Re-architect was played very successfully on Tuesday Dec 9th and Thursday Dec 11th. We were very fortunate to have such enthusiastic players and the support of both the Hong Kong Design Institute and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Below are the result of both sessions.

Goal

The goal of Re-architect was to provide a game that would have players look at the(ir) city – Hong Kong – from an architect’s viewpoint using design principles to photograph cultural & architectural landmarks and to spark of discussions on the city’s transformation. The game also explores how location-aware (GPS) mobile phones can give city residents/visitors a new playful interface to the city and its heritage.

With Re-architect we succeeded at both judging from the reactions of the players, the specific photos they took and the way the mobile phones were used to navigate and experience the different locations.

Sessions

The first session (09/12/08) started from the HK Polytechnic University which is not far away from the first location of the tour, the second session (11/12/08) started from the Institute of Vocational Education – IVE (Haking Wong), where a bus took us to the starting location. In both sessions, a group of about 25 people teamed up after a short 20 min introduction on the game mechanics and objectives. Some teams worked with a GPS phone and some just used the map, but all players came prepared and brought their digital camera’s. In the second session mostly all players were HKDI photography students, so this game fitted in nicely with their curriculum. The journey took the players through a very dense part of Hong Kong, especially in Yau Ma Tei many very different places were located closely together giving players much to explore. As players arrived at a location they would start to discuss their personal memories about this location and looking up the design principles they would have to look for. Players photographed both elements that stood out for them – items that they could simply not ignore – and elements that could be linked to the principles. Players were also asked to write down their thoughts at each location so they would remember them later during the discussion – this was however something that was hard to continuously do because the camera and mobile phone were mostly the ‘tools of choice’. The comments that were written down can be read all the way at the end of this page.

Both sessions lasted for about two hours and all players returned to respectively the HK PolyU and IVE (Haking Wong). After a quick lunch and offloading of captured images, the group discussion started. What became immediately clear is that the format of the game had made people look at the city in a different way and had triggered them to think about the game locations. Each of the teams shared their experiences and talked about their highlights. Some stories you might expect, but also some unexpected ones.

We talked about the social function of the Yung Shue Tau square, a quiet peaceful haven amongst all the hectics of the city but that would not loose its function if all was not strictly traditional – tradition was more linked to people than to places. The Feng Shui wall of the Tin Hau temple with 9 (special Chinese number) dragons blocked the wind coming in at the entrance. The Yau Ma Tei theatre that was once a famous adult theatre, but which was rendered useless because this ‘genre’ had now gone online. The story behind the ultra enclosed Red Brick House. How Langham Place was constructed by buying up small pieces of land and that buildings like Langham Place can build another two stories or more as long as the ground floor becomes a public space. The housing above the shops at the YMT fruit market that many remembered as how it all went in the old days. The organic way the YMT car park and fly-over maneuver through the surroundings and that most had never noticed this until now. The other social function of the Jade market where people used to come to have letters written and translated. And maybe one of the most striking discussions was triggered by the YMT Police station, that most considered to be a memory of colonialism and therefore not that important enough to preserve. When asked about the importance of preserving cultural heritage most stated that Hong Kong was a place for ‘the new’ and did – in their opinion – not have that much to protect. (Only recently certain locations have been made into World Heritage locations). The discussions after the game proved to be an important integral part of the entire game experience.

Both session were also very well documented: if you would like to see photos of the entire production and the ‘best of’ collection, please check out our Flickr site.

Photos & Map

All photos have been uploaded to Flickr and annotated, tagged and geo-tagged. Each of the teams/players have their own Flickr ‘set’ of photos and are all put in a Flickr ‘collection as shown below.

Flickr collection

Because all photos have been geo-tagged the Re-architect results can also be mapped using the Flickr map features. Click on the map below to explore the map.

picture-2

Comments

1. South Kowloon Magistracy
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “Looking up to the pilars, you know you have to be seriously symmetrical”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “This building has been located here for a long time and is part of the history of the Kowloon peninsula.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “I do not like this place. It’s because the building is serious and does not match with the next place.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “Symmetrical balance with lots of ionic columns.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “A place of historic western culture.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “Ionic columns have been around for ±2500 years. Association with ancient times adds to the seriousness of the bulding. Balance is achieved by symmetry. Surroundings (built at a later stage) don’t seem to take these things into account though.”


2. Methodist Church
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “Built on a gentle slope, surrounded by a school and the South Kowloon Magistracy gives it a great sense of peace and calm.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “The side of the church has a great design with a light source/window which allows the sun light into the church.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “The color is white and yellow and feels harmonious. This church also feels not to match next to the South Kowloon Magistracy.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “Windows with different shapes – with Holland style architecture.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “For us a place of simplicity and religion.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “The rooftop of the tower seems traditionally Chinese. The building makes use of the hill, adding to a sense of awe (having to look up, at God).”


3. Tin Hau temple
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “As soon as we reach the temple, we could taste the special unique smell of the tradition Chinese temple – easy on the mind, especially because the temple is surrounded by a garden.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “The temple is very old and it is traditional Chinese culture. The wall with the the dragon behind the temple also has a very special meaning.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “Very much a traditional Chinese place.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “The building has a symmetrical balance with the main building in the centre. A Chinese traditional religious place witha public area in front of the temple.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “A place of Chinese culture with a quiet atmosphere.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “Dragons (9 in total) stop the wind. The place itself balances with the chaos of the traffic surrounding it.”


