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Youth for Experimental Space

Project Description

Because of Hong Kong’s high rent prices, many low-income families are forced to live in subdivided apartments. While information about these flats is not widely publicized, the existence of them is common knowledge. Subdivided flats are not illegal unless they are divided into too many rooms. On average, these units have a median floor area of 108 sq.ft. and are priced at around $4,500 per month. Over 200,000 people live in subdivided flats, many being families with children. The spaces become cluttered and claustrophobic. In many cases, families live in units where the bathroom is shared with the kitchen space. In addition to the undesirable living conditions, there are also questions of safety during emergencies such as fires. Often the fire escapes are blocked and the narrow corridors between units make it difficult to escape. Most tenants do not have the time nor resources to improve their living spaces and conditions.

For my project, I will construct a blueprint that will improve space usage and overall user efficiency. By taking a look at all the components of a home, I can develop ideas for innovative solutions to problems tenants face. I will be looking at maximizing vertical space, improving lighting, increasing organizational efficiency, and creating more space for movement. I will be taking an existing unit plan, currently inhabited, and transform it for improved living. At the end of this project, I will prepare an art exhibition that showcases the existing apartment in its entirety, as well as the new, remodelled version according to my blueprint. The audience will be able to experience the difference in livability while also gaining an understanding of life for low-income populations in Hong Kong. The next step will be to find endorsement and sponsorship to renovate an existing home. Hopefully, the exhibit will inspire those with the means to help or access to resources to take action. The project will be created with the idea of reproduction of the design over various units of similar size in mind.

In the long term, I will use this project to form a platform for youths with an interest in architecture, centered around highlighting youth architecture projects and ideas. The primary goal of this platform will be to inspire others to use their interest to come up with their own ideas. By hearing about the achievements of others, it will hopefully motivate people to begin their own projects.

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