Natalie Ting Fung Khoo


Fringe: Negotiating the Ground beyond Conservation in Hong Kong

Advised by Craig Douglas

This thesis challenges the boundary condition of the broad and diverse canon of nature conservation that emphasizes the binaries between human and nature. Situated in Hong Kong, a highly populated yet forest enveloped city, the situation is amplified as the boundaries of its “Country Park” conservation areas are continuously challenged by expanding urbanization and aggressive capitalism. 

This design research reconsiders the boundary, not as linear edge, but as a fringe that has thickness to develop its own resilience. The design proposal consists of a series of “Nursery Parks” that begin and expand beyond the deteriorating boundaries. Through the production of trees, the design prepares the ground for the occupation of its citizens through temporal events. In the act of production of trees and place, these fringe spaces are engendered with value, not only ecological but also through its cultural identity to the city.

Cityscape viewed from overlooking hillside with illustrations of hiking sightseers in foreground