Space Stealing

Pok Fu Lam Village is a very unique and distinctive place and it is different from other living environments in Hong Kong. As an informal settlements, there is little significant order to follow, everything is just settled and accumulated randomly and progressively over time, without any uniform order to determine how things are organized in the village. It is hard to identify the systems and how materials come together by simple observation, hence, our class went through a series of mapping and analysis exercises to understand and discover the hidden patterns beyond the mess and disorder.

Hence, before the design stage, I have made an in-depth analysis on one of the system I am interested in in the village, which is the system of hanging clothes. I discovered that there is an interesting and common pattern behind all hanging device, which is simple lines are used to create extra volumes of spaces. Lines such as metal wires, bamboo sticks, synthetic ropes, etc. are used to occupy spaces which is originally unreachable by the villagers. Hence, spaces are ‘stolen’ temporarily for private purposes such as hanging clothes or gardening pots. 1 This kind of space stealing is temporarily and flexible. Simply by taking away the hanging things and the lines, the stolen spaces return to normal. Hence, base on the above basic principle of hanging things, I would like to design a organized hanging system in the village.