Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Now and When if it were Here?

 Hong Kong has a population of 7.3 million (excluding visitors) in a territory of 1104km².  Given this brimming density, the city is already suffering from multi-layered problems in health, environment and development issues.  Most deplorable of all and especially to the underclass, basic human conditions
 are slipping by the day.

Photographic exhibition of poverty in Hong Kong at here.

The roving exhibition in Hong Kong from October 13-21, 2012.

3D animation originally conceived for the 12th 
International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2010. 
(photo www.infrabodies.com)

Urban Cyberspace

Co-created by Ivan Rijavec and John Gollings, “Now and When: Australian Urbanism” toured to Hong Kong featuring an approx. 20-minute cinematic 3D video animation and photography in a makeshift darkroom set-up.  The quality of digital graphics was stunning, comparable to that of Pixar-styled cinematography.  Perhaps due to budgetary or technical reasons, there was no commentary or any sound effect.  The exhibition catalogue was too brief to provide any information concept and design intents either.  Negotiating through the thick curtain on the way out, all was left spinning in the head were endless impressions of phantasmagoric urban landscapes of Australia in future. 

Attention seeking Ivan Rijavec with shocking statements 
that breaks the day - Sunday Morning Post 
October 12, 2012.  (article  www.scmp.com)

Sunday Treat

It was Rijavec who made a blood-curdling statement in the local newspaper that drew me to the exhibition show in the first place.  He suggested that Hong Kong, a well known city with massive population should build twice as dense per capita, based on the high density of inhabitants in the Forbidden City durig Qing dynasty.  Having seen the exhibition I chose to believe that this tiny metropolis foothold, if Rijavec’s suggestion be implemented, would only conjure up bleak imageries from films like Blade Runner and A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Blade Runner  (images Warner Bros. Pictures)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence  (images DreamWorks)

Machination of Image

I hate to barb on our fellow professionals, but as an architect myself, I hope we should offer at least minimum research studies before making wild statements in public.  This is only common to all other professions.  The reality-free video discourses are imaginative, but they also borderline on being unscientific if not downright nonsensical. Too heavy a dose of sensationalism will only numb the audience as well as architect.  It is a vicious cycle that can only escalate further.

Acceptance has been duly granted to the growing trend that architects are becoming image makers.  Architecture and especially urban planning are art form only if rigorous considerations on subjects like geography, town-planning, economics and other relevant disciplines are met.  We don’t need architects to provide mere visual stimulus if there are already writers and film-makers in the sci-fi markets.

This is already the best clip from YouTube:

Exhibition in Summary 

The stereoscopic visualization is comprised of 2 parts, namely Now and When.

Now is a 3D photographic study by John Gollings on existing Australian urban conditions juxtaposed with mining landscapes.

(photos John Gollings)

When is emerged from an ideas competition on exploring Australian urban planning and architecture of the future.  17 selected entries vary from private practices to academics.  The resulting animation was developed jointly by John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec, with visual production by Floodslicer.

(all below images and write-ups www.architecturemedia.com)

[1] Multiplicity - John Wardle Architects and Stefano Boscutti
Growth is no longer on its periphery but at our heart. Melbourne has grown not out, but up and down. In the future our city will tell multiple stories. A building of narratives and possibilities. 

[2] Symbiotic City - Steve Whitford (U of Melbourne) and James Brearley (BAU Brearley Architects and Urbanists) 
Layered networks of urban and rural systems allow nature and the city to combine in a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit.

[3] Mould City - Colony Collective 
An urban system that reconfigures the relationship between humans, shelter and collective settlements. Mould will not save us, but if we learn how to tend it, new and rich possibilities will emerge.

[4] Terra Form Australis - Hassell, Holopoint and 
The Environment Institute
Asks what strategic moves Australia would have to make to accommodate a population of 50 million people in the year 2100.

[5] The Fear Free City - Justyna Karakiewicz, 
Tom Kvan and Steve Hatzellis 
Seven desperate dreams are followed by seven desiring 
dreams in a project that attempts to flush away fear and reveal the opportunities for a rewarding, sustainable city.

[6] Survival vs. Resilience - BKK Architects and Village Well
From an assumption that cities have to be planned before they are formed, this project explores the conventional wisdom of the multi-centred city.

[7] Ocean City - Arup Biomimetics
Tackling the large-scale migration of the Australian population from land to sea, necessitating a rise in biomimetic practices. 

[8] -41+41 - Peck Dunin Simpson Architects and 
Eckersley Garden Architecture
Looking at how ideas recycle and morph over time, this project looks 41 years into the past to see 41 years into the future.

[9] Sydney 2050: Fraying Ground - Richard Goodwin Art/Architecture and Terroir
Urban strategies of fraying, knotting and parasitism are realized through a process of remapping and drawing across all scales.

[10] Island Proposition 2100 - Room 11
Embodying hyper-connectivity, the IP2100 spine contains a looped system of hybrid infrastructures, initiating a new symbiotic relationship between the urban centres and their supporting territories.

[11] Aquatown - NH Architecture 
As water and resources diminish the need for a new kind of infrastructure increases, bringing new urban forms with it. Australia’s growth cities respond like tree roots searching for nourishment, spreading into new borders and territories.

[12] A City of Hope - Edmond and Corrigan
A specialist city of 50,000 located on the boundary of Little Desert National Park in the Wimmera region of Victoria.

[13] A Tale of Two Cities - Billard Leece Partnership 
Excess consumption has bankrupted cradle-to-grave industrial economies and cities have contracted, condensed and multiplied. Visible as a holographic projection, the city’s doppelganger audits and guides the city’s development far below.

[14] Implementing the Rhetoric - Harrison and 
White with Nano Langenheim 
Optimistically imagines that by 2050 politicians and planning authorities will have the power, conviction and know-how to decisively address critical urban issues. Using de-fragmented design techniques we visualize a literal, undiluted sustainable urbanism – solar amenity, strategic density increase and walkable cities.

[15] Sedimentary City - Brit Andresen and Mara Francis 
The sedimentary city of Brisbane is layered city-on-city, its layers existing in time and in space. New layers carry the trace of past cities with potential to draw in missed fragment catalysts.

[16] Loop-Pool / Saturation City - McGauran Giannini Soon, 
Bild + Dyskors and Material Thinking
A manufactured crisis – a 20-metre rise in sea level – enables an exploration of the future of Australian urbanism through four distinct typologies.

[17] How Does it Make You Feel? - Statkus Architecture
Based on the premise that gravity is able to be controlled, fundamentally changing the way structures are realized and opening up the possibility of floating cities.

此時,彼時,在這裡  〈中文摘要〉


這次參觀原於星期天南華早報裡報道雷雅維克 (Ivan Rijavec)的展覽。但他的驚人發表確實令人感覺不寒而慄,原因他建議香港參照清代紫禁城人口之高密度情况,建築發展大可比現今提高一倍。這言論除了譁眾取寵,確實荒誕不經。我恐怕若按雷氏的方案,電影2020(Blade Runner)及人工智能(A.I. Artificial Intelligence)的末世蒼涼絕境將充斥於本城角落。




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