Shenzhen School Proposal
TEA was invited to submit a bid together with Design Synact Consultants (Shenzhen) Ltd for a primary & secondary school in Shenzhen, China. TEA wanted the design to be inspired by the principles of 'Future school' and 'Cross-discipline teaching, such as breaking up the common feature like the grid system and segregated teaching. Special thanks to Jan Hauters (WMEA Belgium) who gave us valuable advices and contributed to our submission document.
More Talks in Shanghai
TEA gave two more talks at Donghua University and SELC club on 'Old & New + Regeneration' recently. We wanted to share our philospohy and experience to a wider audience.
TEA's design methodology is based on 'Co-existing' and 'Design + Business Integration'. Our projects 'Bamboo Hub' & 'Hakka Village' are inspired by 'Old & New' and creating a business model that encourages the 'New' to mix with and sustain the 'Old'. Our architecture and design wants to reflect this.
Talk in Shanghai
Our talk " Designing in London, Beijing & Hong Kong " was successfully held at the 'Long Time No Read Bookshop' in Shanghai on 24th September. I was delighted to share my experiences and projects at TEA / previous firms in different parts of the world. From the responses, I can see people really care, with a desire to question and understand how our living environments are being shaped. As architects, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are designing living environments for human life.
Mangdao River Competition
We submitted our design for the Mangdao River Competition in Yangzhou, China. Our aim was not to make beautifully designed buildings, but to re-establish the relationship between water and people. Through time and tide, the space and scenery changes, and people interacts with water in many interesting ways. Our design adapts to water, and encourages people to explore, learn and respect nature, not fear it!
Lai Chi Wo
TEA was invited to visit this Hakka Village in Hong Kong. The village is already being revived and some of the derelict houses are under repair with ideas of museum, cinema and farm. TEA is specifically studying how to use this green by the entrance as a community space, perhaps as a outdoor stage + seating area.
Hong Kong University 3rd Year Architecture Final Crit
Kelvin was invited to join in as guest critic, and it was good to learn more about the future architects of Hong Kong. The subject was social housing and addressing environmental issues of humidity and lack of ventilation in this dense city. The amount and quality of production was very impressive, but somehow the focus on the fundamentals of architecture was lost throughout the design process: Who are the users of these social housing, their behaviour, lifestyle, the local context?
AIM Bamboo Village Competition
Rural tourism is the trend in China now. We wanted to use this opportunity to think of ways (other than cheap destructive tourism) that bring long term value to these communities. The proposal is to create a self-supporting business model which can survive even if this rural tourism trend dies down. The workshop as a maker space allows artists, outsiders and locals to learn from each other, and make art + furniture for use in the inn. Works are also sold in the village market, shipped nationwide and worldwide. Modern standard offices are shared by locals and outsiders. Working in the inn and selling souvenirs to the tourists are not the only options anymore.
TEA was invited to participate at the workshop of 'Qinglong Hutong Community' regeneration project in Dongcheng, Beijing. We talked about the need to think more deeply about what is 'regeneration': Does it mean that community is dead? And who can make that judgement? Is it right for us to decide what new programs should be inserted? It may be very cool for have new art galleries, cafes and cultural activites, but we believe a thorough study of the locals lifestyle, habits and needs should be conducted. At the end, simple and humble measures with design can make a big difference, eg. better lighting, paving and street furniture.
Outlets in China
TEA was invited to do a feasibility studies on a outlet project in Beijing. We discovered that the concept of 'Outlets in China' is still developing, and there is a growing trend that users begin to value other aspects of this whole day expereince: Well-being + comfort, Experience besides shopping, Uniqueness + 'Wow' factor.