Architecture on Speed is the title of the Spring Lecture series at the HKU Shanghai Study Centre. Today, Thursday, February 23, Albert Pope [principal investigator at zoneresearch.net] will lecture on ‘The Subject of Megalopolis’; and, next Monday, February 27, Jonathan D Solomon [Acting Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong] will discuss ‘Aformal Architecture’. Lectures start at 7.30pm. Background after the break.
About HKU Shanghai Study Centre
The Faculty of Architecture operates programs in Shanghai, at our Shanghai Study Centre, which is a vital counterpart to other programs in Hong Kong. Our goal is that every undergraduate in the Department of Architecture, and eventually the Division of Landscape Architecture, spends one complete semester of their studies in China, without interrupting their degree program at HKU. With the opening of this Centre, the Department of Real Estate and Construction has the advantage of a well-placed and equipped facility to augment its Taught Postgraduate China Program.
The Shanghai Study Centre also houses the HKU Shanghai Office, the HKU Journalism and Media Study Center, and architecture SH (a public gallery for the exhibition of design projects related to the mission of the Centre). The joint studios and other activities that the Department of Architecture conducts with other overseas Universities will also utilize the Centre.
Thursday, February 23, at 7.30pm | Albert Pope: ‘The Subject of Megalopolis’
Eighty percent of the urban environment in North America has been built in the past fifty years. Prevailing wisdom tells us that this urbanism — the urbanism of megalopolitan sprawl — is a complete and utter failure. We are told by architects, critics, journalists and politicians that Megalopolis fails to produce a coherent urban form, it fails to produce viable public or social identity, and it fails to produce the qualities of architecture and urban space that we have come to expect from cities. In short, Megalopolis is a sub-standard sub-urbanism that cannot stand up to the past. The work of zoneresearch seeks to refute these reported failures of Megalopolis and produce, for once, an objective assessment of the city that is now more than fifty years in construction. More importantly, we argue that prevailing urban forms — forms that we actively produce — define our social identity. By discrediting this urbanism, we discredit the image of ourselves as it is presently projected into built urban form. Focusing on contemporary urban form and the subject that it produces, zoneresearch identifies Megalopolis as the one and only site upon which an alternate urban identity can be be constructed.
Monday, February 27, at 7.30pm | Jonathan D Solomon: ‘Aformal Architecture’
Aformal Architecture explicates a spatial logic for the city of Hong Kong through architectural products that can be explained neither by mainstream understandings of formal or informal processes, and explores the consequences for public space in a dense city. Coinciding with the publication of Cities Without Ground, a book that maps the complex three-dimensional connectivity of Hong Kong’s pedestrian passageways, this lecture explores general conditions of the aformal through specific exploration of three buildings in Hong Kong that while outside mainstream histories of the city’s development exhibit unique qualities and three architectural proposals that exacerbate them.
HKU Shanghai Study Center, 298 North Suzhou Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai 200085