Design Studio 13


Tutors: Andrei Martin & Andrew Yau

Andrei Martin – Partner at Architecture, Andrei is a designer, researcher and academic, interested in the potential of new architectural typologies to transform urban experience and reshape contemporary culture. He has published, lectured and exhibited internationally.

Andrew Yau – Co-Founder, Co-Director (London) and International Project Director of Urban Future Organisation, Andrew seeks design innovation & ecological novelty with cultural sensibility and practical inventiveness. He is the design lead behind various award-winning projects.

Allure and Illusion

DS13 operates as an applied think-tank, performing cultural analysis and design research. This year, through the context of Hong Kong’s urban transformation, we looked at the role, relevance and political agency of architecture in a contemporary cultural landscape defined by affect, mood, atmosphere and sensation.

At DS13, we are fascinated by the wonder, suspense and surprise of objects. Ensnared by the incredible sway their forms hold over us, we allowed ourselves to surrender to their allure and illusion.
Moving beyond the limitations of Deleuzian becoming, smooth manifolds, intensive flows and continuous variation that have defined disciplinary discourse for the past two decades, we seek to explore new forms of architectural coherence through objects and their relationships.

Our work aims to make inroads into a new territory of architectural imagination that is concerned with boundaries, edges, volumetric primitives and relations not of continuous flows and fields but of separation and difference. Instead of the hyper-indexicality of data-driven surfaces we are drawn to chunks, joints, niches, patchiness, inlaying, interiority, and the ambiguous experiential figuration of discrete entities. Instead of an architecture motivated by external forces, false scientism and data-processes, we are drawn to an architecture that is procedural yet irreducible – an architecture whose most important quality lies in its resistance to a rational decipherability.