Hong Kong

The International Design Workshop 2015


For the first time, the International Design Workshop 2015 of the Master of Arts in Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) will not be held in Zurich exclusively. Befitting its name, the workshop will move to a prominent international location, the University’s “Connecting Spaces” in Hong Kong, in March 2015, linked directly to parallel activities at the ZHdK-campus in Zurich. Participants will research, develop, design, and present a wealth of original ideas. The workshop offers participants an excellent opportunity not only to gain first-hand experience of Hong Kong, one of Asia’s thriving global metropolises, but also to collaborate with local designers, researchers, and artists. Cooperation will focus on the workshop’s guiding theme: “Intencity”.

Whereas the increasing density of cities and their conurbations is a subject of ongoing debate in Europe, life in the world’s important global metropolises has long been shaped by an intense complexity, which determines the perception of urban space and human behaviour. This complexity is perceived not merely as dense, but also as multioptional, multicultural, and spatially intertwined. In Hong Kong, spaces, media, information, and objects blend collage-like into comprehensive patterns whose structure, readability, and identification all become charged with meaning.

The “INTENCITY” workshop brings together three core concepts of metropolis-based design work:


The intensity and diversity of lifestyles in which architecture, movement, and sound set the pace of everyday life.


The physical and cultural density of spaces and the human experiences within those spaces. The simultaneity of events, emotions, and objects.


The city, whose cultural, social, and economic significance is experienced individually. The centre- periphery dramaturgy and its particular possibilities and limits.


The 2015 International Design Workshop will approach the phenomenon of Intencity in an exemplary and experimental fashion from its specific disciplinary perspective. It focuses on Hong Kong, which is probably one of the modern world’s most densely built and most dynamic metropolises, a melting pot between East and West, tradition and modernity, art and commerce. Hong Kong’s unique history entered a new chapter in the autumn of 2014: watched by the whole world, the democracy movement, which is demanding “genuinely free” elections appropriate to the city’s special status, has meanwhile risen to undeniable prominence.

In association with the ZHdK Connecting Spaces hub and other sites across Hong Kong, and supported by local faculty and guests, we will develop, present, and debate our design-based contributions to advancing our understanding of “Intencity”. The workshop will address all disciplines part of the Design Master and thereby enable interdisciplinarity. The ZHdK-Campus in Zurich will be linked directly through a special communication channel with our students in Hong Kong. Students will receive expert guidance and supervision from ZHdK faculty and teaching assistants, as well as from Nuria Krämer, Head of Connecting Space Hong Kong, and her team. The thematic workshops shall be run by Hong Kong-based lecturers and professionals, especially from ZHdK partner institutions.


Results of the former workshops:
2014: Ressourcing Design
2013: Mapping the city
2012: GloCal: Global and local design strategies