrial urban site, charting the relationship between nature and spaces of manufacturing within an evolving economy. Recording the growth of nature and the eventual decay of the installation, the study provides a unique idea of continuation after the installation has been dismantled. The work is conceptualized as a reproducible set of instructions that could be duplicated by others, not only in the tangible physical aspects of the work, but the ephemeral qualities of the context of the site and the documentation process. Currently being collected by M+, a museum designed by Herzog & de Meuron under construction in Hong Kong, Industrial Forest does not depict a fixed result, but describes a process of becoming and undoing.

Industrial Forest was one of two enduring works on display at Spring Workshop, which was bestowed the Prudential, Parallel Contemporary Art, and Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Prudential Eye Award’ for ‘The Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution’. Spring is a Hong Kong entity with an international presence due to its prestigious residency and arts programme with visitors received from around the globe.

Spring Workshop had a predetermined finite duration of five years and that limitation contributed to the idea of Industrial Forest, since the project would not be a permanent entity. Therefore, the permanency of the project is positioned as a process, a natural progression reflecting the natural cycles found within constructing and documenting an artificial forest – evidenced in the evolution of building codes, seasonal cycles, political cycles, economic and entropic cycles.

ESKYIU PLAYKITS

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ESKYIU PLAYKITS is a temporary exhibition, permanent playground, public dialogue, film, performance, and publication which investigates architecture at the intersection of multiple disciplines. In PLAYKITS, creating a sustainable design is positioned as a catalyst for innovation, proscribing not a reductionistic mindset but a maximizing one. Doing more with a finite resource, each element transforms into another – for instance, several track and field hurdles become a chair for the public dialogue, and components of musical instruments for the performance. The idea is to create an exhibition space as a transforming public space, bringing divergent communities together to make use of a collective resource.

The position is that resources do not necessarily need to belong to an individual, they may have productive lives beyond each of us. Materials within the exhibition transform over time, from a water bottle to a shoe, to a temporary exhibition with numerous configurations, and finally to a permanent playground. A primary question considered is how to reconceptualize the idea of ownership – how to recapture the hundreds of thousands of discarded bottles and transform them into shoes, or to take over 50,000 shoes to turn them into material for a temporary exhibition that eventually transforms into a permanent playground for a local school. These are not technical questions of establishing recycling collection points and recycling centers. Instead, this project investigates larger cultural questions of how to reposition recycling away from something that one must do, an obligation, into a unique creative challenge.

Invited to create a retrospective exhibition on our design work, we proposed a ‘projective retrospective’ illustrating how we are shaped by our past work to project a new future. Instead of limiting the exhibition focus to design, we purposefully included elements of music, sports, and dialogue to reach a wider audience. We collectively worked with our prior collaborators in the disciplines of film, music, athletics, and numerous divergent fields in order not to create an isolated, reductionistic, investigation of an idea to prove a position, but as the means to test an inclusive design which responds to a diverse range of criteria and use.