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Rising with the Phoenix

This design explores the overlaps of physical design and social-cultural relationships and expressions as an effort to make breakthroughs in BGI design beyond a typical focus on its hydrological and environmental services.


Through robust site analysis, design interventions across scales were formulated and applied in the study area, Fanling New Development Area (NDA), Hong Kong, China.


Speculative designs were used to explore how the people and the larger social-cultural qualities can be embedded as part of the vital components in envisioning BGI futures and building resilience at large. Specifically, in the study area of Fanling NDA, people’s relationships with the local Ng Tung River (once known as the Phoenix Creek) and the strong presence of water from historic flooding, and past reliance on water for agricultural practices as a cultural heritage were recognized. Those relationships as local communities’ cultural and social identities were enhanced and re-interpreted through the design proposals. Design iterations, therefore, are concerned with the past, current, and future people-water-ecology relationships by creating unique and dynamic spatial experiences as platforms for different types of engagements and interactions with water as well as local ecologies.


The project concludes with design typologies on the re-inclusion of social-cultural elements in BGI design that can be applied in other development areas in Hong Kong as well as in the global context.


Ultimately, this work aims to provide the foundation for further discussions on BGI innovations in social-cultural re-integration and its necessary global reach; calling for a new generation of climate-adaptive design.

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