At the group The Pocket Parks Collective which Rachel Yan and I cofounded, we revolutionalize our urbanscape through creative placemaking and fun, participatory events. We aim to turn pocket parks and public spaces into conducive environment to connect people and cultivate a more intimate relationship with our built environment.

The urban interventions and participatory art events we organize improve human connection and well-being, mainly using public space as the venue. As a result of the dense population and the highest property prices in the world, the public space there has particular significance in improving people’s lives. There is a lack of connection between people, and a high percentage of population feel stuck and unhappy in life.  I am passionate about improving our cityscape through using creative ways to connect people, with themselves, each other and the city, which I believe can enhance their well-being.

Circles of Colours, where we covered the streets with colourful circles and played twister.
Circles of Colours, where we covered the streets with colourful circles and played twister.
At the Circles of Colour, as part of the Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, Hong Kong, to active the city and connect the community. We had people covering the street with circles, before turning it into a twister game. It offered a playful, colourful and mindful way to connect with our city, and I believe a new sense of ownership too. Here’s a first prototype of the website to make it available to others to start their own: http://circlesofcolour.wordpress.com/
Sunset Tea Bar to connect strangers on a deep level.
Sunset Tea Bar to connect strangers on a deep level.

We set up a pop-up tea cafe and had strangers talk to each other on deep topics, using a conversation menu, at Sunset Tea Bar. This aims to create more empathy and trust between strangers, with the longer term aim to change their attitude towards strangers, and positively change their behaviour in public space and make society more harmonious.

The Courage Piece, featuring the Chinese character for courage.
The Courage Piece, featuring the Chinese character for courage.
At Courage Piece, we use Chinese chessboard as a tool, to talk to strangers about their ideas of courage. We introduced a new chess, “Courage”, and discuss with people where they think it should be placed, how it would move, and have them open up about their own courageous experiences. To wrap up, we ask them to draw their own character or visual representation for courage, with the idea that Chinese evolved from pictogram. The aim is to “en-courage”.
Since starting this in 2013, I have been collecting stories from people, including dozens of stories from my travel in South America.
All of the urban interventions are to explore new possibilities in public spaces, make our built environment friendlier for its citizens and make us city more human centered.
We also engage in research and share information on this topic for advocacy and consultation. You can find more information on our facebook page.

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