Codesign With Super-Density

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For the International Workshop in Hong Kong, I chose to pass the week with the Honk Kong students of the HKDI (The Design Institute). The result of this workshop was a performance where students from Zürich and Hong Kong lived together in a village. We were 9 students, 4 from Zürich and 5 from Hong Kong.
Yanki Lee, Albert and William, with Louise helping, leaded this workshop by giving us inputs and by making us visit Hong Kong and showing us some film that was similar than the performance that was expected from us. Each day was divided in three: Visit a part of Hong Kong, See some film or dance short video and perform. The week was divided by the three different density of Hong Kong: Low, Medium and High Density.
Monday was an introduction to the workshop and a warm-up performance. We see 10 minutes of Dogville. The idea was to familiarize with the 36.8 m2 that is the standard size of an apartement in Hong Kong. We were then divided in three groups of three students. My group was composed by Pearl and Marco. We decided to show the different challenges of the 36.8 m2, by being roommates and where we could find bottlenecks. It was typically the toilets.
Tuesday, we visited a little village in the mountains around Hong Kong, in the new territories. We meet the Flower Granny (link to the blog post). We were bitten to blood by some evil mosquitoes. We explored also the gardening culture that is relatively absent of the other density in Hong Kong. Our performance of the afternoon was to break the wall, to simplify the cooking in the traditional Asian model. In Hong Kong, the culture of individualism that we know does not exist in the same way. A student does not eave his parents, except if he goes in Europe or in America. We compared the two models through the performance.
Wednesday, we visited the medium density area around Quarry Bay and North Point. For the afternoon performance, we went on a new architectural design that shift private and public place. The bedroom was publicly shared in different sleep time schedules and the private where divided in a circle design. We then switch to the 36.8 m2 model and put our model into practice.
Thursday, we went in Mong Kok and visited the High Density. We look at the traditional way of printing, which has completely disappear in Europe. In the afternoon performance, we finally took our circle model and brought it to life. Because we only had tape, the circle design became a hexagon. We shared the space influenced by our role. I played a business man and I didn’t need much space. In contrary, Marco playing an artist needed more space than the default regular design.
Friday, we recorded the performance and went back to the Connecting Space. We presented our work of the week, how we learned a lot of things from the Hong Kong students and what this exchange has brought us.

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Hong Kong – Macau

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I went in Hong Kong for an International Workshop. With Keng, a design colleage, we took the plane on Wednesday from Zürich to Moscow, Moscow to Bangkok, Bangkok to Hong Kong. There were 50 minutes transit time in Moscow, that’s why we didn’t go directly from Moscow to Hong Kong. Thanks Obama!

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We arrived finally Thursday evening in Youth Square hostel, located in Chai-Wan, not Taiwan! We drank some Tsingtao before going to sleep (actually Keng partied all night). We had an excursion around North Point on Friday, where the purpose was to listen, so everyone had to keep quiet. It was an amazing experience. More than listening, I had the impression to catch every moments of this Soundwalk.

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On Saturday, we went in the mountains around Hong Kong, in the north, in the new territories. Not everyone was prepared for a walk in the mountains. I still had a bit of my old physical glory, so it was not really a problem. I even propose to go on top of Lion Rock. Some brave people followed me. The view was magnificent with also the taste of achievement in our mouth. When we rejoin our colleagues, we learned that they had lost themselves and lost some efforts in it.

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On Sunday, Stefan and me went in Macau. We decided to lost ourself. We went in the casino area to look at those wealthy monsters. We then went in the ruin of Sao Paulo by going through the little streets hidden in the residential quarter. We visited some fortress, went in a park, meet Willem an old computer engineer, saw some old men playing Chinese chess, visited a pixel-art exhibition. All of those because we lost ourself in the city. Of course, in the evening, we visited the casinos. My most astonishing of them are a man counting his several 1000HK$.

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From Monday to Friday, I worked in the “Codesign With Super-Density” workshop with the DESIS Lab from the HKDI (another blog post is dedicated to it). Saturday, I went with Dennis in Mong Kok in the Ladies’ Market to buy some souvenirs and a T-Shirt.

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I flied back Sunday. I had a bit of stress to again miss my transit in Moscow, because of the daylight saving hour. What I wasn’t sure that Russia use it or not. Hopefully, Russia does indead not use the daylight saving hour. It meant that I directly caught my flight without any problem.

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In conclusion, I learned a lot of things from the Asian cultures and made a lot of Hong Kong friends. I’d like to thank the ZHdK to make this workshop possible, the DESIS Lab team to welcome us and lead us.

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Flower Granny

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Today, we visited a little village high in the mountains (500 meters, so no comparaison to Swiss mountains) around Hong Kong as part of the Low-Density theme of the day. We met an old lady whose passion is to draw flowers everywhere. She call herself the Flower Granny (or Lady, when she was younger).

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Her work takes so much place in her house, that most of it is outside. She took things out of garbage to draw on them. Of course, it drew attention when people began to recognize her work, but she is not selling. She remembers every little piece she draw on, so she would be sad if some art was missing.

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She was really cute. Explaining how she sold flowers until she was too old to do so. She began to draw flowers, because she missed them when she retired.

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She gave everyone of us a painting of the first flower she drew. At the end, she hugged everyone of us.

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