Public spaces is an interesting topic. In a tiny but densely populated city like Hong Kong, the word “public” can almost seem paradoxical. Our students pass by all kinds of public spaces on a daily basis, but they do not necessarily pay attention to what is happening there. There are children playing in a park, for example, but also old people who do their morning exercises, housewives hanging out their laundry and workers taking a rest break. Public space users all have different needs and different imaginations regarding their community. Unfortunately, some students barely have any imaginations regarding public spaces.
In this course, students use their handmade pinhole cameras to observe and understand their community. First, they learn to make a pinhole camera and study how it works, as well as equip themselves with simple dark room knowledge. Then, they collect waste objects in their neighbourhood and turn them into one-of-a-kind pinhole cameras. During the process, they learn to communicate with people and observe their neighbourhood, eventually take photos of them and make personal improvements by taking part in community activities.