Curb-Scale Hong Kong

Applied Research & Design

my thanks to,
Manuela Otamendi
Otamendi Studio

Jake Anderson
Gordon Goff

Fan Xinkai
April Soo

Infrastructures of the Street

Curb-scale Hong Kong is about the infrastructural objects that constitute the street in Hong Kong. Through drawing and text, the book renders these objects visible and argues for their relevance as story tellers and civic protagonists. The book opens an alternative imagination of infrastructure and asserts the importance of the ground to Hong Kong’s urban realm. The book is structured around measured plan drawings of five streets in Hong. The drawings represent stopping points in a desire to draw everything. This impossible task resulted in documents suspended between narrative and a stilled, abstract distance. Details of growth, error, decay, undoing, and repair provide a register of happenings and becomings. Each drawing speaks to an entanglement between the objects and agencies of Hong Kong’s urban realm. A second axonometric index names and examines these objects, registering more closely the material and technical decisions that give them their qualities. Texts that accompany the drawings are coincident descriptions; they thicken the street plans and index. Longer-form opening and closing essays situate the curb-scale within architecture’s contemporary engagement with infrastructure and with the practice of architectural drawing.