James Law of James Law Cybertecture
In Hong Kong where he is mostly based, Law is well-known for his mission of using architecture to improve quality of life for humankind. Besides James Law Cybertecture, James also founded a transitional housing and homeless shelter, a laboratory for future search, an institute for design education, and a charity. All these endeavours have garnered awards such as the FT Asian Innovation Award, Design for Asia Award and HSBC World Architecture Award – just to name a few. The broad range of James’ overseas projects can be found in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, New Delhi, Abidjan, Beijing, Mumbai and Moscow.
“As the world has changed dramatically, architecture has to be driven by a new sense of purpose to build a better environment. This purpose will drive us to find solutions for sustainability in the urban environment as well as address practical concerns such as providing affordable housing and shelter.
To meet these goals, we need technology-driven architecture – which I call Cybertecture – that will design, build and create. Architecture, design and urban planning will eventually address problems which are rooted in the dynamics of politics and economics. I hope the process of innovating designs will, in the future, create new values that will address these underlying issues.
In my home city of Hong Kong, the sky-rocketing costs of living and political instability mean that citizens are leading more stressful lives than before, in small spaces, and with a very bleak outlook for the future. We also need to find the will to soften the ills of modern economies and design a healthy and happy paradigm for living.
My dream project is to create housing for the masses in the city centre. To do so, I will utilise every bit of space – including unused government land, under flyovers, back alleys and between building blocks. I will build OPod housing from concrete water pipes (which are stackable and can even be slotted in between buildings) so that those who cannot otherwise afford to live in the heart of the city, can do so in dignity. My dream is fast becoming a reality as we are working on a project to build 124 units of OPod accommodation for transitional housing under Yan Chai Hospital in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong by the end of 2022.”
This story first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Luxe Living/Prestige Singapore.