26 October 2008

school projects

i realized that i haven't even posted about the projects that i am working on here at hkpolyu.

my primary studio is a service design project for standard chartered bank: rethinking the brand, the design, and the services offered by the bank. our project centers around designing a flagship branch for the tsim sha tsui neighborhood in hong kong, very close to where i live.

SCB needs some help. they're the chrysler, the also-ran bank in hong kong.  the project's been exciting, both to work on service design, a far walk from car design, and to work with a group of other students, and students from here in hong kong to boot.  the concepts are difficult enough to talk about between native english speakers --- throw in the language barrier, and we've had some struggles to get through.  but actually, things turned out really well in the end.

my other class is centered around sustainable design.  our first project was designing a recycling bin for PET bottles, made out of PET bottles.  for our second and final project, my team is working on a better cafeteria tray / plate / glass / silverware set for polytechnic.  especially now that the SCB project is over, i think we can get some good work out of it!

19 October 2008

plover cove county park

made it out to some nature this weekend --- took the train north to the tai po market stop, then a bus out to the plover cove country park.  we rented some bikes after enjoying a delicious thai lunch and made way to some waterfalls.  it was great to get out of the city and see some nature, hopefully i can do it again next week.

leave it to china to build a trail to the waterfalls, that never gives you a view of the waterfalls.  all i could do was break away from the trail to climb up on the waterfall itself, to see it.

07 October 2008

march of progress

the old hong kong and the new hong kong, coexisting.  i've never seen such explosive and dense development as i've seen here in hk, and it's incredible to see it pushing against the older neighborhoods of the city.

in the new territories, 5 40+ story apartment buildings built in the middle of nowhere, next to a complex of ten more apartment buildings, all clearly larger, and soon to be taller, than their neighbors.  just crazy.

04 October 2008

chi lin nunnery, part two

i found these beautiful little details all over the place, including these little inversed screens over walkway lights.  really beautiful, not overdone or tacky.  try finding this back in the states, anywhere.

even the garbage bins are not spared a little bit of special artistry.

this was one of my favorite details.  to enter into any new area of the temple, one had to step over a barrier, maybe only six inches tall.  but the sensation of having to use care and interrupt walking to enter into a new space was really profound, and appropriate.  again, this would never fly in america.

at every large idol (ten-foot tall statues of buddhist deities, handcrafted and covered in gold leaf (!), which i was not allowed to photograph, sadly) the temple displayed some short description of elements of the buddhist faith.   this was my favorite, especially the last paragraph. 

 i was also surprised to learn that buddhism is, essentially, christianity --- a man of god comes to earth, lays out the rules and saves some people, dies, and now we're waiting for him to come back.  i think that says something really fundamental about the nature of human belief and hope.

simply a pretty pattern.