This truly was an exceptional treat! Cheng-Yu Chiang, who worked at Sputnik on the competition for Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan, invited Henk to NCKU architecture school in Tainan in 2009. As part of the exchange program between architecture schools in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tainan, Henk was invited to oversee a 3-day workshop and suggest the theme. In an attempt to explore the differences between students in the perspective on city planning and urban life, the theme of the workshop was dubbed ‘Ghost in the city’, observing ordinary, daily city-life through a new set of glasses..
The program consisted of a 1:1 scale team project, excursions, lectures by the teachers and movie nights. We started with True Stories by David Byrne from Talking Heads. A mutually surreal and hyper-real picture of American suburbia. The movie is a great example of an alternative perspective on our everyday surroundings.
(mall scene from True Stories, 1986)
Having kicked off the movie series with True Lies, the other tutors surprised tremendously with local classic movies from Tailand and China that dealt not so much with the city…. but even more with ghosts! And after that it became clear that most of the participants of the workshop actually believed in spiritual presence and that we needed to be careful with our experiments…
In the end all teams worked around the danger we might be evoking, and produced nice results ranging from a flash mob to a projection installation. And after all it was a memorable experience!