Summary of Lai Jing Chu's architecture work

Page 1



By Lai Jing Chu table of contents

How do a designer accurately yet creatively represent the identity of the





clients and communicate that to their intended audience, whilst at the same time develop her own voice and style of thinking through the work?

How could a designer mobilize the medium, spaces, and experiences so that they convey a compelling narrative and an insightful message?

How do a designer carve out, structure, or activate time and space within a given context, and how could the design itself guide their activities? Furthermore, considering the social, cultural, and political, how might a designer’s intended program allow for symbolic meaning to arise?

Can a designer treat end-users as co-creators of a project and allow room for their creativity? Where should these half-way meeting points be? How should the designer design the tools, the building blocks, and the stage?

table of contents

Logo Design Warmups



5 – 10

MArch Pre-Thesis Seminar Posters



11 – 18

Escape Music Festival Identity



19 – 26

Critical Distance—UCCA



under construction

Anachronistic Translations



under construction

Windows of Heterotopia



under construction

Rethinking Hanawon

Architectural Strategy


27 – 54

The Last Free Space

Architecture + UX


55 – 72

Twisting Hybrid

Arch/Urban strategy


73 – 96

table of contents

LOGO DESIGN WARMUPS Graphic Design Exercise, Thirty Logos, 2018.

Lai Jing Chu

How could I create a compelling logo that is graphically simple and memorable, but that brings out the most important essence of the brand’s product and/or identity?

Dimensions of Design

INTRODUCTION THIS IS A SELECTION of logos I designed for the popular online design challenge

Thirty Logos. After signing up to the free newsletter, each day the platform sends out one logo design brief that could range from personal branding to corporate identity. Participants could respond to them and then post thewm on social media for public sharing. I used these casual short exercises to practice some of the new design principles or Illustrator skills I learnt, or to refresh my creative mind.




The logo is for a clothing line that

The client is a video game news website

produces shirts, polos, pants and other

and asked for a design that worked

types of apparel with recycled boat sail

against a dark background and that

material. The client asks to retain the

resembles spark/fire/flame.

iconic anchor shape but to use a color

SWORD AND SHIELD The logo is for a company that provides security systems for tech companies. They would like the logo to feature a sword and a shield.

other than the expected blue.

The logo incorporates a thick rope strung

I used the symbol of a lightning bolt that

The icon uses simple, symmetrical forms to

into a thin anchor, the contrast calling to

also looked like an ‘S’—the first letter of

convey reliability and stability. At the same

mind the associative imagery of ‘needle and

the website’s name. I used gradients to

time, I strived to use the least number of

thread.’ This design uses green to emphasize

make the logo more three dimensional so

lines and shapes to create a recognizable,

its environmentally-friendly aspect, which

it pops out of the page.

memorable, and iconic image.

is a integral to the brand’s mission.

logo design warmups




PAINT is a mobile app that allows you

The logo is for a renowned Chicago pizza

The logo is for a growing online

to take a photo of anything and will

place. There were no requirements except


automatically pull up the correct color

that the color of the logo must be red.


in multiple formats including Sherwin Williams Paint, PANTONE Color, and many more.

The idea is to create a text-based logo

The most important ingredient of a

I attempted at a playful design expressed

that is colorful and eye-catching. I

seductive pizza is the fire and heat in

through the typography. The ‘R’ of

decided to abstract the letter ‘A’ in the

the oven. The concept for this logo is to

“Bookworm” is manipulated to look like

word ‘Paint’ to resemble a brush stroke. It

emphasize that. In this logo, the name of

the body of a worm and connects with

could potentially also be used as a stand-

the business—’JJ’—is morphed into the

the O-s that look like the eyes.

alone icon for an app.





The logo is for a cooking knives brand

The client is an annual running event

that emphasises craftsmanship, quality,

in Austin, Texas, that raises money for

and outstanding cuts. The request is that

autism research and families in need of

the logo focuses on minimalism and

care, education, and information.

features subtle details.

