DENNIS Design Center exported the concept of the local Street Party (Vejfesten) from Denmark to Hong Kong.
This time DENNIS organized and held a workshop together with MaD School. The focus of the workshop was: Hands UP! – Urban Pioneering and How to Make a Street Party! Street parties are a great way to test if you wish to be a social entrepreneur. A street party needs certain elements to be successful. The basic things are a stage for events or music, a bar for drinks and snacks, seating for guests to relax and some engaging activities.
At Hill Road we met with the 40 participants who were eager to get hands-on with the workshop.
We made 5 groups and asked the participants to choose which one they wanted to work with. The groups were: refreshments, event, signage, furniture and X. We were very surprised when almost everyone signed up for the ‘furniture’ group and we had to even the groups out – with the promise that everyone got to build something.
The best thing about working in public space is meeting locals on a daily basis, which is invaluable research on a local community. The first day it’s a little smile and hello – and the next day a conversation.
We have heard stories about the uniqueness of traditional tea shops in the area around Hill Road, as well as shark fin soup restaurants and dried seafood shops. The area has a few schools and homes for the elderly which gives a relaxed atmosphere, but apparently that is about to change. The ongoing construction of a MTR (metro) station will push the development of the area toward more western shops and chain restaurants, and that landlords looking to cash out will push the rent upwards for shops and local residents. The residents worry that this will push them out of the area and that it will become another shopping district.
We hope the district can hang on to its invaluable local culture, for many years to come.
We have a hard time finding words to describe how well the Street Party went… The workshop participants were great ambassadors for the project and together we made something Hong Kong won’t soon forget.
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