For my studies at HKU, my group observed the area Jardine’s Lookout. Working in groups is always an interesting experience, and even more so when you’re mixing them with different languages and cultures. I enjoy the process of meeting new people, and figuring out a way to make the group its most successful, and hopefully most enjoyable for each team member. There’s a need to quickly assess each others skill sets, and devise a team plan for the project, especially under short deadlines such as we had. Then next, it is set out tasks and get to work. One thing that I learned no matter your culture or background, is the importance of finding a connection with each-other. While academics, and work are important, at the heart of life is human interaction. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my teammates, even through the sometimes extremely long days and nights.
Our group consisted of myself, the dashing designer extraordinaire, Sherlock, the charismatic leader, and Susan, the one of a kind behind the scenes hard worker. We headed off to our site to understand it’s people, location, history, and overall and most importantly its story. What is this place now? What did it use to be, and where is it going? How do the people interact in this space? We observed, but knew that we would have to interact with the inhabitants as well. The area was very inactive, with the majority of people that were on the streets waiting at bus stops. An occasional dog walker, some housemaids, and lots of nice cars.
The area was named after the businessman William Jardine, who used the hillside to spot ships to get information on the world markets quickly. As time progressed the British used the hill to fight the Japanese, but ultimately got defeated. The site continues to be used for its views, but now mostly for pleasure. The area is occupied by very wealthy business people and celebrities, and is very closed off from the public. High walls surround the houses, and lack of public space keep outsiders from staying and enjoying the area. Space really defines this area. The hillside attracts a certain demographic of people that can afford the view, and keeps those out that can’t.
For project one I was in charge of researching the history of our area, as well as creating a visual timeline showcasing how Jardine’s Lookout has changed over the years; taking lots of photos to highlight the area, its people, and the housing; creating and coloring 3D models for housing development; making graphics and maps of housing, and migration from other areas of HK to Jardine’s (these didn’t make the final cut); and a couple of graphs highlighting demographics, and income. On the second project I was the host and film editor. Both projects were very different, yet worked to inform one another. They both took a lot of hard work to make, and I’m very proud of what our team accomplished. Not only was our work great, but I think the class as whole really produced outstanding work.
Take a look below, and I hope you enjoy our work.
Finally looking back over the trip the biggest thing that I wish we had was more time. The experience was amazing, and we learned and explored so much. Things just felt a little time crunched as we packed everything together. There weren’t a lot of huge hurdles to cross per se, when making the transition to Hong Kong. It was just adapt and take in as much as possible. The food was amazing, as was the culture. The biggest transition was coming back to the states and trying to readjust to life here. The biggest thing I noticed about people in general is that we can adapt to any situation. So no matter the area you live in whether in the states or in Hong Kong and its many diverse communities, people will adapt and make a life there. That being said, life can always be improved through better created environments which is a large part of why we study what we do. Looking back to the studies and moving forward, I’ve taken away the insight of humans being able to adapt and create communities even where none existed before. As a designer it’s part of my responsibility to create better resources for people so that quality of life can be improved no matter where you live.