This logo takes the lowercase “s” from

A simple logo that combines the Texas

“Sharp” and expresses the brand in

flag and a footprint that represents the

abstract forms: the high contrast strokes

sport as well as a spirit of grit.

bring out the sharpness of the alphabet’s edges. The overall appearance of it almost looks like a musical note (do you see the leaning quaver?). Both requiring good tools and lots of practice, music is used here as a metaphor for culinary crafts.

logo design warmups

TWITCHY RABBIT WILDLIFE The client is an email marketing platform

The client is a non-profit organization

that operates like Mailchimp. They

that preserves the life and habitat of wild

wanted a new logo that was simpler and

animals throughout the world, much

works well as a small sized icon.

life WWF. They are looking to have one iconic animal represent their mission on the logo.

I was aiming for an iconic, versatile, and

Rather than to feature an existing

bold logo that would stand out on both

endangered animal, I opted to use a

print and digital platforms. The rabbit

dinosaur instead. Not only because

was constructed using a series of circles

dinosaurs are, in our imagination, the most

in golden ratio proportions. It runs away

legendary and ultimate ‘wild animal,’ but

from the viewer as if on a mission to

the design also reminds us that, much like

deliver a message.

dinosaurs, humans are also only temporary residents of the planet, and we should act responsibly towards the wild habitat.

10 — 11

M.ARCH PRE-THESIS SEMINAR POSTERS As Teaching Assistant for the MArch Pre-Thesis Seminar at the University of Hong Kong, 2016.

Lai Jing Chu

How do I make a series of exciting, playful posters that also emphasize with a bunch of tired and stressed thesis-year architecture students?

Dimensions of Design

12 — 13

INTRODUCTION IN THE FALL SEMESTER of 2016, I was a teaching assistant for a 3-credit pre-

thesis class. The purpose of the class was to help final-year students understand what a thesis is and introduce them two the basics of crafting a thesis proposal through a series of weekly activities—including debates, drawing assignments, guest lectures, and a final exhibition of their proposal posters. In this class, students were required to research and refine their thesis topics and be sorted into 1 of 5 topical ‘clusters,’ and each cluster would be operated by a group of tutors until the end of their thesis. As a teaching assistant, I was occasionally given the task to design posters of some of the events that were open to the public. This section exhibits my poster series for the drawing discussions and the final poster exhibition.

The WordPress site of the class where students would post their proposal drafts. The IT department assigned each cluster a color.

m.arch pre-thesis seminar posters

14 — 15

Posters for drawing discussions that were held in two consecutive weeks on two different floors.

DESIGN THE ENTIRE POSTER SERIES all utilized a vibrant color palette. For the drawing

discussion posters, florescent gradient color schemes were chosen to stimulate the senses, and also to challenge the presumption that architects only use black and white or neutral colors.

The posters graphically abstracted the exhibition spaces as floor plans as

though being drawn on Autocad, visually informing the viewer which categories of drawings would be displayed in which rooms.

m.arch pre-thesis seminar posters

By the time the final poster exhibition came around, each student had been assigned their respective topic clusters, with their own dedicated colors. All describing the same event, the color variation of these posters subtly informs the viewer which color is associated with which group by pairing the moving cursor with the different background colors. At the same time, they also create more visual interest when used tiled.

16 — 17

Posters for the final public exhibition.

Color variation of posters matching the cluster colors.

m.arch pre-thesis seminar posters

18 — 19

ESCAPE MUSIC FESTIVAL IDENTITY Graphic Design Exercise,, 2018.

Lai Jing Chu

How do I design a visual identity for an event without being too literal about what it is, but rather communicate the idea at a more conceptual level?

Dimensions of Design

BRIEF “ESCAPE” IS A NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL based in the Somerset Hills, UK. The

festival is looking to generate interest to build up their launch in late summer. They are looking to attract young professionals and families and to encourage people to get outdoors. The client is looking to have a new logo and a set of icons (representing music, food, culture, and camping) that they could use as marketing material, and that could be applied across poster designs, business cards, and billboards of various sizes. It was therefore important to create a consistent but flexible visual identity system that could connect all these different mediums.

DESIGN THIS DESIGN STARTED with me playing with the word “escape” to see how

the idea and feeling of that word could be evoked in a conceptual manner. By laying down a grid and some ground rules for how the letterforms should be connected into a repeatable pattern and subsequently broken apart, we end up with endless extensions of what looks like chemical bonds breaking free with elements escaping. One might also say that the glowing effect of the ‘escape network against the violet background makes it look like astronomical observations. With the four icons for music, culture, food, and camping scattered over the field, one could also interpret it as an exciting roadmap of how these events might be juxtaposed against each other.

