Matter of Aspiration

New Office Works

New Office Works (NOW) is an architecture and design studio devoted to the production of inventive spaces and objects. Based in Hong Kong, the office creates projects that build upon the vocabulary accumulated “then” while satisfying the needs and desires of “now”. From buildings and interiors, to art installations and furniture, each project encompasses an exploration of detail and material.

NOW has won numerous architecture competitions, such as 1st prize in the inaugural Hong Kong Young Architects & Designers Competition and 2nd prize in the Busan Opera House International Open Competition. The office was also recognized with various design awards such as the 40 Under 40 Architecture Award, the DFA Award, and the Architecture MasterPrize.

Brief Encounters

The way we engage with people will likely be completely altered after COVID-19. When designing for social interaction, the elimination of boundaries has always been the key intention; yet today we are increasingly surrounded by barriers. Rather than shutting down public spaces under social distancing protocols, what can we do so people can enjoy something as simple as sitting in a park next to a stranger?

Brief Encounters consists of two simple components: a steel frame and a transparent sheet. An accordion system is used to create partitions by moving frames around a central pivot point. Such a method allows flexibility in the spaces in between partitions, while also providing a compact solution for transportation and storage.

The use of coloured transparent film provides a sense of openness and transparency, even when people are enjoying individual pocket space. Each pocket space is physically separated. When transparent films of different colours overlap, a third colour is created which suggests interaction and connection between each space.