In 2014 I began my PhD research at the Royal College of Art on the four decade long career of British architect Theo Crosby. This research will look at Crosby's trajectory from a collaborators of Neo Avant-Gardes architects including Alison and Peter Smithson and Archigram, to become an advisor for Prince Charles Institute of Civic Architecture. This research focus on how Crosby used and abused history as ways to challenge the planning and building control orthodoxy in post-war Britain, and his advocacy for incorporating artists and craftspeople in production of architecture. This research, through critical examination of Crosby's unorthodox career, unravel threads on history, preservation and building crafts in relationship to British architecture in last decades of the twentieth century.
76 countries and one adminstrative zone
In March 1970 Japan hosted the World Exposition in Osaka. Subtitlted, “76 Countries and 1 administrative zone…”, the exposition was conspicuous for many reasons not the least of which was that it was the first world expo held in Asia in the nearly 100 years since the event’s origin in The Crystal Palace. If the event was so significant, why then did it take place under such a cumbersome and inauspicious subtitle? Official guidebooks for the expo described it as a showcase for “76 countries, four international institutions and one administrative district”. 1 The “administrative district,” sometimes translated simply as “a colony” was Hong Kong. Expos had become become stages on which nations negotiated technological, architectural, social, and cultural decisions to continually form and re-form their national identity. Tacking on Hong Kong was nothing if not a complicated gesture. Hong Kong was nearly two-thirds through its clearly delineated time as a colony of the British. At the end of that time a new era would begin as China would take the islands back into its own sovereign fold. In the long history of expos, however, Hong Kong’s identity was fluid, its various representations contested, its legibility never guaranteed, its positive reception always in the balance. Whatever the legal status of Hong Kong, World Expos were a place where its identity could shift some.
collaboration with daniel maurice cooper
hong kong pavilion expo 1970
The Problem with the People
What are the conditions of land use in Hong Kong resulting in the almost decade long internment of refugees from Vietnam in industrial buildings and ad hoc spaces around the city? The crisis of Vietnamese Boatpeople provide a moment in which land stops its constant oscillation between its identification as a sacred commodity in an inelastic economy and the necessary inward intensification of the market. How is land identified as valuable? What can be converted for use in an emergency? What is the fecund ground on which decisions are made?
Town planning ordinances, building code, and zoning control are to be used simultaneously as graphic and textual documents. The non-narrative form that ordinances take point to their existence as information poised gingerly between textual and visual worlds cutting across historical layers.
Can architectural representation make apparent more than just the momentary capture of urban developments and buildings? How can visualization ask critical questions simply by expressing tensions that textual representation of codes and ordinances belie? How can plans, sections, and axonometric drawings help unfold the reasoning that lead figures of state to landscape interpretation inconceivable from outside points of view? How can architectural representation recognize the many voices already working from within its texts to arouse and direct more questions?
 “The priority was to stop the exodus. The problem was we had no contingencies for extra accommodations. We had only one factory building in San Yick. The announcement of screening was intended to stop the influx but instead the were rolling in in very large numbers.” Michael Hanson, Refugee Coordinator of Hong Kong c.1989 in Robinson, W Courtland. Terms of Refuge: The Indochinese Exodus and the International Response. London: Zed Books Ltd (1997) pp.199
collaboration with dan maurice cooper
Shenye Upperhills Loft
Client: Shumyip Holding Co. Ltd
Location: Futian, Shenzhen
GFA: 110,000 sq.m
Program: Loft and Boutique Hotel
Design for Small-office Home-office type units in a large scale mixed use development in Futian CBD. The concept of the project is to create smaller scale and vibrant worklive community on top of a large scale luxury shopping designed. The architecture, meanwhile, would have to response to every changing skyline of Futian CBD.