Design Shaping

In Year 1 we were studying the relationship of the human body to their immediate surroundings and how proportions affect the functional aspect of design. In Year 2 we will expand that objective to a larger environment and will study the relationships of built environment and natural environment.

The objective of this year is to learn how to 1. Observe and draw a phenomenon, 2. Translate it into a conceptual idea in form of models and sketches, 3. Create architectural drawings of the design up to a detail level.

Every building is bound to a specific environment, which is influenced by all kinds of natural phenomena. Standardisation and proprietary solutions of the construction industry have negated the specific relationship of a building to its surrounding with the result that we build similar in Nordic climates as we build in tropical environments. The studio will be an introduction to a critical discourse about designing in a specific environmental context from an technological point of view. We will investigate techniques and technologies that deal with the relationship of building and nature in the context of Hong Kong.

The HKU campus will be the basis of the investigation. Students will start off with a chosen topic and observe, analyse and draw how those topics affect the building and the external and internal spaces. Based on that topic, students will develop an idea for a specific architectural intervention on campus, that either enforces the topic or counter balances it or takes it as an inspiration for spatial experimentation. The program of the design intervention will be given by the studio supervisors, but will not exceed the size of a small pavilion of 150 sqm.

Central Market Revisited from network to agora

In Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance, Ackbar Abbas has described the phenomena of how Hong Kong has remarkably reinvented itself every few years, due to its property speculation, to the point that makes the city gradually unrecognizable. Central has been constantly erased and rebuilt as to serve one homogenous function: being an international financial exchange hub.

The Central Market, as have many other historical buildings in Hong Kong, has been erased and reborn in the last century. This third generation of the Market, built in 1938, has been left abandoned since 2003 due to some conflicts about urban renewal within society which have not been resolved. Once a vibrant market place, Central Market has become a blight in the middle of Central.

If the city is a Living Organism which is formed from a series of networks, the existence of all human artifacts (including architecture) is inter-connected within this network of relationships. What defines the centre is what is not centre – the periphery. In order to understand Central in a broader perspective, visiting the rural plays an important part in our investigation.

In recent years, Hong Kong has been facing pressure by a serious shortage of housing, and the existing model of rural development has been considered as an inefficient use of our valuable land resources. Rural landscape together with its history and culture have become a secondary concern while confronting a deluge of urban development. Rurality is now facing a risk of disappearance.

Can (rural) conservation and (urban) development co-exist?

Does Hong Kong have the capacity to create a diverse life style which caters to all living-beings?

We explore the inter-dependency of the City/Rural relationship and rethink how Central as the front window of Hong Kong could demonstrate the role of inclusiveness for a more sustainable and resilient urban development.

Using Central Market as a reference point, we define our own Central Value and implement this ideology as a series of counter proposals to the existing Central development schemes.


Summer workshop 6

Building Community Projects in Hong Kong: Summer Workshop for Rural Village

Date/ Time: 13 September 2015, 4:30pm
Venue: Au Law Organic Farm, Tai Kong Po Village, Kam Tin
Supervisors: Wang Weijen, Christian J. Lange
Tutor: Rosalia Leung
Students: Hilary Chan, Charity Cheung, Dicky Chu, Simon Lai, Debby Lam
Volunteers: Adam, Ah Wing, Alfred, Ankie, Anna Mak, Bonnie, Connie, Ellery, Elsa, Faem, Gilbert, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Jamie, Julian, Leo, Shelly, Wing, YK
黃生, 張生, 阿滿, 林志豪, 阿單, 短俊, 呀六, 呀袁, 威哥, 柴狼, 偉仔


After almost two months of engagement from our students, we are happy to announce that the construction of the eco-toilet has been a success. An opening celebration was organized on 13 September 2015 to celebrate with the villagers, numerous volunteers and various donors. This memorable moment has marked an important leap in the communal and rural architectural development in Hong Kong.