Final poster design

Concept diagram of repeating motif

escape music festival identity


A hexagon has 6 sides, matching up with with the 6-letter word ‘escape.’

Each letterform has two arms, linking the adjacent letterforms...


What if the hexagon breaks apart? It creats a flexible system with the potential to connect with other word groupings.

22 — 23


Placed on a grid, the hexagon motif could repeat itself. Some ground rules are laid based on spelling—letters can only connect to adjacent alphabets of the word ‘escape,’ and the arms must not dangle without an alphabet on either end.


When bonds between the letterforms break, the alphabets are able to ‘escape.’

escape music festival identity


24 — 25

The back of each working staff’s name card contains the icon of the team he or she belongs to.

escape music festival identity

26 — PB

RETHINKING HANAWON MArch Thesis Project, 2014, University of Hong Kong.

How can architects design objects and spaces in ways that consider their functional as well as their symbolic meanings to

Lai Jing Chu

different user groups? How can physical artifacts be used to mediate the interactions between different types of users?

Dimensions of Design




28 — 29

INTRODUCTION H AV ING R ISK ED THEIR LI V ES escaping from North Korea in pursuit of

freedom and a better life, North Korean defectors, upon arriving in South Korea, would be immediately sent to Hanawon (meaning: House of Unity) where they learn the everyday skills needed to survive in a capitalist society. The location, however, is highly classified and remote from urban settlements. Arguably, the incarcerating nature of its hardware directly contradicts the purpose of its program, which is to teach defectors to live a life of ‘freedom,’ ‘choice,’ and ‘competition.’ More pragmatically thinking, the school prevents defectors from gaining hands-on vocational training experience due to its secluded nature. In the end, many fail to accustom to life after leaving the institution. CA N DESIGN BE USED TO reconcile the seemingly paradoxical needs? I

reimagine a Hanawon 2.0 that is situated in the heart of Seoul by converting an A historical photo of Sewoon Sangga in the late 1960s

existing derelict modernist megastructure, Sewoon Sangga, that was originally designed by famous South Korean architect Kim Soo Guen in the 1960s. In order for the school to remain a secret, the building would outwardly display a series of ‘disguise programs’ to deceive the public into believing that it is merely a regular preservation and redevelopment project when, in fact, it is a re-education center for defectors. As the building incorporates different stages of the North Korean’s reintegration process, specially designed architectural and aesthetic elements are utilized or reappropriated to facilitate different levels of visual and physical interaction between the North Korean defectors and the South Korean public.

rethinking hanawon

Bookcase as threshold

Landing as a bedroom

Window and vista as a source of hope

The Hidden Annex as a prison

Circulation as a maze

The front of house as a show (a wholesaler of herbs, pickling salts and mixed spices)

Facade as a camouflage Toilet as potential betrayer

30 — 31

Paint on window as a mask

Curtain as a veil

CASE STUDY Anne Frank House M A N Y E X ISTING BU ILDINGS TH AT carry significant political significance

shoulder responsibilities that exceed one’s expectations of a typical building’s function. Taking the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam as an example, every part of the building does work to accomplish a single political purpose, which is to hide and protect the Jewish family from the Nazis­­­—and its success and failure ultimately would mean life and death.

rethinking hanawon

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs, from my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. As long as this [...] lasts I cannot be unhappy.”

32 — 33

STRATEGY H A NAWON 2.0 WOU LD BE CLE A R LY sequestered into three phases:

Interrogation, Indoctrination, and Integration. As the defector moves from the first to the next, s/he is incrementally exposed to more of the outside world. Apart from retaining the structural grid of Sewoon Sangga, this design proposes major alterations to the roofs, facades, spatial divisions, as well as circulation, programming, architectural details, and materiality—all with the goal to either disguise true functions or mediate interactions.

rethinking hanawon

Public area Hidden agenda (high security zone) isolation cell resting pods


post office sorting hall

car re

interrogation center Stage 1: Interrogation 3 months, to affirm defector’s status and identity Absolute confinement

Stage 2: Indoct 3 months, ideolo Confined within

Detainment cells: solitary confinement with vista into the inner workings of a free society

So this is what free flow of information and goods looks like...?

