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Condition_Lab is a Design Research Laboratory based within the School of Architecture at CUHK. Established in 2018, our primary focus is to improve people’s lives through design.

The Lab’s research resolves around designing socially responsible architectural prototypes. By working hand-in-hand with local partners on real sites, our aim is to develop projects that foster a better sense of community. The prototype acts as a vessel to generate new knowledge about how people inhabit their environment.

Our philosophy revolves around the paradox embedded into the word “condition”, as a noun it refers to a context, a circumstance, or a situation, while as a verb it implies change - to condition something based on an original state.




Condition_Lab © 2020 School of Architecture,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
 



Condition_Lab is a Design Research Laboratory based within the School of Architecture at CUHK. Established in 2018, our primary focus is to improve people’s lives through design.

The Lab’s research resolves around designing socially responsible architectural prototypes. By working hand-in-hand with local partners on real sites, our aim is to develop projects that foster a better sense of community. The prototype acts as a vessel to generate new knowledge about how people inhabit their environment.




Glances of Perplexity
Hong Kong, 2019
Being Hong Kong
Glances of Perplexity:
A Short Walking Manual to Hong Kong’s Hidden Conditions

WAYS OF SEEING
John Berger (1926-2018) the late artist, critic, poet and radical British thinker wrote profusely about how we as humans look at things.  Through looking we comprehend, “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak” is the opening sentence of his 1972 book titled “Way of Seeing” where Berger outlines in 7 essays, the process of seeing: to paraphrase Berger, the way we see is affected by what we know and what we believe.  The five walks here presented in this short article, taken through the island of Hong Kong, are an attempt to capture why and how this city stimulates our imagination, through the act of wondering we learn to appreciate the other, and I would argue the “real”, city that is ingrained with fascinating hidden narratives.

INVISBLE URBAN BACKROUND
When you live in a city, the quotidian tends to become invisible, we become unable to focus on the mundane experiences that make up our everyday life.  The reasons are multiple, from being distracted by our phones to straightforward absent mindedness, however as a result we become immune to perceiving Hong Kong’s unique “background”[1] atmosphere.  This “other” city, a parallel Hong Kong embedded with local stories and collective rituals, requires a different state of mind to be noticed: a slower, open and more flexible mindset that challenges assumed preconceptions and allows the “here and now” reality to take over.  Once this way of looking has been enabled, Hong Kong transforms into a city of infinite wonders, the antidote to the banality of the generic city.

I have always been fascinated how architects have been inept, compared to film directors, to work with Hong Kong’s background.  From a cinematic standpoint, Hong Kong’s background (there are no real architectural icons) serves to generate a context of dynamic intensity, think of recent films such as “Ghost in the Shell” (2017) or Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 classic “Chungking Express”.



Editorial Team
Prof. Peter W. Ferretto
LAM Man Yan Milly
LIU Ziwei Paula 

Publication Info. 
Being Media Ltd.
https://beinghongkong.com/003-ReSee



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