Hong Kong’ entrepreneurialism ; radical domesticity as a condition of interiorised commons

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic research


What would an interrogation of the Hong Kong interior reveal in terms of spatial appropriation? Moreover, how would these typologies of use contribute to the phenomena of urban commons (Sohn, et al, 2015) as an interiorised spatial condition?||For residents and commercial entrepreneurs alike, Hong Kong’s cramped spaces represent a both a ‘tactical’ as well as ‘collective’ spatial processes. Daily attempts are made to alleviate social stagnation within a city driven by speculation. Characterized by excessive real estate prices, high-density living conditions, and dominant market forces spatial alternatives remain both inflexible and inaccessible to most. Although within a purported first world context, Hong Kong’s dwellers show increasing evidence of a society that has become ‘spatially locked’, within interior worlds that mirror the realities of a 4th world economic order.||In this light, the question of ‘spatial appropriation’ or ‘spatial sharing’, as a merger between tactical and regulated use, remains key in defining alternatives outside conventional norms. In multiple instances, the resident, small scale entrepreneur and individual merchant apply various ‘tactics’ in defiance against draconian regularities. Performative ‘commoning’, the tactical sharing of space, eventually transforms conventional interiors, as the corridors, threshold, building foyer and alleyways, into new spatial modalities and time-based usage. The appropriation, modification, and alteration of the spaces provides material evidence of a collaborative strategy wherein the working and living relationships of the interior as urbanism process is challenged.||This paper will, first, use two empirical examples of residential units to reflect on interiors as battleground for personal entrepreneurism. And, in this light, to invoke a discussion that centres on the concept of a square foot driven society and its salient spatial culture and use as urban spatial model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe entrepreneurial city : 10th International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU)
PublisherInternational Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) in collaboration with the School of Architecture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9789628272334
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Forum on Urbanism [IFoU] -
Duration: 1 Jan 2017 → …


ConferenceInternational Forum on Urbanism [IFoU]
Period1/01/17 → …


  • Spatial tactics
  • Interior
  • Commons
  • Hong Kong
  • Entrepreneurial


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