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The exhibition showcases a cycle of material research and experimentation within the built environment disciplines. It is based on TAL-L , or ‘Taxon I Archive I Lab-Library’, an interactive and open-ended resource for students, teachers and practitioners that expands the practical and theoretical discourse on local natural and anthropogenic material resources. TAL-L structures material investigations through a ‘Taxon’, an array of specific physical, chemical, and performative properties in a given sample; it collects, stores, and digitizes material resources and their variations in an ‘Archive’; and it encourages experimental engagement with material design and analysis through a ‘Lab’. We consider this novel landscape resource as an opportunity to oppose the standardization of the constructed environment that has contributed to the separation of cities from their local place identities. 

Part physical archive, part interactive map, part fabricated catalog, the exhibit documents local materials and related material experiments. It explores the compositions of Hong Kong, uncovering the material artifacts of ground, structure, and infrastructure, while tracing their origins and impacts. Ultimately, the exhibition offers a glimpse into a living innovation archive that reframes our understanding of materials and builds new connections between landscape, architecture, environment and nature.

The ‘Cabinet of Material Curiosities’ showcases 80 unique materials archived in TAL-L, displayed in three material categories. It gives an overview of a landscape-centered classification of local, everyday, or extraordinary materials specific to Hong Kong and the region.

Impresssions from the opening, photos by Ceci Wong

You can visit the exhibition until 12.06.2022 in PMQ, Hong Kong or visit our TAL-L website.