by ZOU Tong
This thesis aims to design a community hub for the marginalized groups in the urban centre to deal with the increasing problems of aging society, social mobility and migration issues. The subject interests first originate from director Wong Kar-wai’s films which frequently depict outcasted people like prostitutes, waitresses, and immigrants, who always experience a sense of alienation coupled with the need for establishing some familiarity (constructing notions of belonging) within a community.
Echoing the spirit, the thesis proceeds by taking a short film at People’s Park Complex in Chinatown which is filled with marginalized people and cacophonic activities to study the movement and usage patterns. The film helps to identify two particular alienated groups – the new Chinese immigrants and the older generation, and at the same time provides basis for identifying their needs and other necessary programmes for economic sustainability. The vacant plot next to People’s Park Complex is chosen as the site for its contextual and symbolic reasons. Thus, the focus of the thesis is to establish a sense of belonging for the two groups in the urban centre where they were observed in large numbers yet outcasted.
The thesis also examines Bernard Tschumi’s ‘Manhattan Transcripts’, which inspires ways of enriching architectural representations with photographs and diagrams to form the narratives of space. Applying the same concept, the thesis will take a step further from architectural drawings to storyboards to explore how the designed space can be used as a stage where a story between the immigrants and elderly unfolds.