Design for a Better Living Space

Lee Nip Man Mandy (Architecture)
Communal Space Design for Affordable Housing Competition – First Place

Earlier, Mandy Lee (BA(ArchStud) received first place in AIA Hong Kong Chapter – Communal Space Region for Affordable Housing Competition with her partner. She designed living space for children’s development at the Sham Tseng Light House site. She shared with us her award-winning story.

Mandy visited the site in person and found out that the space was so compact. It was not fully utilised and was not permeated with a friendly atmosphere. “People don’t have the motivation to go down to a shared place when they already have their own living space.” The small space has to be designed for the exclusive use of children as well. Through research and discussions, she and her partner shrewdly used colour zoning and simple geometry to transform the space. An unremarkable place is turned into a social space suitable for both parents and their kids. She succeeded, albeit with various challenges.

Mandy was also aware that there is a limited presentation time to deliver the concept to a panel of judges. During presentations, she used both colourful renderings and technical drawing. The colourful images helped deliver the concept of design clearly and made it easier for people to visualise the whole spatial design.

She had applied for the competition alone but was matched with a Master of Architecture student from The University of Hong Kong, who became her partner in the competition. She treated this as an opportunity to learn from her senior, Hin. Mandy said it was a great chance to try out other design projects rather than school projects. She thanked her studio tutor for allowing her to make time for out of classroom experience. Last but not least, she thanked her parents for supporting her to attempt external competitions.

“Seeing our design come to life is really a big moment for us.”

“Seeing our design come to life is really a big moment to for us.” Mandy was overwhelmed with joy when she first heard the news of winning in the competition. “It’s great to hear that our concept is being accepted, and we’re able to change the quality of a living space,” she added. She would be a consultant for the design project and further develop her ideas regarding the living space if funding is secured by the founder.

The design scheme will also be referenced by a book that will be published by AIA HK Chapter.

Written by:
Vanessa Cheng
Year 3, Faculty of Arts
March 2021