This action research project explores how a more integrated community and stronger sense of belonging among the senior original residents and the younger population of new settlers of the redeveloped public housing district of Ngautaukok can be developed. Built in the late 1960s in East Kowloon of Hong Kong, Ngautaukok public housing started its redevelopment projects in 1998 and gradually completed in 2012. Many of the original residents were resettled in the redeveloped housing apartments, getting old and bewildered by the tremendously transformed physical and social environment. Yet a lot of residents who comprise the current population more than 210,000 are new comers of the younger generation, knowing little about the history and environment before the redevelopment. The two groups differ in their social memory and mental map of Ngautaukok community.
Based on oral history interviews with senior residents, old photos and archival materials, this project plans to recreate the social memory about Ngautaukok before redevelopment, which is known for its vibrant communal life around street food stalls, unique local eateries, shops and schools. On the other hand, the current physical and social environment resulted from redevelopment will be captured by filming with virtual reality technology, including local landmarks with reference to the mental maps of the younger generation. The final product of this project will comprise a set of guided tour videos of old and new Ngautaukok in simulation. With the help of head-mounted display technology, viewers of these guided tour videos will conveniently develop variant degrees of immersive experiences about the transformation of Ngautaukok. In collaboration with the Caritas Ngautaukok Community Center, viewing sessions of these guided tour videos with a sizable number of mounted head-sets for use will be arranged in community venues for residents of mixed generations to share their different social memories and mental maps of the community before and after the redevelopment. Followed by exchange and discussion, these viewing sessions aims to cultivate a transgenerational and integrated sense of belonging for Ngautaukok community.
Students are expected to collect old photos and archival materials about Ngautoukok before and after redevelopment, conduct and record oral history interviews with residents in Ngautoukok for their social memory before redevelopment and their mental maps of the community after redevelopment. They will be required to attend training workshop and produce guided tour videos of the communitys physical and social environment based on oral history, old photos and virtual reality technology.
Upon completion of this project, students will to be able to do the following:
1 Explain generational differences in the sense of community in relation to the transformation of
physical and social environment;
2 Conduct interviews with community residents on their social memories and mental maps;
3 Shoot and produce videos with virtual reality technology;
4 Relate interdisciplinary knowledge for solving real world problems;
5 Develop teamwork ability and interpersonal communication.