Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) (Lee Wai Lee) jointly co-organise an architecture exhibition entitled “The Arctic – Architecture and Extreme Environments” with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture (KADK). The exhibition aims to highlight the relationship between extreme environment and architectural design in an inspiring way, and explore possibilities of opening up more places for human living while protecting the scarce resources in Arctic regions.
Last year, a team of 28 students from different countries, studying the master programme in Architecture and Extreme Environments trekked to the Artic regions for 3 weeks. During the expedition, they studied the feasibility of enhancing architectural sustainability by overcoming limits brought by the extreme environments. Students visited Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard to conduct a series of forward-looking investigation and obtain a large amount of first-hand information in the Arctic regions. To overcome limits in extreme weather conditions and protect the natural environment at the same time, natural resources in Arctic regions had been adopted as an architectural feature, a way to strike a perfect balance between nature, science and technology.
The students’ inspiring experiments will be presented in an interesting way, by a variety of prototypes, videos, info-graphics and images in the exhibition. One of the most eye-catching student installations was inspired by geothermal energy, a clean and renewable energy which plays a dominant role in Iceland. Apart from making use of geothermal energy to increase room temperature, a device was invented to show the lighting effects of the energy. The lighting device consists of seven cubes. Once all the cubes are filled with geothermal steam, the cubes will be lightened, a way to maximize the use of geothermal energy by providing energy and performing artistic function at the same time. The intensity of light will also be affected by the amount of geothermal steam produced. Through the experimental installation, the team plans to further explore the construction feasibility in extreme environment by making use of renewable energies. Collaborating closely with local communities, the students’ work engages in enhancing critical architectural performance, sustainability and resilience.
HKDI aims to raise awareness among students and member of public of the environmental crisis imminent to the earth and explore the potential of architecture design in arctic through the exhibition and seminar.