In our Future Cities series, we sit down with prominent architects from across the Asia Pacific. In this segment, James Law of James Law Cybertecture shares his visions and dreams of a future city.
“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.