Design Trust Grant Recipient | No humans in the City, but Weeds

21. 3. 2022

Design Trust Seed Grant project “No humans in the City, but Weeds” share their recently launched research on the website Taking Hong Kong as a case in point, architectural designer Joel Austin and artist Kwan Q Li observes how data is materialised within urban density, and ponders a future convolution of human and post-human urban environments.

Image courtesy of Joel Austin and Kwan Q Li

The project manifests as a series of essays, illustrations and photographs, accompanied by a short film which was exhibited at the Hong Kong Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture. The research has also been presented in EPFL’s 2020-21 LATSIS Symposium Open-forum Deep City: Climate Crisis, Democracy and the Digital, while a related speculative essay is set to be published by the Journal AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication.

Joel Austin and Kwan Q Li, No Humans in the City, but Weeds. Venice International Architecture Biennale, Hong Kong Pavilion, Venice, 2021. Photo by Michelle Lai

Virtual outreach workshop was held on January 11, 2022, co-hosted by the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node and the MediaLabs. Sunnie Lau of MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, curator and writer Vere van Gool, and multidisciplinary designer Sam Ghantous responded to the presentation by the duo. The conversation focused on different means of performing in the margins, with perspectives from urban design, writing, curating, and web design.

Image courtesy of Joel Austin and Kwan Q Li