deTour 2021


Red Silk of Fate – The Shrine

Sputniko!, Napp Studio & Architects

Location: Qube, 2/F, PMQ

Symbolising both the strength and fragility of love, a red silk thread is frequently used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean mythologies to connect people who are destined to be together. Can design and biotechnology bring a new meaning to this “red thread of fate”?

Silk that glows and emits oxytocin, a social-bonding “love” hormone, is woven into intertwining fabrics by Japanese artists, then passed into the hands of a Hong Kong architectural design team to flutter and hang as a contemporary love shrine. Bathed in artificial moonlight, the shrine is a spiritual space where faiths, intentions, emotions and wishes intertwine. Visitors are invited to contemplate love and bonding in a time of social distancing, and how biotechnology is bringing ancient mythologies into the future.

Strong Hold Pavilion

Match Chen | KaCaMa Design Lab, Au Chi Fung

Location: Courtyard, G/F, PMQ

The rising popularity of bouldering has created more opportunity for the public to understand the many facets of sport climbing; unlike traditional outdoor rock climbing, indoor bouldering allows more room for dialogue and exchange. Discussions of matters such as climbing routes, techniques and complementary physical training fosters companionship and encouragement, which in turn motivates climbers to push their limits.

This experimental installation explores the power of companionship and encouragement: is climbing with others more productive than silently enduring the sweat and pain on your own? Through hangboarding, a most common training technique in sport climbing, we challenge players to discover their bodies’ “usefulness”, and explore the “useful” and “useless” domains of companionship and encouragement in terms of self-performance.

The Interpreter

Chaklam Ng | Oblik Soundwork, Dr. Jackie Jia Lou

Location: Marketplace, G/F, PMQ

Like music, language has an underlying rhythm. Different languages have different prosodic patterns.

I know not what CAFÉ

Renatus Wu Cheuk-pan | Edited, Li Hong Ting | Corrupt The Youth

Location: Marketplace, G/F, PMQ

A café. An experiment. A performance. In this work, audiences (customers) appreciate (or participate) by simply buying a cup of joe, just as they do in any café.

Normally, design is the supporting character in cafés, with coffee being the protagonist; but in I Know Not What Café, we try to reverse their roles. Design is brought from background to foreground, with the goal being to reveal the hidden function of design and demonstrate how it shapes our experience and even worldview.

TYPE – 11

Keith Tam | HKDI, Dr. Cheung Sing Hang, Mak Kai Hang | Makkaihang Design

Location: SG03-SG07, G/F, Block A, PMQ

Does typography matter?
Type–11 is a convenience store that explores how typography functions in our daily lives. Type–11 makes tangible the kinds of decisions that (typo)graphic designers make when designing for different reading situations. How do these seemingly minor design decisions influence readers’ perceptions and impact on communication efficiency and effectiveness? We invite you to tell us what you prefer as a reader, and highlight some of the issues that arise when reading in print, on screen and for signage.

Lucy McRae

Lucy McRae

Location: SG03-SG07, G/F, Block A, PMQ

Lucy McRae is a science fiction artist, filmmaker, inventor and body architect. Her work speculates on the future of human existence by exploring the limits of the body, beauty, biotechnology and the self. McRae works across installation, film, photography, artificial intelligence and edible technology. She is regarded as a thought leader who is exploring the cultural and emotional impacts made by science and cutting-edge technology on redesigning the body. She uses art as a mechanism to signal and provoke our ideologies and ethics about who we are and where we are headed.


Things That Move

Location: Marketplace, G/F, PMQ

Pandemics send demand for robots surging, as we seek ways to limit virus transmission by limiting human contacts. Robots can substitute for humans in certain customer service activities and can even perform sanitary work at public facilities. The expanding role of robots in day-to-day life seems irreversible.

hardworking circuit #1

Wong Chun Hoi

Location: S503, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

hardworking circuit #1 is a realisation of a schema of monotonous repetitive circuit, using as many relay switch units as possible to bridge a sequential extension of cables. All the effort is for the mere purpose of making an electrical connection.

FM 108, to…

Dou Chai Arts Society x Hui Chi Sang

Location: S510, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

In the radio spectrum, FM108 is an unused channel without words and echoes, thus offering a space for conversation through the work.

In society, interrelations are formless thus out of our reach. All the efforts to adjust the distance, strength and depth in our relations may become in vain. In the face of sudden emotions, why don’t we relieve ourselves by tuning the radio channel?

Listen to a message, search for a signal. Ride on a see-saw with one another, up and down, tuning the frequency. In the unused FM108, you will hear -


JONO Craftspace

Location: Marketplace, G/F, PMQ

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, precision, stability and durability have been at the heart of technological manufacturing. Widely-used industrial joints are made with extreme precision. However, they still lack the flexibility, elasticity and buffering qualities that biological bones possess. They also lack the potential of integrated mobility. We believe this is where the shaping function of bones can be exploited.

