Seats • Together
In search of placemaking strategies adopted in the public art project "City Dress Up"
In 2016, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) gave forth the largest scale public art project to foster the global outlook of Hong Kong through the nomination of five guest curators and twenty famous Hong Kong design teams to explore alternative park furniture solutions at different districts of Hong Kong. The project is called “City Dress Up: Seats．Together” (Seats．Together). It commenced in 2016 and twenty sets of creative public furniture were installed in July 2017 till July 2020 or onwards.
The project teams demonstrated diversified public art and design strategies. The works received tremendous success from various perspectives, including local and international awards. Meanwhile, the twenty designs bring in various “place-making” strategies which not only extends the definition of park seating furniture but also supports the development of creative citizenship through facilitating different users or community stakeholders to use the park furniture (or the public space) creatively while having ownership and self-actualization, etc.
In terms of the scale of stakeholder’s participation, approaches, and contexts, this project is a collective and unique community experiment in which meaningful stories and useful knowledge are produced. For instance, different design approaches, community engagement methods and implementation strategies adopted by the individual project team are valuable assets that can inform future practice. A comprehensive study for reviewing the processes and the measurement of the impact of the design will be carried out through stakeholder interview, site observations, and user’s creative input. Content analysis is applied to conduct the comparative study of the data and concepts collected from the twenty parks. The result will shed light on the park furniture design guideline for the improvement of creative practices and project management. The result benefits both Hong Kong and international audiences who are interested in community art and design methods in the high population urban context.
“Seats．Together” offers alternative engagement and design strategies to the enhancement of quality of life of local communities through the park projects. This research project aims to identify the evidence from the learning experience and feedback of the stakeholders with the hypothesis that a creative and appropriate park furniture design can bring positive value changes in a community.
Jockey Club Design Institute of Social Innovation PolyU, Art Promotion Office (APO) and
Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) of HKSAR
Team Members from Asian Lifestyle Research Lab:
Principal Investigator: Brian Lee
Research Associates: Ada Chan, Ire Tsui
Student Design Team: Destiny Chan, Susan Choi, Jenna Hung, Jessica Luk,
Chan Lok Tung
Research Interns: Destiny Chan, Chan Lok Tung, Susan Choi, Smiley Chow, Jenna Hung, Jessica Luk, Derek Ng, Angel Tsang
Editor and Translators: Jessie Ng, Terry Soong