Pop-up City @ Tin Shui Wai

November 5, 2014
By City Space Architecture

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Pop-up City @ Tin Shui Wai

8-15 Nov 2014

Tin Sau Bazaar, Hong Kong

Opening Reception: 18:00-21:00, 8 Nov 2014, Saturday

Exhibition: 8:00-20:00, 9-15 Nov 2014

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Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Tin Sau Bazaar will be turned into a Pop-up City – an open gallery of public space – for a week in November, where local residents and the general public can gather, interact and envision public life in an existing place in the new town.

Pop-up City is an ongoing photographic research project investigating public space.  It is initiated by Luisa Bravo, our President, together with Italian photographer Fabio Mantovani. Pop-up City documents suburban places in Bologna, usually with no identity and continuity with the historic environment.  The photos intend to highlight existing places with a potential for public life, searching for an “ordinary magic” along everyday street spaces.

The Magic Carpet project team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Tin Sau Bazaar see that Pop-up City resonates the situation of Tin Shui Wai: It locates at the margin of Hong Kong; its space has no identity; it lacks street spaces for communal encounters and micro-economic activities.  All these result in the stigmatisation of Tin Shui Wai with problems such as social isolation and a high unemployment rate.

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Pop-up City | An ongoing research project in the city of Bologna

August 26, 2014
By City Space Architecture

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In June 2013 City Space Architecture started to work on the research project "Pop-up City", in the city of Bologna, as a part of the international research project "Past Present and Future of Public Space", coordinated by our President Luisa Bravo, in collaboration with the photographer Fabio Mantovani, our friend and member of our Board of Consuls.
Working on different locations, the "Pop-up City" project intends to highlight existing places with a potential for public life, looking for invisible dimensions of the public realm, searching for an "ordinary magic" along everyday streets, squares and neighborhoods, delivering new powerful images of the urban world.
We explore in particular those suburban places generally disconnected from the mental representation of the urban narrative plot of public spaces, made of beauty and fascination, with no identity and continuity with the historic environment. We are moving further from the European mental attitude that immediately links the concept of “public space” to the idea of a traditional designed square.
These places are part of the everyday existence, but common people are accustomed to experience them as fragments in a sort of jump-cut urbanism, affected by the use of cars. We pass through but we don’t see.
The Pop-up City project is trying to document what is now largely undocumented.
We are representing the city of Bologna, but actually the Pop-up City could be anywhere.


To read the curatorial statement, click on the image on top left.


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Pop-up City | Reflections from the backstage

August 25, 2014
By City Space Architecture

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Some reflections from Pop-up City #11 photographic session at Giardini Margherita, Bologna.

During the past year we worked on investigating some bottom-up actions and informal practices able to transform and enhance public space and its perception in the city of Bologna.

Our challenge was: can we deliver a powerful idea of the surrounding everyday space, often taken for granted, through a single picture? Together with the photographer and member of our Board of Consuls Fabio Mantovani we looked for different locations, sometimes hidden or car-crossing spaces, sometimes suburban places, that we intended to enlighten. Working together with Fabio means putting yourself in the line, leaving the mind open to unforeseen experimentations.

One of our locations was the biggest park in the city of Bologna, the Giardini Margherita. In this park in the Seventies you could even find some lions who lived in a dedicated cage, in a sort of small successful zoo. Today the lions are no longer there but the space they were living in has remained: once the grid was removed, a raised platform and a wall were erected, someone then painted a mural representing a jungle. The collective memory of this place is still so vivid and strong in the Bologna community that even today’s teenagers, who never saw the lions, meet at “the cage of lions”.

Close to this meeting point there’s a primary school: every afternoon, as after-school activity, lots of children get out and meet at “the cage of lions” place, to stay and play, together with their parents.

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