MArch Urban Design Project, 2011-2012
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Site: Hong Kong
Design Partner: Chris Cornelissen
Hong Kong owes much of its success to its position as the world’s freest economy, maintaining this status through coordinated actions by the power elite of government, finance and media. However, increasing vulnerability to financial turbulence and rising inequalities necessitate a re-evaluation of traditional power within Hong Kong.
The project is framed as a social movement to catalyse and organise a process of social, political and economic change, where parasitic analogies and emerging, crowd-driven technologies are used to harness the strengths of Hong Kong’s citizens:
Starting small and outside legal boundaries with residents organising a series of crowd-driven, “underground” nighttime events, the movement spreads to a sudden occupation of empty lands with demountable structures and a popular appeal for support through mass self-communication. Over time, the movement becomes a mainstream force, where increased involvement and confidence by citizens in their abilities to construct the city encourages further investment in similar developments elsewhere. This re-establishes the city as a platform for politics and decision-making by offering open access to the underlying processes that shape and govern the city.
Reparasitisation and alteration continues to align the city towards economic and social sustainability. Ultimately, the project leads to a new form of urban development that encourages citizens to keep constructing their ideal city.