North Korean defectors Public

Post Office Sorting Hall

Art Gallery

34 — 35



Monitored interaction zone


hotel rooms

basketball court


teaching hotel (lobby)

teaching kitchen and restaurant

epair center

trination ogical re-education n safe institutional space

Stage 3: Integration 24 to 36 months, hands-on vocational training Exposed to outside society under supervision

Dorm room: confined within the institution with close and easy access to informational spaces


Dorm room: integrated within open society with individual access to the service side of commercial spaces


rethinking hanawon



The post office staff may find these overhead structures strange but have no idea that they are the resting pods for North Korean detainees.

Louvers obscures the rooms of the detainees and their activities from post office workers.

36 — 37


must first go through a three-month period of interrogation, during which their interaction with the outside world must be highly restricted. When Hanawon is placed in the city center, this could pose a challenging design question: How could the interrogation center and its high-security detainment cells be hidden and controlled, while at the same time provide the detainees with a sense of hope and freedom during this inevitable period of incarceration?

Final rendering of post office sorting hall

rethinking hanawon

North Korean defectors

Solid brick walls Perforated brick wall to allow some visual access to the courtyard but obscuring the visual contact between new arrivals and those in the interrogation rooms

Hidden agenda

Opaque windows Transparent windows Timber louvers facing post office sorting hall

High security cells with opaque windows for absolute confinement of those who are suspect of espionage Interrogation room (Fig 1)

Mirror glass to to prevent visual contact amongst newly arrived defectors

Slots on doors for daily delivery of newspapers and magazines.

Medical wards for the physically distressed

Upward louvers facing skylight Dense louvers to obscure vision Temporary detainees can peek into the National Post Office Sorting Hall where they could observe the free flow of information and goods work in an open society

Downward-looking louvers with visual access to post office sorting hall

Detainment cells (Fig 2)

Resting pods for detainees to access sunlight and enjoy light exercise (Fig 3—4)

sorting hall


38 — 39

Section diagram showing controlled sightlines from cells and internal arrangement of resting pods.




1 3 Interior rendering of an interrogation room. Final Rendering of the “resting pod.”


2 4 An early conceptual collage of a standard Sectional model of a resting pod, each detainment cell during interrogation period that allows freshly arrived North Korean defectors to gaze into the post office sorting hall, a symbol of freedom in a capitalist society—a token of hope while they sustain through three months of confinement.

serving six detainees at a time, offering them sunlight as well as space for light exercise and social interaction.

rethinking hanawon

TRANSITIONAL BRIDGE Secret corridor between retail shops on the footbridge hide North Korean students while they are being transported from the interrogation center to the re-education center.


40 — 41

Rendering of the transitional bridge between interrogation center and re-education center

Final model of the transitional bridge between interrogation center and re-education center

rethinking hanawon

An audience of North Korean Hanawon students

General public

42 — 43


students would go through a period of ideological re-education lasting three months, during which they would be taught the basics of the living in a capitalist, democratic society. How could the defectors be gradually exposed to the society while still dwelling in a safe, enclosed environment? Here, the idea of “transition� underscores the architectural design language, strategy, and programming of the re-education center.

Final rendering of cultural theater

rethinking hanawon

Dorm rooms (Fig.3)

Learning center core and library (Fig 1–2)

2-way theater

North Korean defectors Hidden agenda

The metal mesh screen is used on the facade of the re-education center. While appealing as an iconic cultural building, in reality it helps to obscure the public and secret programs. Gradation in design: The perforation if minimized and volume of pleats maximized in front of the dorm, while the opposite is true in front of the theater. Perforated metal mesh screen in front of dorm balconies, that allow students to look out into the city. At the same time, the screen obscures the outside world from the true program behind it. The pleated surface allows day light to flood into the rooms from above.

One side of the theater connects to the hidden learning center and the other side to the public cultural center. The curtains help divide stage or to convert it into a one-way theater. The public elevator misses the fourth floor. To the public, this could be interpreted as a skip due to common superstitious beliefs in the Asian tradition—yet in truth it is a device to hide the fact that the fourth floor is the entrance to the re-education center for defectors.

A car repair center is both a teaching ground for North Korean students to learn a new trade as well as a secret entrance to the re-education center from the outside.


44 — 45

1–2 Interior rendering of hidden learning



center library with projection screen showing internation news.

