In the summer of 2013, the Tejido Group from the University of Arizona / CAPLA assembled a group of volunteer students from both Schools of Architecture and Landscape Architecture to develop a revitalization master plan for one of the last remaining fishing villages in the Hong Kong territories – TAI-O on Lantau Island.
The project illustrated a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort among our faculty and students from the University of Arizona. Our design team was graciously hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong throughout the four week duration of the project. CUHK faculty and students assisted us greatly in adapting to, and in better understanding the many complex social, economic and environmental issues confronting us in this fascinating project. With strong support from CUHK and their School of Architecture, the students, professors, and all others involved experienced unique design challenges resulting in experiences which fostered both academic and personal growth. This revitalization project of TAI-O has evolved into an attempt to develop a multipronged approach to the revitalization and conservation of the wonderfully complex social and environmental context which is TAI-O. We sincerely hope that this “sustainable rural development prototype” may assist TAI-O in revitalizing a threatened, yet truly unique and relevant lifestyle. With very special thanks to CUHK and our gracious host Patrick Hwang we offer the following as a brief summary of the design and planning outcomes resulting from this summer’s odyssey in Hong Kong.