If you want to dive into HK’s housing problems and enjoy a holiday at the same time, this piece is a must-read. Inge Goudsmit and I collected Airbnb places in Hong Kong that will tell you everything about the city’s housing history and challenges. You’ll find the article here on Archined. Some other work from this summer: An article for FD on why modern slavery is still a driving force in our economy, written with Kathleen Ferrier and a column about why downloading the app ‘I’m getting arrested’ can be considered a political act in China. I’m making new research plans for the coming months… any interesting leads or ideas? Let me know.
We wrote about this trend two years ago; the nomads are back! And if (after the holidays) you feel the itch to try a nomadic lifestyle, this is the perfect read for you. The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life On The Move, written by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Michelle Galindo, is a book about mobility, flexible spaces and innovative architecture.
It’s a guideline on how to live a mobile, hi-tech life in which one moment you can work in an office in Berlin, then move with a camper through Russia for a workation during summertime and then show up at a hot-desk in Los Angeles for your next project. “Aside from a functioning wireless connection and good coffee, we developers, designers, musicians, journalists, and other creative entrepreneurs need, above all, inspiration, new ideas, contacts, and international exchange.”
The New Nomads is a useful guide for those that want to literally live and think outside the box. New Nomads do not live in one part of the world; for them, the entire globe feels like home.
The old famous churches of Amsterdam should become public spaces again like they were in the 17th century. Currently most of them are closed off for big parts of the week. Willem wrote this article together with three others in Het Parool (a Dutch newspaper with a news-focuss on Amsterdam). It stirred up some discussion, we love to debate further about it. Feel free to comment if you speak Dutch:).
Our Article ‘Hong Kong Outside In’ got published in the new issue of MONU, a great international architecture magazine. I wrote it together with Inge Goudsmit (OMA, Hong Kong).
If you’re interested: the complete magazine is about interior urbanism, a fascinating topic if you ask me. You can get your copy here.
This is pretty much the housing skyline of Hong Kong. A shocking 62% of all Hongkongers lives in a public or private housing estate.
I promised regular updates on the boring city our housing estate research; we’re making progress! One of our articles got accepted as part of the Open Society project of ArchiNed and the Dutch Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice. It is going to be published early July. To be continued….
Funny… I found out that my research partner Inge Goudsmit is not only a very talented architect but also a real data-cruncher😉 we made some nice infographics with all the numbers that were generated. I did this housing skyline yesterday. Like:)?
Just back from a trip to Shanghai for a job that is just a pleasure to be involved in. With a great team of architects and branding professionals we worked on a plan for a small shopping and dining area downtown Shanghai. This is a page out of the mood board booklet (look-book) we made. It had 6 themes for the client to explore. All the themes had something to do with the history of that area (this page is taken from the green, leafy embassy quarters chapter… my favorite:)). To be continued…
Yesterday I had a wonderful day working on the Housing Estate research project I’m doing with Inge Goudsmit, a very talented architect (OMA Hong Kong). Our key-question: how does the homogeneous typology of housing estates in Hong Kong influence their demography. Are estates and the so called ‘new towns’ simply repetitions of functional containers, filled with one-of-a-kind residents or is there more to it. What will an area lose in the process of reaching hyper-efficiency? And is there a connection between living in a ‘boring city’ and our psychological state of mind? Why are there for example a lot more suicides in one estate compared to another?
I find it fascinating to gain data on this intersection of architecture and psychogeography. And of course, to find out more about the history of housing estates and (the very well-organised) social housing schemes in Hong Kong. Keep you posted on the results:).
Starry Starry… City! I made these business cards for one of my favorite Hong Kong companies: Urban Discovery. Their goal is to keep heritage alive for a vibrant and viable urban future… to reach that goal they develop all kinds of cool stuff like an iDISCOVER app for city-walks with all kinds of hidden gems in it. They have an amazing food-tour and on top of that they make awesome products as well (looking forward to the kids-book about Hong Kong that is being published in 2014).
Of course there’s also the serious part of the business where they help Asia’s rapidly changing cities redefine their heritage. They advise governments with historic city centers, reach out to developers that want to capitalise on the social and cultural investment potential of heritage buildings and work with NGOs to engage the community in heritage revitalisation projects. Urban Discovery consists of lovely people with strong ideals in their area of industry… where do you find such ‘gems’ in the city nowadays:)
Urban Discovery is one of my favorite companies in Hong Kong, just because what they do lies so close to my own interests as well. They combine some of my favorite topics like architecture, heritage, love for the city and education and mix all those things in very cool educative tools like food-walks, heritage-walks, apps, products etc.
I made a logo for them that is flexible and that covers the broad range of things UD is busy with. The logo is ‘map’ of Urban Discovery: every single product or service, has a different route through the knowledge and creativity of the company. Like it;-)?
Last weekend we visited a lovely little photo-exhibition about Hong Kongs old shop-houses (tong lau’s). The archetype shop-house is the oldest house-form found in a trading city. And in turn they are shaped by the city as well! The shop-houses also influence people’s experience of streets. The photo’s showed various shop-houses and documented the life of the owners who run their businesses in Sham Shui Po, a famous working class area in Hong Kong.
You can visit the exhibition till 31st of August in the Western District Community Center (36A Western Street)… a beautiful historic building that used to be a maternity hospital. I had an awesome afternoon in the Sai Yin Pun area and even found some new amazing coffee places like Metropolitain and La Rotisserie that I will use more often in the future to meet people or get some work done;-).