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Prof. Dr. Alex Zipprich & Students

The exhibit is a collaborative creation by students at Shenzhen University’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning  and Prof. Dr. Alex Zipprich. Current active exhibit creators are陈露鸣,黄伟超,陈颖,张百墉,黄永融 (3rd Year), and陈佳鸿,林东方,陈娉 (4th Year) who are studying  the Bachelor program of SZU. The project started as a design studio brief and architectural proposal, evolving into an exhibit installation. Its initial design teams  are 陈佳鸿,林东方,陈娉,马志锋, and 陈淑婉,黄颖琳,蔡林墉. They alluded to the reversal of a “city of sadness” phantom, and “logic” strategies by exploring forms of spatiality, micro-economies and community. The installation is a further abstraction and ventures into some key design components of housing and urban living of the future.

Prior to his current appointment as Associate Professor at Shenzhen University, Alex taught as Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong, and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Zipprich is a Germany & U.K. qualified architect with international project experience.


Spectrums of Happiness – From Monotony of Public Housing Towards a World of Possibilities

  • 19 Dec 2019 - 15 Mar 2020

  • 10:00 - 22:00


Resulting from architecture and urban planning students’ design proposals for Tin Shui Wai’s public-housing-estates, the abstract installation demonstrates visions and strategies towards the future of housing.

Countering a prevailing monotony in housing, the project explores alternatives and future-potentials across existing built-environments. Rather than demanding new architecture from the ground-up, it focuses on current landscapes and fabrics of available building-stocks, with Hong Kong’s public-housing as predominant and bold examples.

In the installation inhabitants find a variety of programs and features integrated into their living-environment. The architectural insertions, for example, facilitate more communication and diverse activities, including a range of lifestyle-choices such as co-working and co-living, further infused by micro-economies. Beyond supporting integrity and dignity of all of its inhabitants, the design interventions aim to inspire happiness and identification with their place of living.

The installation configures housing-silhouettes with experiential models, to provide a spatial immersion into envisioned architectural transformations from monotonous public-housing towards active and diverse living-environments. Detailed architectural spatial models represent new program insertions, supporting diverse living-scenarios, including co-living & working, dancing, music, boxing, among many possible examples of creative activities and involvements. Incorporating multifaceted programs and activities, the presence of choices and diversity provides learning- and development-networks. Thereby supporting athletic, artistic and intellectual aspirations. Ultimately demonstrating the transformative power of architectural design-visions towards individual growth, well-being, and social interactions among people and with their environment.

Primarily with an almost housing-only-program for three-hundred-thousand residents, Tin Shui Wai represents an extremely one-dimensional housing agglomerate. With plot-densities reaching FAR 5-6, constellating a high-density city in-itself almost purely based on housing. Post-completion, its future has thus-far seemingly been ignored by architects and urban planners. Yet, Tin Shui Wai illustrates one of the most fascinating crude resemblances of modernist visions. 天水圍 (Tin Shui Wai) as its name implies, is embraced by 水 – surrounding waters and landscapes of wetlands and mountains,  with denoted relationships to the sky – 天, connotative of le-corbusien paradigms of architecture’s correlations with nature.

The proposed project asserts that Tin Shui Wai has the capacity to ascend – if only current and next generations are given an opportunity to define, alter, and actively shape Tin Shui Wai towards its own future destiny – commensurate with a vision for lifestyles and ideals. It hereto has been the design-studio project by students of Shenzhen University who share an interest in Hong Kong’s culture. Their design proposals envision interactive, multi-dimensional environments, with diverse forms of living beyond housing.

In order to change the singular housing-only mode, students proposed transformation strategies in vertical and horizontal directions, and by subtraction and addition. Whereby subtraction refers to the removal of some non-load-bearing walls across one or several floors. Respectively addition implies the insertion of multi-storeyed spaces towards greater visual communication, and to provide more multifunctional public zones for inhabitants. In the process of subtraction, the remainder of structural fragments, while intentionally preserved, serve to trace and illustrate the possibilities of spatial transformations. Apartment re-configurations based on a living-module matrix enable new space-shaping and -uses, facilitating different co-living scenarios. For example, in the form of three-storey residential units promoting benign interactions among residents while restoring neighbourhood atmospheres. Through residents’ free choice of modules, degrees of customisation are achieved albeit standardisation.

Aimed at exploring viable, constructive-optimistic and desirable visions for Tin Shui Wai and existing housing-stocks in general, the design projects and exhibit installation are the making of students of architecture and urban planning, and represent generation-z’s contribution and visions towards future living. Continuously aspiring to contribute ideas and to engage in ongoing dialogues.