Accidental Tourist Guide

Hong Kong

Reality Reconstruction

Hong Kong is regarded as a prime example of urbanity, as an ideal form of capitalism. At the same it is seen, along with the Occupy movement, as a centre for a policy of participation. The city has emerged as a multifaceted focal point of current issues.

Together with students from Polytechnic University School of Design (PolyU) in Hong Kong, and design researchers King Chung Siu and Albert Tsang, twelve students from the Zurich University oft he Arts (ZHdK) will have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of social and cultural life as well as the urban structures of a specific area in Hong Kong. We will focus on two districts that are currently undergoing gentrification: North Point (neighbourhood of Connecting Space) and Hung Hom (neighbourhood of PolyU Campus). Based on a variety of research strategies, the insights can be visualized using diverse media. Students will work together in culturally mixed teams and be in constant communication with one another.


The project focuses on self-awareness and self-reflection in a transcultural context, on discerning differences in aesthetic perception, and understanding differences in intercultural development processes in the field of educational and design projects, and their formats.

ATG_2 Google Streetview

On a meta level, the project will involve the continuous observation of the methods used. The different communication methods and formats – on the one hand, dialogue via “virtual tunnels” (using Skype and other online communication channels); and, on the other hand, different kinds of actions in real space – are to be observed, documented and evaluated.

The methodology for the research on site in Hong Kong is based on The Hong Kong Community Museum Project. The HKCMP was founded in 2002 in Hong Kong by Siu King (design educator), Howard Chan (art curator), Tse Pak-chai and Phoebe Wong (cultural researchers) with the aim of employing museum methodologies to explore and visualize hardly tangible local heritages and indigenous knowledge. The methods we will be applying are collecting, interpreting, imagining, displaying and disseminating.

The specific questions, methods and processes will be defined from the perspective of different disciplines, put into practice and then edited.

Project Team

Andreas Kohli, Emilio Paroni, Zurich University of the Arts
Siu King, Albert Tsang, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design

Students from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design: Louisa Crook, Isaac Hsieh, Isabel Kwong, Charis Li, Anny Yiong, Wisty Leung, Li Fiphie, Ethel Yeung, Emily Law, Marty Chan, Oi Mak,
and from Zurich University of the Arts: Claudia Wagner, Daniel Mistric, Doris Signer, Fabienne Kälin, Harry Herchenroth
Iris Brugger, Marion Rietmann, Mirjam Caflisch, Natasa Stevic, Robine Jöhr, Sabrina Barbieri, Yael Anders

Cooperation partners:
Dominik Petko, Schwyz University of Teacher Education
Martti Raevaara, Aalto Universität Helsinki