hasdell chen
The Bulkeley Market






local authority, production of space, critical practice, spatial narrative


Olivia Chen has conducted research into the transient dawn markets of Hong Kong in which hawkers secretly operate second-hand markets, forming a liminal space in which objects of inconsequential value are sold and exchanged. Through this Chen has built an understanding of the web of the social relations and hierarchies that underpin poorer areas in Hong Kong, exposing the socio-economic disparities in Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom and giving the lie to the prosperous facade of Hong Kong. The reality that she captures is a vanishing one, with street markets giving way to shopping malls. Through protracted observation, Chen has found that such markets contribute to the recycling and exchange mechanisms of a material economy of the city, and that such spaces of production build social cohesion through weaving webs of social connections. As a wish to manifest these social webs, Chen’s work The Bulkeley Market explores storytelling as a spatial practice in ways that highlight the importance of such issues in the production of social space.

How to Cite

Hasdell, P., & Chen, O. S. (2022). The Bulkeley Market. Cubic Journal, 5(5), 42–51. https://doi.org/10.31182/cubic.2022.5.47



Author Biographies

Peter Hasdell, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Peter Hasdell is an academic at the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has taught architecture and design in the Bartlett School, KTH Arkitektur, University of Manitoba, Hong Kong University and others. He was formerly a researcher at Chora Institute of Architecture and Urbanism and the Centre for Architecture Structures and Technology and is the founder and director of Architecture and Urban Research Lab (A+URL) and In-Situ Project. His research focuses on metabolic architecture on the scales of the city (city as a life form, urban ecology), and as architecture (interactive and responsive architectures).

Olivia Shuning Chen

Chen Shuning, Olivia graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design in 2019. She has designed and researched the living spaces of many marginalised communities including Tai-O and Hong Kong's dawn markets. Her graduation project has been recognised by the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, which awarded her the 2020 Design Distinction Award and has been exhibited widely. Four years engaging in spatial design projects has strengthened her intention to offer support to neglected people and to engage with social issues through spatial innovation. Aided by her collection of local information, she probes the possibility of spaces for adaptation and change, all in the pursuit of an improvement of life.


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