Jump to the beginning of content

Switch Box as Urban Design Installation

The Consultants of "The Spirit of Creation – Study of Industrial Culture of Kowloon East" have not just collected stories about the development of industries in Kwun Tong, the entrepreneurs and workers, they have also explored the history and potentials of Kowloon East with regard to the architectural, planning and urban design aspects. As one of the earliest industrial districts in Hong Kong, Kwun Tong is quite congested and the circulation of pedestrians and goods occupy much of the ground floor space. To find space for public art installation for enhancing the character of the area is not easy.

The grey switch boxes that provide electricity for the street lamps are currently confined to their own function, though low-key yet occupying dominant urban space. They could be converted as platforms to showcase industrial culture, with great potentials to enlighten the urban space and enhance the experience of workers and visitors in the area. By adopting the themes and brands of the current or past industries nearby, the switch boxes display related news from old newspaper clippings and product images, dressed in sharp colors to catch the attention of pedestrians, weaving together industrial culture and urban design and delighting the public with a unique urban experience.

The switch box decorations are one of the projects to crystalize the industrial culture in urban design. Kowloon East’s switch boxes will gradually be brought to life, adding a sense of community and bringing the public closer to the area’s industrial culture. There are different switch box designs and each will carry a different "Made in Hong Kong" story. "Made in Hong Kong" was once a ubiquitous tag that proved the strength of our manufacturing prowess. Chinapaint, Camelpaint, Meyer Cookware, Cabbage Patch Kids, Yakult, Vitasoy, Seven-up, Schweppes, Union Shirt, Crocodile Garments, all had their factories in Kwun Tong. As Kowloon East transforms, we should inherit the "Spirit of Creation" and extend the spirit into future developments.