3 Interior rendering of bedroom space showing the effect of the perforated metal mesh screen, which protects the dorms from being recognized from the outside while offering vistas to the city from the inside. 3

rethinking hanawon

Dorm room for retail students connected to their store levels via a hidden staircase

Shoppers see the renovated arcade as an up-and-rising shopping district

46 — 47

STAGE 3: INTEGRATION BY THIS STAGE , the North Korean students have been acquainted with the basic

tenets of capitalism and are almost ready to go out into the world. However, the core purpose of redesigning Hanawon is to provide them with a public interface to gain hands-on work experience before they exit the facility for good. The interaction between the students and the public is the most active in this phrase. Architecturally, this means that added circulation and program, still hidden and classified, must be carefully incorporated to facilitate to allow the students of this last phase to maneuver between the secret and public spaces freely.

Final rendering of outdoor shopping arcade

rethinking hanawon

Teaching classrooms

Student living quarters Hotel rooms

Inside the corridor, the North Korean students’ living quarters and the public hotel rooms are indifferentiatable.

Added lift cores

Hotel entertainment lounge

Hidden dorm room level of the shop houses The apertures of the new concrete tappered recessed facade gradually enlarges from top level to bottom—a gradation that again symbolizes the North Korean defectors gaining increasing exposure of the outside society.

The Shop-houses Teaching retail stores with dedicated dorm rooms. (Fig 1—4) Teaching hotel lobby Teaching kitchen and restaurant North Korean defectors Hidden agenda YOU ARE HERE

48 — 49


The Shop-house:


1 Conceptual collage 2 Model photo of scenario 3 Model photo of top view 4 Model photo of side view 3


In each advancing phase, the newly arrived North Korean defector gains increasing visual access to the outside world and more interaction with the outside society in a controlled environment. This increasing freedom is reflected in the design of the cells and the dorm rooms.

rethinking hanawon

PLAN COMPARISONS OF LIVING QUARTERS Balconies Interrogation center offices

Dorm rooms

Detainment units

Resting pods Library

Detainment units

Dorm rooms Interrogation center offices



Indoctrination 50 — 51

Hidden agenda


Dorm rooms Added elevator

Hotel rooms

Common corridor

Hotel rooms

Added elevator Dorm rooms


Integration rethinking hanawon

THE LAST FREE SPACE West Kowloon Cultural District Pavilion Design Competition, 2017, Hong Kong.

Lai Jing Chu Hanying Zhang Dominik Mrozinski

Can new types of architectural and urban experiences be created when the physical space meets the digital space?

Dimensions of Design



56 — 57

A table-diagram used for the booking system becomes a recurring motif throughout the user interface design. Our team nicknamed it ‘the floor plan of time.’ More on that later.

STRATEGY SINCE THE RISE OF the Facebook and Google age, most have unquestioningly

accepted that the public discursive realm has moved from the physical realm to the digital realm. Recently, however, political theorists such as John Parkinson, argues that in spite of the constantly expanding digital world, democracy still depends to a large extent on physical, public space, where activities like “demonstrating, petition-


gathering, arguing, voting, persuading, discussing, eyeballing” can be grounded.*

THIS TEAM STRIVES to create a public space in the truest sense —

“publicness” that is not determined by its property ownership, but by its effectiveness in bringing about “common effects” — namely the degree to which it encourages and facilitates civil order, its potential to be a site for different stakeholders to assert their

IN THE SUMMER OF 2017, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority had

claims over the space, and/or be a stage for ideas to be expressed.

launched the Hong Kong Yong Architects and Designers Competition with the

goal of seeking a winning design for a temporary pavilion to be built within the

operation system that embraces the digital public realm to innovate the way users

cultural park premises. This competition was met with an overwhelming number of

occupy architecture. In our scheme, our pavilion is a four-unit structure (one per

submissions from young professionals, as only architects graduated in the last decade

structural bay) which could be reconfigured by vertical sliding doors of various

were allowed to enter.

degrees of openings and transparencies. In one of the densest cities in the world

where creativity is often stifled, each Hong Kong citizens are given one opportunity

SITED ON A WATERFRONT LOCATION with spectacular views,

OUR STRATEGY IS to go beyond just designing a building but an

the temporary pavilion, scheduled to be open to the public for six months, is to

to pre-book a space online for their dream event for free. When they turn up on

serve as an informal public space for relaxation, or at times used as a venue for

site, they can unlock the space with their ID cards and reconfigure the space. In this

talks, workshops, and small performances. Our team of three, consisting of Hannah

system, no one can occupy all four units at once, forcing two or more event hosts to

Zhang, Dominik Mrozinski, and I conjured a design that went beyond the physical

co-operate with each other. And as a result, each day’s timetable creates a unique

structure of a building. As the following pages will show, we began to consider how

tetris pattern visualizing the use of space—or rather, it could be conceptualized as a

democratic public programming of an event space could be coordinated through the

kind of ‘floor plan of time.’

digital space. In this design process, my main role in the team was to design the user experience and digital interface of the web platform for this project.

the last free space

*See page 24 of his book Democracy and Public Space published by Oxford University Press in 2012.

