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Debut "Checkered Playroom Oasis" on show


Centred around the theme "Urbanovation", the InnoDesignTech Expo 2016 will feature urban design trends and innovative solutions in the context of smart architecture. We are proud to welcome Professor Zhu Jingxiang, Associate Professor of the Department of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his team, Unitinno Architectural Technology Development Co., Ltd., to put the debut “Checkered Playroom Oasis” on show. Originates from “Checkered Playroom”, the oasis is a one-storey wooden structure composing of concave and convex squares, both inside and out, which creates a fluctuant interface for the Expo’s visitors to discover individual relations with the structure, and to experience how the integration of creativity and innovation can improve our quality of living. The precision in its design made it possible to be assembled on site within 1 day.

Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms
Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms

In 2015, a number of Checkered Playrooms, were assembled by Professor Zhu and his team in remote villages in Gansu to promote basic preschool education for more than 1,000 children who have insufficient pre-education facilities. The playful design makes these playrooms a hit with their users. Different from the traditional classroom design, the ‘boxes’ on the walls and on the floor are made kids-friendly, and the children always love to sit or lie in the boxes, and explore other ways to occupy these spaces. The spatial exploration in the playrooms has become an important supplement to the original school curriculum, because it proved to be helpful to the children’s physical and mental development. Equally significant is their impact on community building. The components of the structure were made so light and user-friendly that assembling the buildings created opportunities to involve members of the local community and bring them together.

The playroom model will be put into mass production to serve more children in rural areas in mainland China and the generic design of the product can be adapted to various needs of charity groups and local contexts. Professor Zhu suggested that it is also significant for the future development of Hong Kong, where the urban landscape is largely occupied by concrete structures. The increasing pressure on land is calling for a more flexible solution from spatial development and design. The light-weight building system can be easily adapted to the complexity of the Hong Kong landscape. For example, it can be easily installed on top of an existing heavy structure to provide a temporary shelter or an additional function, without breaking or changing the original structure. It is more efficient in cost, safe in construction, and the concrete-free installation and manufacturing are also more environment-friendly.

Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms
Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms
Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms
Checkered Playrooms Checkered Playrooms

Professor Zhu has been working on pre-fab light-weight constructions for a decade and has developed a group of prototypes, applied in various projects in mainland China and overseas.

On behalf of the InnoDesignTech Expo, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Professor Zhu for his support and authorization to his team, Unitinno Architectural Technology Development Co., Ltd., as the Honorable Curator of "Checkered Playroom Oasis".

Edited from CU Press Release

*Information is subject to change without prior notice. (2016.11.18)