This book illustrates the journey of two European architects – Géraldine Borio and Caroline Wüthrich –discovering alternative public spaces in the dense city of Hong Kong. It reflects their evolvement from observers to active players who engaged Hong Kong's inhabitants to experience urban space differently through the artistic and research project STAG.
The gaps, recesses, narrow back lanes and alleys of Hong Kong, instead of high-rises, have been the two architects’ entry point to understand the city since their arrival in 2010. The conception of the book project is prompted by a deep curiosity they drawn to people’s intimate interactions with these in-between or edge public spaces. Text, photographs and drawings in the book visualise and translate their observation, imagination as well as participation. In the spaces, they captured flexible stalls and shops that have been running for 40 years or more; they met Uncle Chan, Uncle Hung, and Mr. Tang who transferred their knowledge and later became the craftsmen behind STAG, a stool and a “portable public space” as they put it. STAG was developed as a creative medium to intervene into Hong Kong’s urban space, encouraging spontaneous interaction between people and the environment.
Less regulated and less sterile than official public spaces, the in-between or edge public spaces – unplanned and appropriated by the inhabitants – function as important buffer zones across the city. They offer a range of services and micro-businesses as well as a necessary respite from the loud, dense, and fast in this metropolis. Located all over Hong Kong in a parallel network of interstitial voids, these spaces affect people’s daily lives, perceptions, and sense of community – they allow all layers of society to co-exist. This publication hence portrays a very different image of Hong Kong that was unseen in common architecture or photo books.
This bilingual book is co-published by MCCM Creations and Park Books. Established in Zurich in 2012, Park Books specialises in architecture and related fields. It is an affiliate of the renowned art, photography, and architectural publisher Scheidegger & Spiess.
out of print
Full-colour and B/W photos. Softcover
With STAG manual supplement
210mm (H) x 150mm (W)
Bilingual (English & Chinese)
ISBN 978-988-13114-4-3 (HK)
ISBN 978-3-906027-77-7 (EU)
US$50 (online purchase)