All posts by twmleung

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Wen Yau: Occupy Movement expands imagination, experience of city space

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Dubbed ‘the city of protest’, Hong Kong has seen various demonstrations that effectively engaged a growing number of people and redefine their experiences of using public spaces.

According to Wen Yau from the Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU, civic-led campaigns have negotiated the desired ‘openness and transparency’ as claimed by the government and re-interpreted the site-as-an-open-platform for civil engagement in Hong Kong.

“For example, the (re-)naming of the plaza outside the Government Offices as ‘Civic Square’, making Tamar Park as an open space for autonomous learning during class boycotts, and camping on the roads during the Occupy movement have opened up our imagination of city space and let us perform our rights to the city in creative ways,” she said.

Occupation is not only a tactic of protest that allows people to voice their demand for democracy; it also facilitates the building of an ideal community by co-living in the site and continuous deliberation, she added.

By performing a high level of self-discipline and mutual support in the non-violent and peaceful protest, people are also demonstrating an ideal humanity in contrast to the frustrating social reality and unequal political system, she noted.

“Such a utopian experience of occupation, I’d argue, is the driving force of the movement even in the face of the local and PRC government’s suppression,” she said.

Wen Yau will present her paper Performing Hong Kong’s Identity: From Civic Square to Occupy Movement – A Spatial Perspective on Social Activism during the XD conference—to be kicked off coming Thursday (27 Nov). Her paper examines how these new spatial experiences have contributed to the building of public sphere in civil society and performativity of the people’s identity in these civil movements.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.

Cornelia Erdmann in action

Cornelia Erdmann invites you to her chocolate adventure

Cornelia Erdmann in action

Cornelia Erdmann in action

Apricots_ Curry-pralines Curry-white chocolate Kumquat-Lollies

What is chocolate to you? Something you nibble on between meals? A comfort food?

It’s a culinary adventure to Cornelia Erdmann of laiyanProjects, a creative platform that fuses art and design and covers projects ranging from public art to graphic design, from art curation to imaginative problem solving in the creative industry.

One of Erdmann’s projects Zuckerwerk—an old German word meaning candy—allows her to combine her love for baking and the creation of adventures.

Though finding chocolate an excellent medium for painting and sculpting, the artist focuses on coming up with unique flavours and how the food might boost cognitive abilities. “My. husband calls me a ‘food bohemian’ because I like to combine chocolate with ingredients that would normally be found in other dishes,” she noted. “This way I surprise people’s taste buds and create a food safari.”

Your sweet experience in XD Conference
In addition to different flavours of chocolate, Erdmann will also create a variety of cakes, muffins, and cookies with dried fruits, nuts, and other healthy, organic, and unusual ingredients for the upcoming XD Conference.

According to her, conference participants will be on a ‘tasting journey across various regions’. “From the creamy Swiss Alps, via the German cake heaven, and to the colourful flavours of Asia,” she said.

What that means is you will come across Wasabi peas, chilli, lime, saffron, ginger, curry, and other ingredients in her thoughtfully-created delicacies.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.

open cinema 3

Artist, architect re-animate history with Open Cinema

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You might have gone to an outdoor cinema, but what about ‘getting immersed’ inside a structure from waist up and having your feet grounded in open space while watching movies?

That was the temporary structure (pictured) that artist Marysia Lewandowska and architect Colin Fournier created for the Portuguese town of Guimaraes—the European Cultural Capital 2012.

Offering a new approach to film viewing and engaging audiences with a playful experience, Open Cinema was created as a tribute to the politically radical cinema culture championed by the local CineClub as well as to the town’s manufacturing past. The structure could hold up to 48 spectators.

“It was the pre-Internet era when watching films had a different meaning,” said Lewandowska. “Frequent screenings provided club members with a space of longing as well as discussion. The screenings as social events were driven as much by the love of film as by resistance to the political regime.”

The Open Cinema in the public square of Largo Condessa do Juncal re-animated that history, promoting openness, generosity, and at the same time emphasising free access for all citizens and visitors, Lewandowska and Fournier noted.

The cinema screened a loop of 23 film trailers from the club’s archive. The trailers were picked by the employees of two local factories, who voted for their favourites at screening sessions held during lunch breaks.

The Open Cinema was also adapted as an associated project of 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

Both Lewandowska and Colin Fournier will share more about their Open Cinema project on 28 Nov, 2014 at the XD Conference.

Colin Fournier is Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), where he was, for 15 years, Director of the Master of Architecture course in Urban Design, as well as Director of Diploma Unit 18. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

Marysia Lewandowska is a Polish born artist based in London and Hong Kong. Through her collaborative projects, she has explored the public function of archives, collections and exhibitions. She is Artist in Residence at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong during 2015-2015, and at the same time a professor at the Faculty of Arts of Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.

Marisa Yiu

Public spaces in HK: Beyond commercial gains

Marisa Yiu

Marisa Yiu

What could transform the commerce-dominated public spaces in Hong Kong?

According to Marisa Yiu—an architect, a curator, and an educator, she tries to build a feedback mechanism that can shape new types of conversations necessary to transform sites beyond commercial gains. This could be achieved through curating and designing interactive installations that deal with public participation and pedagogy, she added.

“I examine our collective desire to inject more educational and interpretive experiences for the public’s interaction, as positive elements for societal gain within the creative and cultural
landscape of Hong Kong,” she noted.

Yiu will present her paper Curatorial Networks: Designing Alternative Landscapes to Commercial Interventions at the XD Conference. She will share case studies on the recent urban transformation
of public spaces from the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture sites along Hong Kong’s West Kowloon waterfront to the recent Value Factory venue in Shenzhen and smaller non-profit art spaces in Hong Kong.

Marisa Yiu is an architect and founding partner of ESKYIU, a multi-disciplinary architecture studio actively integrating culture, community, art and technology based in Hong Kong. She was the chief curator of the 2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. Recently Yiu curated the POP-UP Studio-X Shenzhen. Yiu is also teaching at the School of Architecture, Chinese University Hong Kong.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.

Tyler: Design is about putting people first

Dr. Nick Tyler

Dr. Nick Tyler

Dr. Nick Tyler

What’s your focus when designing a system, an item or a structure? According to Dr. Nick Tyler, Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering Department, University College London, his focus is people.

“It’s people who interact with our design– whatever it is and however it is expressed – and how they participate in what we created matters,” said Tyler. “As a result, we have to look at how interactions might work and how a design might allow people with different capabilities to interact with it”

He will present his paper Engaging People : Engaging Design as a keynote speaker in the XD Conference. His work will show audiences why we must engage with all members of society, including those who might never interact with our design, if our goal is to create a better world where people are valued.

Tyler has a history of developing methods for public participation in public transport design decisions, including works on vehicle design, infrastructure and operations. He mixes artistic and engineering approaches to create a trans-disciplinary model for design and decision-making challenges.

Designing Experience: ‘The Ballerina on the Elephant’ is a 3-day international conference on experience design (27-29 Nov 2014). Make your booking here.