ARCSOC is the
University of Cambridge
Architecture Society




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︎Year 5


Karen Young

click images to fit screen︎︎︎

Stagecraft


Since the emergence of Cantonese Opera, the genre’s penchant for adaptation and transience had enabled its enduring presence through drastically different contexts. Today, Cantonese Opera is considered an old-fashioned, fading craft but at the same time cherished as a unique intangible cultural heritage that defines Hong Kong. This project references the Cantonese Opera’s practices and transient nature as a means to design a cultural place, posing an alternative to Hong Kong’s default position of building iconic cultural landmarks as the panacea for not only cultural but also economic development. More broadly, this project responds to current debates relating to Hong Kong’s identity and cultural self-definition, and heritage. In adapting a former car park into a local cultural hub for Cantonese Opera and traditional crafts, this project aims to support the nurturance of the genre by celebrating its spectacle while also offering spaces for production and knowledge exchange. The proposed strategy champions an approach to designing cultural venues rooted in existing, everyday dynamics and optimises opportunities provided by the (pre-)existing before pursuing the newly built. This thesis embraces cultural development as a gradual, collective, ephemeral and ordinary process.
Hong Kong



Karen Young

︎Year 5





Year 1
MStMAUS