Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
In June 2019, millions of people in Hong Kong took to the streets to voice their discontent with the extradition to Mainland China. Hong Kong was a former British colony and was handed back to China in 1997. Under the policy of “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong has a separated legal system and judiciary from Mainland China. In 2019, the Hong Kong Government raised an extradition bill that allowed fugitives in Hong Kong to be sent to other jurisdictions, including Marco, Taiwan, and Mainland China, which resulted in the large-scale Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement with increasingly serious confrontations. Hong Kong citizens felt unacceptable about standing trials and serving sentences in Mainland China due to the concern of erosion of freedom and the distrust of democracy. The original peaceful processions turned out to be involved vandalism and violence. Streets and public property were set on fire; university campuses became ruins and ordinary citizens experienced indiscriminate violence. Although the amendment bill was fully withdrawn at the end of September 2019, the protesters required deeper political reforms, such as universal suffrage. It was released by the Hong Kong College of Psychiatry in January 2020 showing that over 57% of people under the age of 19 and 23% of people between the age of 20-29 experienced moderate or severe symptoms of depression or Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 2019-2020 Protest.
My Project is a journey of transformation in the city, helping people comfort each other, gain emotional support, and rediscover their hope and identities. Under the new security law, the journey is designed with double meanings. For the public, the spaces are used for entertainment. However, for those who experienced the collective trauma during the protest, they could also be viewed as a series of memorials of a healing journey. Hong Kong is a city surrounded by mountains with 75% of the land undeveloped, so I chose to introduce a healing sequence to guide people away from the chaos in the city toward four natural settings. As the journey encourages a process of overcoming challenges and the rediscovering of identity in a movement forward with faith, the transformative process outlined in Song of Songs is used as the template for an architectural journey. Reconfigured as a secular narrative, the journey unfolds across four sites, starting with Tsim Sha Tsui East, passing Mong Kok, Shek Kip Mei, and finally reaching the Lion Rock. Each destination carries a double meaning, as an entertainment space as well as a restorative and therapeutic retreat or memorial, including a cafe & reading room, a dancing square, a drawing workshop, and a landscape pavilion.
Zhuang, Deborah, "Together: a transformational sequence of healing" (2022). Masters Theses. 895.
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View exhibition online: Deborah Zhuang, Together: a transformational sequence of healing