The earliest inhabitants of coastal southern China including Hong Kong are the Tanka. In their indigenous language the word "Hong Kong” means “fragrant harbor” and they call themselves “Soi Seung Yan,” meaning “those born of the water” denoting a strong connection with the vital element. Many generations later, few individuals living in Hong Kong identify as indigenous. The strong connection to their minority language, culture, way of life, and connection with the sea is rapidly disappearing. According to local Hong Kong charity China Water Risk, Hong Kong is one of the most exposed cities to sea-level rise, yet it is poorly prepared. This is because the Hong Kong government, local education system, and general public pay little attention to this issue. As Hong Kong is committing to increasingly ambitious water treatment and reclamation projects, who will protect Hong Kong waters? Around the world, many young people are standing up for their futures in response to the threat of global warming, water insecurity. Some call themselves the "water protectors" such as Autumn Peltier or Boyan Slat who started very young protecting water.
As a designer, your brief is to protect Hong Kong waters. You will investigate the: 1. environmental and scientific 2. cultural and spiritual 3. social and economic dimensions of water.
You will produce design works that can be either pragmatic and immediately practical, or propose speculative instruments and practices:
- Citizen Science projects that involve technology, data, to measure and protect water
- Rituals that connect individuals / and the community to protect water
- Domestic appliances, public infrastructures, services and business models to protect water.
You will produce object prototypes, performances, systems and films documenting your process and tests in the real world.
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