What would you do if you had ONE chance to host an event — anything you want — in a beautiful space for free? Now you have a chance to be creative and unlock your potential!

If you are a citizen of Hong Kong, age 18+, and always wanted to do something crazy but never got a chance to because you couldn’t be bothered to apply for a permit for the streets, and private venues are too expensive, or you’ve just never found the perfect space! Then here’s the good news — you are eligible to book a slot in this flexible, dynamic, convertible structure. After you’ve booked your slot, just turn up on site, unlock your unit on site using your HKID, and customize it for your own use for the period of time you’re entitled to. You only get one chance, so use it well!


ARCH + UX DESIGN THE DRIVING CONCEP T of this project is that any citizen of Hong Kong would

be able to book their slot online and unlock a unit of space in the pavilion with the use of a QR code. What we hope to create is an environment where we would get a variety of events happening concurrently and concurrently throughout the day, and it gets even more interesting when the events start to overlap and interact with each other. Interested parties are offered three categories of durations—short (1–3 hour), medium (4–6 hour), or long (7–17 hour)—that might be suitable for different kinds of activities. The longer the slots, the more ahead of time they would have to make the booking. To prevent space hogging and wastage, parties hosting long-duration events are to submit a clear application proposal ahead of time, while the shorter the events

What would you do if you had ONE chance to do anything you want in a beautiful space for free?

the more freedom parties have in terms of making spontaneous decisio. Finally, the public could view live updates of event happenings on the official website and decide if they are enticed to attend.

60 — 61






Perfect for book clubs, game sessions, yoga practice, etc.

Perfect for theatre performances, cocktail parties, dance studios, etc.

Choose this for carnivals, music concerts, lemonade stands, etc.

Get started

Get started

Immediate booking / walk-in is OK.

Booking is open 1 week

in advance.

the last free space

Get started Please book 2 weeks in advance, application proposal is required.*


This is called the Last Free Space. We don’t want to attach it with a bunch of “do”s and “don’t”s. We believe in the honor system, because we trust that Hong Kongers are cool like that. So we have boiled it down to just four “do”s and two “don’t”s. Here it goes: — Do: • Respect each other’s rights to use the Last Free Space. • Book the appropriate length of time that best matches the requirement of your activity. • Protect the Last Free Space, so that everyone can get a fair chance to enjoy it. • Use the space to foster universal values of goodness, equality, freedom, empathy, and compassion. Don’t: • Light fire in or near the Last Free Space. (this is a favor we ask!) • Do any illegal activities in the Last Free Space.

Do you agree to abide by these terms? No I am a sociopath

62 — 63

Yes, I do!

REGISTER HKID Number: A123456 (7)

Image upload:

Email: Phone number: 6123 4321 Name of occpant: Hannah Chang Event title: Morning Yoga with Hannah Description: On Valentines Day, join licensed yoga instructor Hannah Chang with your better half in this morning beginners’ Hatha class. Truly invigorating and prepares you for a busy day ahead. Next >>

the last free space
























17 Full

18 2 left










Next >>

64 — 65


CHOOSE YOUR SPACE Ways to configure your space:

Fully exposed

Fully enclosed (louver shut)

Louvered, open

Other configurations...







Louvered, open

Other configurations...






Available Booked Max volume Normal volume Min volume No requirement Next >>

66 — 67


CONGRATULATIONS! Your space has been booked! A confirmation email has been sent to your email at containing the following QR code. Please use it to unlock your space on the date and time of your booking.

the last free space


FEATURED 7+ HOUR EVENTS HOME-BREWED TEAINFUSED BEER STAND BECKY YUNG Come chill out with your valentine with Becky’s new home-brewed Boston-area Mem Tea-infused Belgian-style wheat ale, finished with her own secret recipe.

