The MIT HK Innovation Node took an active part in a fireside chat exploring the Hacking Kowloon East: Activating Technology for Urban Life, as part of the Connected Cities Conference on May 27, 2021.
The fireside chat was presented by:
Sunnie Lau, Director of Smart City Research and Industry Collaboration, MIT HK Innovation Node and
Prof. Brent D. Ryan, the Associate Professor of Urban Design and Public Policy and Head of City Design and Development Group of Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), MIT.
The fireside chat was centred around Hacking Kowloon East course, which was jointly launched by MIT School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P) and MIT HK Innovation Node last December. This field study and design workshop course includes IAP digital field workshop in HK and the spring course “Urban Design Ideals and Action” at MIT DUSP. In the chat, Prof. Ryan mentioned the active innovation economy and ongoing rapid post-industrial transition in Hong Kong which interested him most and introduced the main objective of this course is to utilise Urban Design to increase resident equity and enhance participation in the digital economy.
Sunnie underscored the specificity in Kowloon East (Kwun Tong District), the 2nd CBD with great opportunities and a series of socio-economic challenges, and uncovered the vital role played by this course in MIT Node’s Kowloon East Inclusive Innovation & Growth project.
Regarding a good many of restrictions set by the pandemic, Prof. Ryan explained how the help provided by MIT Node and the hybrid format made the virtual design course work. The team of domain experts and students with diverse backgrounds collectively generated a pluralistic range of ideas to build a smart and equitable city.
The fireside chat also showcased two student solutions, including a physical one — a public art infrastructure that addresses health, and a digital one — a 3D interactive AR wayfinding app to better connect residents of Kwun Tong with their built environment, to make the city easier, more comfortable to use, and more productive for both businesses and residents.
Watch the recording of the Fireside Chat: