>Space and Place/Public and Private


I believe that my time in Hong Kong is more about the exploration of space than about the acquisition of things. I identified a plot of land near my apartment today that looked like open space so I went to explore. My walk ended up as an exploration of public and private space. The plot was a hill on the edge of an athletic field that I had seen many times.

As you walk up this small hill, you leave the neighborhood behind with its dense apartment buildings and people.

To give perspective, this is one view from the top–the green buildings are part of a large government housing estate, then behind those is City University where we live–a row of attached buildings, and then right behind that is Festival Walk Mall, with a large glassed in front with metal at an angle, where my office is located. The top photo shows how it looks from the hill and the bottom one is a close up.

When I got to the very top of the hill, I found a family playing games and many other private spaces that are allowed to exist within this public space. People have constructed these spaces with both materials around them but also brought chairs, tables, etc. It was clear that they are left there and not bothered by anyone. In the United States we would not allow such private use of public space. We set very strict boundaries and rules around each sphere. Within the density of Hong Kong, society has allowed a different sense of private and public space to co-exist.

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