4. Yung Shue Tau
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “Quiet place to rest from a busy day and play a little chess.”
G, Lam Hoi, Orange: “People sit around the temple in the square. They like to chat under the trees. This style can not be seen in other places.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “People sit under the trees, talk with each other and play chess. They are peaceful and relaxed. All is in harmony.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “At night there are small businesses here, a place for entertainment where people gather. Also storytellers come here.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “The many trees give it a very natural feel.”
LAW Lok Yin, LAI Chun Hei, LI Yuk Ming: “This is a recreation park to let the public have a place to rest.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “The trees make it a peaceful place, people play games together.”


5. YMT Public Car Park
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “Interesting, a road/bridge is built between the car park, vehicles can pass through”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “Just a very functional place.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “Very interesting, the design feels like a roller coaster with the cars going through the building.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “A box with layers, the ground floor has office buildings / toilets. Not so sure about sustainability.”


6. Jade Market
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “It feels very complex inside the jade market.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “In the market there are many tasks. The common point between them is that they all sell jade and most seem very serious about their business.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “We see many Chinese elements on top of the market.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “Mainly a place for elderly.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “A shape within a shape. The whole place itself is enclosed in its surroundings, even with the highway going over it.”


7. YMT Police Station
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “This is a traditional British based design.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “A clear design and the combination of blue and white color together create a peaceful image.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “A place that reminds us that old Hong Kong was ruled by the Bristish.”
LAW Lok Yin, LAI Chun Hei, LI Yuk Ming: “The police station is a place that really stands out in Yau Ma Tei.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “Symmetry of the entrance, walkway with columns and arches, colors seem quit odd, official though.”


8. Broadway Cinematheque
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “All buildings around us – a typical residential area.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “The architect style of the broadway cinema is different from Hong Kong buildings. It presents a peaceful and relaxing feeling.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “A very modern place, that also shows movies that are different from the other theatres.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “An interactive and social place.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “It feels very quiet and peaceful suddenly. You can even hear birds, somehow the sound of the street is kept away. It’s a very symmetrical building. The tall buildings dwarf the cinema, yet the square feels nice, ‘inclusive’ – creating a sense of harmony, no neon, no billboards.”


9. YMT Fruit market + YMT Theatre
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “Has a overall view of the 60’s, dirty, rusty, smelly, very dangerous as one of our members broke his ankle.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “We feel there is much to buy, although it is now very quiet. It’s also quite dirty.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “Many Chinese elements; a place for communication and business. On the second floor are the homes, the first floors are the shops.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “A very famous old adult cinema, but it has been closed for 6 to 7 years. This has destroyed many boy’s dreams, but everything has become virtual anyway.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “The market is very low which stands out with its surroundings. The theatre combines a thatch roof with a western body.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “Almost like a shanty town, lots of re-used materials. The old buildings may have had another function.”


10. Red Brick House + 8 Waterloo road
Alisdair, Carolena, Bebe, Tonard: “The complex from its vernacular surroundings. 8 Waterloo – new & smooth; red brick house in contrasting rouge.”
G, Lam Hoi, Orange: “New buildings surround the old red brick house. This is a great contrast of new and old things.”
Cheung Ka Wai, FUNG Tsz Kei, Wong Ka Ling, Lam Wai Oi, Ng Oi Lam: “A great contrast between old and new.”
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “A big contrast between a high class building and a poor house.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “Red is a Chinese lucky color, but the structure is very western with its roof and windows.”
LAW Lok Yin, LAI Chun Hei, LI Yuk Ming: “It’s weird to have the Red Brick house surrounded by residential houses.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “A small building surrounded by very different types of buildings. The brick makes it look European. The entrance of the tall building creates its own enclosure.”


11. Chinese Shophouses on Shanghai Street
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “Typical are the signatures written on the columns.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “Chaotic city planning and it’s easy to get lost in this maze, but you can always recognise Langham place as the landmark of Mong Kok.”


12. Portland street
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “The many neon lights really stand out in this street with its shops and markets.”
Hicham Khalidi, Emilie Patijn, Rebecca Lai: “It seems that the shops in the street have just grown that way – whatever people needed.”


13. Reclamation street
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “A street where mainly housewives and elderly come to buy goods.”


14. Langham Place
Chan King Tsuen, Kong Hoi Ying: “This is the most modern building – it’s like a narrow column and also the highest building in Mong Kok. Near and around Langham place are still the old and traditional shops.”
Lau Sin Man, Chu Yee Ngan, Shum Yin Ting: “For us the best place for shopping and it’s also easy to recognize.”
Fung Yuen Ki, Chan Wai Tong: “Very modern, a sign of the change of Hong Kong.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Re-architect

to redesign, make fundamental design changes


Re-architect is a game on urban design, play and transformation. The game takes players on a photographic treasure hunt along the architectural past, present and future of the city. As the game unfolds players are asked to respond to design principles, investigate their surroundings and photograph the city from different architectural perspectives.


Individually players will learn more on how they perceive the city, collectively all players create a new map of the city together.


Re-architect can both be played hi-tech, with GPS-enabled phones triggering game content by player’s positions and lo-fi using a hard-copy map.


Re-architect is also very much a discussion platform asking you to comment on the city’s changes not only from a architect’s perspective but also as a resident or visitor responding to public space. What kind of changes would you make in the city?


What would you re-architect?

Business of Design Week ’08

Re-architect is part of the DEtour program at Business of Design Week ’08 Hong Kong (BoDW). The BoDW is referred to as “one of the most significant annual events on the international design calendar , Asia’s leading design event on innovation, design and brand, attracts the best of the global design world to Hong Kong. “ (source bodw.com)

Flickr Photos


%d bloggers like this: