Thomas Chung: Housing Hong Kong – A New Territory
Date & Time01.06.2017
LocationDelft University of Technology
Lecture by Prof. Thomas Chung
Hong Kong is renowned for its culture of congestion, convenience and accelerated existence. Often lauded as exemplary urbanism, the city’s efficient “hardwares” are rigidly planned for the sake of “progress”, more and more at the expense of the city’s “software”, the socio-cultural metabolisms of everyday informality, spontaneity and diversity.
For the housing of Hong Kong’s population since WWII, the development of its “hardware” (evolution of housing typologies and technologies) and “software” (quality of life and social aspirations) also recounts the societal development in dealing with demographic shifts. From the physical crowding brought about by the unregimented waves of postwar immigrants, to the more recent political and psychological “crowding out” in the postcolonial era, the problem of housing provision in Hong Kong has become increasingly complex and politicised, intertwining issues of acute housing shortage, projected population increase, new town developments, urban-rural spatial injustices, etc.
The New Territories, so far considered “rural” when compared with Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, contains large-scale yet contentious New Development Areas. It also offers vast, untapped potential for the housing of Hong Kong’s future generations.
Part of “The City Interacting” session at the InDeSem International Design Seminar 2017 at TU Delft, this lecture is an attempt to understand and work with these complex urban conditions through speculative and alternative architectural design proposals.