Bones comprise the basic supporting structure of mammals and humans, with their unique shapes having evolved to perform specific movements. Can we replicate their shaping function through design? Through bionics, ELDER refines bone structure and combines it with industrial hardware as tendons and muscles. Scrap wood is used to make a backbone, giving wood a new structural potential by restructuring its connecting parts. ELDER is an art installation that imitates the movement of bones and joints. Like a living organism, it changes and leaves traces of its existence over time.

Window and Alley

Window and Alley

Location: Marketplace, G/F, PMQ

Spaces can speak volumes, and in deTour’s continuation of Window and Alley’s Causeway Bay shop, Where Is Alley explores the potential of small-scale urban spaces for individual expression.

Our experiments in usage have been carried out in just 46 sq-ft of space. The outcome is a flexibly designed hardware shop space which can fit in different locations and host a meaningful programme, making a “space” into a real “place”.

Gratitude 2021

Lau Tsz Chun

Location: S504, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

Intensive competition drives social advancement—and anxiety. The constant comparison between “us and them” can sometimes leave us baffled, questioning even our own existence and value.

Yet we are all individuals, formed to a large extent by countless unplanned, unnoticeable happenings. Though seemingly meaningless, these define our here and now, and sometimes the connections between individuals too. And although these moments and connections are fleeting and fragile, the self and its connections will constantly be renewed as long as we stay alive. This is the only proof that we live as human beings.

Breathe, and we will witness our lives come full circle.

Dancing with David


Location: S502, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

David cut off Goliath’s head because people needed a legend. David was resurrected in white marble by Michelangelo because people needed a representation of perfection. David was relocated from the top floor of a church to the entrance of Florence City Hall because people needed a symbol of defiance to power. David’s head was eventually copied because people needed to learn how to sketch objects.

Work in the woods

Anson Kwan, Jackie Cheung, Ryan Tung

Location: S507, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

Work in the Woods is a speculative vision of future work-life patterns in mixed reality based on Hong Kong's micro apartment. In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has prompted us to reassess how we live in the future focusing on the desire to work from home. Referring to the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”, the proposal uses mixed reality to bring nature into the home, transforming it into a multifunctional, multidimensional space. It aims to engage and reconnect users—particularly those working long hours—with their homes. The project also reimagines our use space at work by transforming banal working routines into something more intuitive and physical, thus redefining the meaning of workspace.

Dancing with the Light

AIR 23

Location: S505, 5/F, Block A, PMQ

In Cantonese, "wasting air" is a phrase commonly used to describe things or actions that are useless. Inflatables objects had long been associated with toys and disposables (such as balloons, bouncy castles, cheering sticks etc.). They may seem dispensable, temporary or just recreational; indeed inflatables are a niche and not been taken seriously for its functionally performance. Many would lead to believe that the design and craft of inflatables are futile - "wasting air" "Dancing with the light" aims to challenge this stereotype. through imagination and exploration, delves into the different possibilities that inflatables could offer. The result is an interactive installation combining lights and inflatable-motions. Behind these "wasting air" interactions lies a greater potential of this inflatables-driven-motion technology, which transform air into shapes and movements.

"Dancing with the light" is composed of 15 glowing inflatable-motion components, they are split into 3 layers and arranged in a star-shaped arrangement. These components are formed of simple light-weighted air structure aid with programmed air pumps, lights and sensors etc. Together they can make coordinated movements by adjusting airflow into the various layers within the structure, forming a glowing interactive installation. These inflatable-motion components are connected to sensors around its exhibiting area, showcasing 3 behaviours: "latent", "vigilant" and "dynamic" according to the audience's action. These kinds of behaviour demonstrate the range of movements achievable by the inflatable-motion, the seemingly useless inflatables may point towards a future where they are deployed in architecture and stage lightings. With the right opportunity, this lightweight, elegant inflatable-motion technology shall detach itself from the label of "wasting air" in the near future.

The Swinging Void

Cynthia Leung

Location: Courtyard, G/F, PMQ

The Swinging Void is a room that invites visitors to breathe and experience the useful/uselessness of space-time. Using the basic elements with which we are born—time, space, light and our bodies—the piece takes simple geometric forms to carve out solitary, intimate, private experiences with a sense of duality. It is composed of the useful/useless moments we experienced as children: the joy of a playground swing, the awe of glazing at the blue sky, the cosy security of hiding under a blanket...

From the outside, the cube appears to be a confined space; yet once entered, its spherical void is large enough for time to fill and light to play. In between the reality and imagination of the facades, is the duality that lies in our mundane everyday lives.