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Life after People: Projective Obsolesence of the Techno-Ruin

Part 2 Project 2014
Yok Fai (Arnold) Wong
University of Hong Kong Hong Kong China
Site: Hashima Island, Japan
The project started with a post-industrial ruin - Hashima Island in Nagasaki, Japan. Once a thriving coal-mining town for almost 100 years, the island was abandoned when the major energy resource in Japan changed from petroleum to coal in 1974.

Typical Treatments To Post-Industrial Ruins
The key agenda in this project is to challenge the contemporary attitude towards the definition of preservation. Typical preservation methods such as immortalization and revitalization, passively react to the natural process of decay, by either freezing the site without productivity, or injecting program that is not related to the site. In fact, Hashima Island is undergoing these typical treatments.

Rather than following the usual trajectory, the proposal intends to anticipate the process of decay and to harvest energies and useful by-products. The design proposal is not a one-off built entity, but a metamorphic process that encourages continuation of the island's identity and functionality. The well-established infrastructure and climatic conditions of the island, make it an ideal site for a renewable energy laboratory, that will undergo continual construction and adaption to the fast-evolving industry as well as occupants' needs. The proposed system - the Amphibious Machine can generate power through wave motion as well as create habitable spaces.

Four design objectives
1. Resurrection
- to preserve and reinforce specific architectural qualities that signify the identity of the island
2. Adaptation
- to allow dynamic spatial changes according to the occupants' needs, and also for the fast-evolving energy industry
3. Energy Production
- to test prototypes for power generation and establish the island as a self-sustaining city.
4. Projective Obsolescence
-by embracing the natural decay process taking place on the island as well, it would allow us to anticipate the intervention might become obsolete too.

Projective Obsolescence
Ultimately, the project anticipates the obsolescence of the island again, while the Amphibious Machines remain and establish the island as a techno-ruin.

Documentary Film

Yok Fai (Arnold) Wong


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