Another day without planning! Every weekend, I’d usually mention a café I wanted to try, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling like it much last weekend. It was already late afternoon when Jason and I met up, so we randomly decided to visit the Hong Kong Design Institute which had some exhibitions I’d been meaning to see for a while. We not only checked out two exhibitions: Weingart Typography and Urban Regeneration – Past, Present and Future, but we also looked at the architecture of the school.
Afterwards spending several hours at the Hong Kong Design Institute, we went for a drink (non-alcoholic of course) at The Brewed Vena, a nearby café on my to-do-list. I wish we could’ve tried the food dishes there, but the timing was way too awkward. Too late for tea and too early for dinner. Hopefully, I’ll visit again in the near future and write you guys a blog review on it.
Hong Kong Design Institute
Hong Kong Design Institute in the Tseung Kwan O area of Hong Kong is easily accessible from MTR Tiu Keng Leng Station. It is, as it name suggests, a school purely dedicated to design and the crafts, offering Foundation Studies and a range of specialised media including but not limited to communication media, fashion design and product design. Not only is it a school, but it frequently showcases art and design exhibitions in many of its galleries.
The architecture of Hong Kong Design Institute, though, really is something else. The campus, themed the “white sheet”, was designed to provide an environment to facilitate innovation learning by French architects Coldéfy & Associés.
I couldn’t capture the brilliance of the building with my measly iPhone, but I really recommend anyone who’s into architecture to pay Hong Kong Design Institute a visit. If not for the exhibitions, then go for the campus! So from the school’s website, here’s what I sort of got: The white sheet concept is a metaphorical representation of creativity and connectivity. How? Well, raised above ground level, it serves as an accessible walkway and meeting point to connect the multiple departments of the school. And the transparent exterior of many rooms encourages students from varying multiple disciplinaries to observe and learn from each other.
(But as an ex-architecture student, I think we all know that concepts are just… haaa)
Hong Kong Design Institute
3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories, Hong Kong
+852 3928 2000, +852 3928 2222
The first exhibition we saw was Weingart Typography, a collaboration between Hong Kong Design Institute and Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Museum of Design Zurich) – and yes I copied and pasted the German name. It features the works of Wolfgang Weingart, a graphic designer and typographer, and showcases the essence of 1970s’ New Wave Typography. Before the exhibition, I knew nothing about typography beyond its definition, but it was interesting to see an artist’s detailed examination of lettering and his slight obsession with the letter ‘M’.
Urban Regeneration – Past, Present and Future
The second exhibition we stopped by was called Urban Regeneration – Past, Present and Future pays tribute to Spanish architect Enric Miralles of EMBT‘s influence on the European architectural landscape. After a bit of research, I discovered that EMBT is actually a partnership between Miralles and exhibition curator Benedetta Tagliabue, Italian architect and ex-wife of Miralles. How fascinating. Anyway, the showcase presents a mixture of models, maps and drawings, in particular highlighting EMBT’s Copagri Pavilion for Expo Milano 2015 and Spanish Pavilion for Expo Shanghai 2010.
But immature Jason and I could only look at the handiwork of the architectural models and criticise them, after being victims of tutor criticism in school for so long. (I mean, it’s obvious that the models were poorly made – though to be fair they did have to travel a long way to get to Hong Kong)
The Brewed Vena
The last stop of our day (or this blog post, because I’ve already forgotten where we went for dinner thanks to my foggy memory) was The Brewed Vena 山脈流川, an industrial building café in Kwun Tong. It’s a casual, self-serve eatery where you order at the counter before settling down on one of their seats either indoors or outdoors on their terrace. They sell a whole shelf of vintage snacks and have a variety of board games for customers to entertain themselves with. It’s definitely a chill place – unfortunately made crowded by Instagrammers, but when we went at the odd time of 5PM it was only filled with a few customers even on a weekend. We didn’t have any food and only got drinks, so I’ll be back. With unlimited entertainment in a cosy atmosphere, I can see how someone can easily spend a whole afternoon there with their friends.
Other great architectural buildings you must see:
- Jockey Club Innovation Tower
- Long Museum West Bund
- Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre
- Serpentine Pavilion
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