MY LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION STEVEN NG This is a retrospective exhibition of celebrated wedding photographer Steven Ng. The photographer will also be taking free portrait photos for romantic couples who visit.

68 — 69

MY LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION STEVEN NG This is a retrospective exhibition of celebrated wedding photographer Steven Ng. The photographer will also be taking free portrait photos for romantic couples who visit.

SCHEDULE TODAY 2/14/2018 1| MORNING YOGA WITH HANNAH On Valentines Day, come and join licensed yoga instructor Hannah Chang with your better half in this morning beginners’ Hatha class. Truly invigorating and prepares you for a busy day ahead. [Register here]

2| BECKY’S TEA-INFUSED BEER STAND Come chill out with your valentine with Becky’s new home-brewed Boston-area Mem Tea-infused Belgian-style wheat ale, finished with her own secret recipe... [Read more]

3| ANONYMOUS BAND PRACTICE We are a group of retired high school teachers who still love to play in a band. Not refined, but come check us out if you enjoy German pop music.

Diagram of event happenings at the Last Free Space over the course of the day

D C B A a

g Yo


r ee






e all











e Be




ll Ga







e cr






70 — 71


o Bo

TWISTING HYBRID MArch Studio Project, 2013, University of Hong Kong.

Lai Jing Chu Livia Li

How can designers design to meet users’ creativity half-way and allow for spontaneity to happen? Could a coherent aesthetics still be applied to the final product?

Dimensions of Design


74 — 75

Drone photography capturing Mumbai’s urban inequality by Johnny Miller

INTRODUCTION IN 20 03, MCK INSE Y PU BLISHED a notorious report titled “Vision Mumbai:

Transforming Mumbai into a World Class City”—a report citing highly unrealistic economic objectives for Mumbai to be achieved by 2013, such as to reduce “the number of people living in slums from the current 50–60% to 10–20%[,]” but failed to take into account the social realities of the city. Needless to say, that did not happen.

From the Slum Act of 1956 to the Slum Redevelopment Scheme and Slum

Rehabilitation Scheme in the early 1990s, the municipal government had attempted to combat the rapidly rising population, urban inequality and the increasingly disparate housing market gap in Mumbai to no avail. By 2013, at least 54% of its population of Greater Mumbai housing demand (units) housing supply (units) % annual growth rate of Greater Mumbai per annum

1.4-1.8 million (unofficial estimate) urban population live in urban slums that occupy just 8% of the city’s land. To be continued on page 77 2003 McKinsey publishes “Vision Mumbai”

1947 India declares independence

12M 10M 8.5M 5.1


3.3 0.1M






3.6 0.3M




0.6M 0.4M









Housing gap filled by informal settlements 1.7







1971 Slum Rehabilitation Authority 2001 Census of India and Mumbal The Maharashtra Slum Improvement Clearance and Redevelopment Act 1947 Rent Control Act Sewage Disposal Project collects slum data 1949 Bombay Housing Board 1973 The Marahrashtra Slum Improvement Board Act 1996 National Slum Development Program 1974 National Slum Dweller’s Federation 1975 The Maharashtra Vacant Lands Act 1995 Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRS) 1976 Census of Slums 1956 Slum Clearing Scheme 1983 Task Force on Housing and Urban Development 1958 Central Government Slum Clearing Scheme 1985 Slum Upgradation Program and Land Infrastructure Servicing Program 1991 Slum Redevelopment Scheme (SRD)

twisting hybrid



Average size of household: 4.5 persons Average number of earners: 1.7 persons




Depends on community toilets



Defecates in the open


Access to water through communal standpipes


Pay to use toilets provided by NGOs


Access to water communal tube well


76 — 77

Have individual taps


% of total number of huts

Have private toilets

% of total population

No legitimate access to water supply

% of total population

Continued from page 75 Meanwhile, the city has also been consistently listed as one of the top 10 billionaire cities in the past decades. According to CNBC, it is (still) home to 39 billionaires in the world as I write today in 2018. New commercial skyscrapers and luxurious condominiums rapidly transform the Mumbai skyline, and these developments blatantly turn a blind eye to this urban crisis. To the privileged, the idea of being high above the ground level meant being ‘lifted from the dirt’ and to be far from the chaos and poverty. The sky and the ground, in urban Mumbai, a literal metaphor of the dichotomy between the tycoons and the ordinary. TA K ING A CLOSER LOOK at the slums, however, we find a different tale. Yes,

conditions could be abysmal—42% of the slum dwellers live in units that are less than 10m 2. Hygiene and infrastructure is a huge problem: Only 1% have access to private toilets—70% of them depend on community toilets, and it is reported that up to 25% defecate in the open. Only 5% have access to individual taps, the rest depend on communal standpipes and tube wells.

