| Derivative Urbanism | Status: Completed at Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 Program: Exhibition Installation Location: Venice Collaboration with: Sherry Fung, Sunny Chan, Yip Chun Hang
We are interested at the juxtaposition of authoritative planning versus collective aspiration. Rather than the simplistic perception of the two as conflicting entity, the exhibition sought to generate whimsical chemistry through dialogue between them. We believe the constantly unbalanced relationship and tension is exactly the distinctive vibrancy of Hong Kong. Through juxtaposition between real vs speculative proposition, art vs architecture, illegal vs legitimate, collective aspiration will be revealed as common ground of public desire, the essence of ‘place making’. Given the unprecedented infrastructural growth with PRD, collective aspiration is crucial to the re-instatement of cultural identity in public realm, especially at the political/infrastructural border, where cities are progressively homogenized through increased connectivity. In history of urban development of SE Kowloon, evidenced from Kowloon Walled City to Hidden Agenda, public space is transformed through collective aspiration. The particular spatial constraint in Hong Kong pushes the proper functioning of activity to extreme.w For instance, domestic lives in the Walled City out limit the original structure, eventually causing severe dilapidation. The band performances of Hidden Agenda became underground only because no proper venue is available to support its popularity. Ironically, collective aspiration often peaks when their demand are not addressed, sometimes even resulting in illegal activity.We argue that spatial constraint is the cause of ‘illegality’, not decibel level or legitimacy of matter.
We sought to visualize collective aspiration through portrayal of spatial constraint.
Our installation serves dual function as a generative device which structures our research and design process; and also, as a physical representation of final architectural proposal and spatial quality of derivative architecture. The Upper Part of our installation is a hanging matrix which documents our research and design process. The context inside the matrix would include:
- research and analysis on how authoritative planning and building/planning ordinance shaped the development of city- analysis of current planning guideline and the implicit encouragement of developing lower portion of building into public space of common interestes
- representation of network of existing derivative programs (i.e. unplanned place of entertainment, studio of creative units, rooftop farm, etc);
- analysis of current and future demographics of local artisit in Kwun Tong .
Our design proposal on a bottom up design strategy to retain a derivative network within the existing authoritative framework Underneath the matrix, there will be an interactive audio installation which represents our manifesto of the necessity of collective aspiration on creating a vibrant and energetic environment of a city. It consists of array of movable speakers fixed on pedals and pulley. Each speaker’s sound corresponds to a band sound; and visitors are allowed to augment the installation by a mechanical system to create their individual sound experience. The Bottom part will be a landscape which allows people to sit below the matrix and experience our installation. It symbolizes the Common Ground of public participation and appreciation. It is also a shared seating platform for viewing hidden agenda documentary, which is co-related to our exhibition. The grid system in matrix is our re-interpretation of Le Corbusier’s domino house, which we believe the standardization and genericity gave birth to the derivative activities under the unique urban condition of HK.