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The Touring Architecture -towards the Vision of 'Tourist(i)~[city]'

Part 2 Project 2000
Man Kwong Li
University of Hong Kong, China
The Touring Architecture - towards the Vision of 'Tourist(i)~[city]'

Human beings have always been tempted to envisage a world better than the one they know, and therefore we construct "Eden", "Paradise" and "Utopia". This ideology of replacing our common view of the world is already an announcement of the existing of an individual, that he can identify himself within his own para-site.

However, not everyone can have this ability to address such a manifesto. Instead how we can handle about the reality, is to explore. Such a re-interpretation of identity, contains an esoteric distance - the objects /space that compel us to make ourselves an inner journey, a journey which peels away our ordinary layers of consciousness to reach a deeper level of realization, in turn, contributing to the critical definition of the "tourist" and Hong Kong people framed by this thesis.

As suggested by Italo Calvino, "Elsewhere is a negative mirror. The traveler recognizes the little that is his, discovering the much he has not had and will never have". The "Touring Architecture" is one of the possible ways to deal with the notion of "identity", and by transforming some existing buildings, five 'must-go' sight spots are thereby generated. Within, the "tourist" is allowed to tour around all the settings, and through such spaces, he may compare, re-interpret, re-define and re-construction his value of identity - that is, the way to search.

Man Kwong Li

Tourism as an economic force have influenced many conuntries to assert, rediscover, or invent new cultural tradition. Some of the positive efforts are manifested in the form of renewed interests in the culture of cities, meaning of urban places, contemporary expression of national / regional identities through cultural activities, literature, cinema, performing arts, fine arts and architecture. The idea of this thesis is in line with this mode of thinking.

The topic of this thesis is a controversial one, in that it is an attempt to counter the government's exploitation of local sub-culture as tourist attraction. It strives to frame tourism in the context of a way of life and in the process assist the city of Hong Kong to reinvent itself, beyond the stereotypes and the misreading between cultures.

The thoughts are original, the execution inventive. The precise insertion of the new structures transcends the current popular notion of architecture as spectacle for the sake of tourism.

For this I nominate this thesis.

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