A sustainable design philosophy for the 21st century

a story of human being

The future is yours. Do something for future generations.

The final design project is to convey a design philosophy through materials, lighting, forms and space. Different areas give people different experiences and emotions which is inspired from Tao Te Ching 2nd Verse “The sage can act without effort and teach without words.” Teaching by giving experiences and emotions is more convincing than words. The main concept is to educate and raise awareness of ecological issues.

The architecture cannot change human lifestyle, but philosophy can.

Tao Tea Shop (corridor)

Tao Tea Shop-corridor

Designed by Joe Chun-Kit Yiu

The rendering is to present “human’s future is getting difficult” through interior space and abstract, geometric form. It gives people experience to feel and to ponder.

The space is without decoration. Using the most simple and raw material to represent “Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness.” Tao Te Ching 2nd verse. There is no absolute standard called ‘beauty’. Beauty is brought out by ugliness. Without ugliness, there is no beauty. Without beauty, there is no ugliness. Limited resources are the price humans pay for fulfilling the endless desire in pursuit of beauty and perfection. Only if we put our effort and work together, we could have a bright future.

The symbol in the middle represents “Tao”, the concepts of “Yin” and “Yang” and also the explanation of the evolution of the universe.

The concept is almost the same as the bible. In the bible, Genesis chapter 1 declares that, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness were on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that is was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. The god called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.

The lighting in the room forms a contrast of absolute brightness and absolute darkness to represent dualism of Tao Te Ching.

“All can know good as good only because there is evil. Being and nonbeing produce each other. The difficult is born in the easy. Long is defined by short, the high by the low. Before and after go along with each other. So the sage lives openly with apparent duality and paradoxical unity. The sage can act without effort and teach without words. Nurturing things without possessing them, he works, but not for rewards; he competes, but not for results. When the work is done, it is forgotten. That is why it lasts forever.” Tao Te Ching 2nd Verse

Tao Tea Shop (Reception area)

Tao Tea Shop-Reception area

Designed by Joe Chun-Kit Yiu

This design rendering is to present Tao Te Ching 3rd Verse, “Putting a value on status will create contentiousness. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal. By not displaying what is desirable, you will cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed. The sage governs by emptying minds and hearts, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones. Practice not doing… When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place.”

The steel beam is to reinforce the existing structure of the old building. The floor pattern, which is of Chinese traditional red color, is to represent the abstract Chinese dragon and tree. This is also a path to lead people get on and walk through the building. The wall is painted with a Chinese landscape painting. The left hand side of the rendering aims to show that the integration of human and nature or buildings and nature is possible, resulting in mutual benefits to one another.

Tao Tea Shop (Atrium)

Tao Tea Shop-Atrium

Designed by Joe Chun-Kit Yiu

Throughout the years, vegetation has remained faithful to human beings. Plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, bring down temperature and provide shade for people. They never fail to bring nourishment to land and benefits to human beings. No greater human inventions have been known greater than vegetation.

“The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.” Tao Te Ching 8th Verse

“To keep on filling is not as good as stopping. Overfilled, the cupped hands drip, better to stop pouring… Retire when the work is done; this is the way of heaven.” Tao Te Ching 9th Verse

The feature in the center, which is represented Yin / Yang. All things under heaven and earth were created by the Creator. Things created by the Creator’s work in perfect harmony. Among all creations, they were designed to be self-sufficient and sustainable. All things were created for a purpose and work together to bring sustainability. There is no such thing as “unable to sustain”, this concept comes from human pride. As pride deludes humans into thinking we can create. Instead, we end up producing a lot of rubbish. We ought to return to nature, respect the world created by the only Creator.

Come to grips with the radical concept of “enough is enough”!

Tao Tea Shop (Tao courtyard Garden)

Tao Tea Shop-Tao Garden

The rendering is to show that “people should consider the relationship between humans and the environment.”

Humans and nature should be one of mutual interdependence.

“The Tao gave birth to one. One gave birth to two. Two gave birth to three. And three begat the 10,000 things. The 10,000 things carry yin and embrace yang; they achieve harmony by combining these forces.” Tao Te Ching 42nd Verse

Humanity cannot live without nature