Yet, looking at the other side of the coin, slum dwellers are not all living

in destitute. Amongst some of them are better-educated, better-paid white collars such as government workers, teachers, doctors, and engineers—capable professionals who could very afford to move into apartment units—but choose not to in favor of being with their established communities. Meanshile highly autonomous, efficient, self-governing manufacturing industries have sprung up infamous ‘slums’ such as Data on slum conditions

Dharavi, famously producing export products such as garments and leather that are sold all over the world.

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78 — 79

“out of inhospitable surroundings, they form a community, and [the slum dwellers] are […] attached to its spatial geography, the social networks they have built for themselves, the village they have recreated in the midst of the city […]” Excerpts from the McKinsey Report “Vision Mumbai” published in 2003

—Suketu Mehta, in Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, p.59.

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Testing models of different types of configurations mixing vertical village with commercial floor plates. White card represents commercial, transparency and brown card represents spaces for villages. We finally settled on the third spiraling form, as we were excited by its potential to facilitate interaction between the commercial program and vertical village at every floor level.

80 — 81

STUDIO BRIEF A S A CR ITIQU E OF McKinsey’s purely quantitative approach to development

that neglects the human aspects of the urban slum crisis, the studio brief asks us to design a speculative skyscraper for Mumbai taking into account on-the-ground conditions, and that also meshes with one other urban infrastructure, in order to facilitate a more qualitative urban development.

STRATEGY OU R TE A M CHOSE A SLU M A R E A in the district of Colaba as the site of our

project. In place of a pre-existing plan to eradicate the slum to build a modern, highrise development, we proposed a hybridized vertical village and office tower that See page 82

could enable upward social mobility. The proximity between the two major programs has the advantage of placing large populations close to workplaces and vocational training centers, thereby minimizing transportation costs and time for residents who live and work within the same tower and creating opportunities for businesses

See page 83

and raise human capital for the local economy. In return, the community ties and cultural distinctiveness are given the chance to remain intact, and the building could also provide proper hygiene, power, and water infrastructure for its residents. Lastly,

See page 92

the infrastructure we chose to incorporate into our tower was a water desalination facility, which takes advantage of the site’s coastal location.

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Diagram explaning our team’s proposal to retain existing village structure in our skyscraper design

move back into new design

A hybridization of office tower and urban village temporary relocation to affordable housing

slum clearance

Existing condition

Pockets of informal housing surrounded by highrise developments

Pending development scheme Slum clearance, replaced by modern commercial development

82 — 83


To incorporate the existing urban villages into architectural design

institutional collaboration and government policy


investment design


profit supports homeowners expansion of home property rise in population and income

home resell business growth

completion of tower/new units

government and NGO monitors





How would the hybridized commercial-village towers support upward social mobility and support itself financially?




money from office rent resident workers

training and empowerment Before building occupation After building occupation

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employment/ businesses

DESIGN commercial residential

commercial floor plate By altering the thickness of the spiral, it is possible to alter the commercialto-residential ratio depending on the financing needs of the project at different stages of development and construction.


Commercial floor plates and vertical urban village

84 — 85

Vertical urban village

Settlements built by villagers with some basic rules allowing for open space and circulation

Commercial floor plates and internal circulation

Central core and ground level passage twisting hybrid

Building skin

with openings that correspond to program

86 — 87

Close-up rendering of final architectural effect

Interior rendering from an office space

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88 — 89

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90 — 91 Salt Factory

Salt Factory

Water Tank

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Saline Pool

Feed Membrane Modules

Salt Factory

Pretreatment Purification Plant

Diagram of how water desalination would work as infrastructure integral to the buildings

Combined section and elevation drawing of the buildings on site

92 — 93

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Building design on site model (1:1000)

94 — 95

Model showing the facade design’s interaction with the internal program

A 1:100 model showing the quality of space within a typical section of the spiral

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