Keywords:storytelling, design futuring, spatial narrative, speculative visualisation
Lucas Kwok’s Fifth Region is a speculative spatial narrative. Positing a new region in the air above Hong Kong in 2060, as the city below has become too crowded to live in. At a time when previously scripted futures of this city are currently being hastily re-written, Fifth Region presents an allegorical parable, a critique of overpopulation, density and government control of land, as well as an imaginary vision of a utopia escaping the city below. Kwok’s project works on two scales: the first reveals the megastructures of the Fifth Region that tower over the city below, the second focuses on the everyday to imagine future lives, and events within the clouds. In eight chapters, scenarios are imagined and linked, with aleatory events and moments occurring in the Fifth Region's evolution. The narratives construction reveals how the accumulation of micro events lead to transformative scenarios traceable in visual motifs to earlier chapters. The Fifth Region explicitly implies new political and socio-economic orders – evident, for example, in how upper floor residents may end up polluting those who live below and in the hypothetical creation of new social and economic hierarchies depending on one’s height above ground.
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