Entangled Futures: Designing Posthuman Landscapes at Lau Fau Shan

Entangled Futures Studio assumed that design does not necessarily serve only the human, and is shaped around ecological thinking. Based on imaginative propositions at the intersection of landscape design, strategic planning, and environmental sciences, the aim of this studio was to engage in issues of sustainability and environmental balance, scarcity of resources (such as food, water, energy), the implementation of lived indigenous knowledge, and maintenance/ continuity of ecology and biodiversity. The studio focused on designing landscapes as a habitat for a diversity of life forms and developed proposals for the waterfront at Lau Fau Shan. Entangled Futures studio started with design research on posthumanism and ecology through case studies of landscape design projects that deal with similar issues as in Lau Fau Shan. Second phase was site research and analysis. Landscape design proposals started with scenario and strategy building focusing on Lau Fau Shan village and the Deep Bay at a larger scale. Following, each student continued with their individual design proposal on a part of Lau Fau Shan waterfront. The methodological assumptions of this studio are that research and design continuously inform each other, design proposal considers the role and responsibilities of the landscape designer, “time” is a medium of landscape design, and “site” is always trans-scalar.

Landscape Intensive

Dafen painters village’s transformation is an echo of Shenzhen’s rapid economic and urban development, as well as its agenda to become a creative city. When it was the ‘factory’ of the art world, Dafen village was at the fringes of Shenzhen and largely ignored. The Art Industry Association of Dafen facilitated a digital revolution and visibility by partnering with a major online lifestyle platform. In the last decade, the rising real-estate prices, the art market intervention in the urban village, and the different government policies have made it difficult for migrant painters to stay in the village. This physical transformation of Dafen to a shrinking village is unfortunate, however it is also the liberation of the Dafen method from a specified physical territory to a larger online territory. This studio focused on Dafen village, developing proposals for its future, considering new technologies, digital presence, and online shopping, as well as real estate transformation, changes in Shenzhen’s image, working conditions of painters, and new migration. Students first looked at the dynamics and issues around Dafen Village as a whole, and developed visions and initial strategies for Dafen’s transformation. Afterward they focused on a part of Dafen, to develop spatial interventions that are in line with their visions.

Entangled Futures: Designing (Post)human Landscape

The technological transformation of the Earth has been a trigger for major shifts in working, living, and leisure conditions for the (post)human. The landscape is monitored and cultivated from the sky, it is dug apart to extract the fundamental materials and minerals, transportation technologies and artificial intelligence enable new modes of circulation, of people, things, and information around it. How do these new conditions influence the city and the nature, and our bodily experience and perception of landscape and public space? How do/will/should the landscape designers intervene in this formation? From automated kitchens to robotic arms, agricultural drones, bitcoin warehouses and satellite imagery, the spatial arrangements and protocols that are the result of implementations of technology challenge the material and immaterial conditions of daily life, and the conventional landscape requirements. Under the premise that technology influences the design, configuration, and use of Planet Earth, this studio researched the emerging landscapes, which are engendered and afforded by a variety of use of technologies with spatial implications, and developed landscape design proposals in Lok Ma Chau Loop, with a critical view on technology. The aim of the studio was to examine, challenge, and respond to the material and immaterial condition of the current technological reality, as designers engaged in landscape architecture.