Urban Origami

Project Summary

Event:UABB 2019

Medium: Acrylic plates, Linear LED lamps

Size: 3m*3m*3m

Year: 2019

The rapid development of science and technology has given the infinite possibilities for urban space in the future. From the perspective of the “future citizens”, PHA boldly imagines that in the future cities will develop by leaps and bounds, in which land contraction, population expansion and other factors will make utilization of space resource to reach an unprecedented height.

Based on this premise, urban public space will continue to overlap in the future with various types of buildings in the city ushering in an extraordinary integration and elimination. Eventually, the future building types in cities will tend to go to two extremes, namely, commercial buildings and residential buildings. PHA creatively puts forward “Super Polymers” as the concept of future urban development. People's basic necessities of life and other public or private activities will be integrated into these two types of space. Driven by market and service needs, commercial space will, in the end, annex all kinds of public space, as known previously, to form “Super Polymers” with various functions. In the future, citizens’ public activities will be held in “Super Polymers” which will have superimposed other spaces with enormous functions.

PHA's design team takes the most typical space form “atrium” of commercial centers as an example for evolution: the shape is like a giant swirl that involves all forms of space in the city’s public life, in order to interpret the development tendency of “Super Polymers” of the future urban space. The exhibit consists of two groups of interlaced acrylic plates in different directions, one being transparent and the other yellow. Spray-painting is applied on the surface of the yellow acrylic plates, expressing all the aspects of urban life.

Space is cut out of the exhibits, coupled with the walkway for visitors to pass by. Traveling through it, visitors can experience the complexity and interactions of urban life through close contact experience, while imagining the forms and patterns of overlapping urban space in the future. The exhibit uses LED lamps that glow from within to outline the device’s internal space image, which implies the large amount of data flow running at a fast pace and high speed.

The development of information technology will make urban space more dispersed or overlapping in the future? Urban Origami will show visitors the overlapping side. What kind of impact this overlapping trend will have on people's lives in the future will also be a question that PHA hopes to discuss with visitors.

Urban Origami's design team consists of three experienced architects, namely, Dr. Ping Xu, the founder and design director of PHA, Mr. Di Wu, senior associate director, and Mr. Frank Xu, associate director. Dr. Ping Xu has more than 20 years of rich architectural practice experience in the Mainland and Hong Kong, especially in commercial building design. With years of front-line design experience, she has a profound understanding of the rapid urban development and commercial project development that have brought about changes in people's lives. Dr. Ping Xu founded PHA in Hong Kong in 2013, and has successively set up branches in London, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing. In the seven years under her leadership, PHA has been focusing on Hong Kong and Shenzhen, which is quite similar to the Bi-city Biennale co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Based on the general background of urbanization, they focus on the field of architecture to explore the relationship between the architecture and cities.

PHA's design team firmly believes that the commercial space, which occupies an increasingly important position in cities, will become an important factor leading the development and transformation of cities and urban life. Therefore, PHA is always committed to the exploration and research of commercial space. Urban Origami is a bold attempt and breakthrough of the design team.