Urban Catalyst


Personal Info


Nationality: Taiwan

Institution / Company: irreel visual

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/irreel.visual/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irreelvisual/

LinkedIn: https://hyliao711.github.io/irreelvisualart/


-HONOURABLE MENTION of Non Architecture Award 2022 Competition | Category: Aspatial & Virtual


Celebrating people who liberates space

What is the essence of the city? How can we find one that brings new visions and strategies to implement a place through an open and dynamic process while satisfying the deep emotional needs of the people who live in it similar to the ideal urban catalyst? The co-existence of different buildings built over time spurs the cities’ continuous growth and transformation. These catalysts impel urban changes that exist alongside what has come before. Despite its sordid and sinful legacy, Kowloon Walled City offers some intriguing answers.

Kowloon, built in 1898, is the oldest area in Hong Kong and one of the few densely-populated areas in Kowloon. It developed organically with no building codes, under basically no legal supervision. As it developed without rules, some areas were completely cut off from natural light and air, and crime ebbed and flowed. Everything became dense until the government finally intervened – evacuating the city and dismantling what was left. Illegal architecture is in fact a spontaneous, naturally growing building that is closely connected with the space in which people live. They challenge institutions, regulate contemporary society, and let us see what kind of city we live in.


The city is the building of the people, outlining ordinary real life. It is an extension of the human body and life. It is an illegal revolution, temporary and guerrilla, but it never stops. It is an achievement model of vitality.


Project Type:



Jury Comments

– (ab)Normal

Urban Catalyst stands out for the beautiful representation that reminds partly modern LIDAR techniques and partly traditional hatching. The proposal challenges the way we read cities in a very interesting way, especially in a case such as Kowloon.


– Mariana Cabugueira

Very good written piece and statement. Good graphic skills. Would expect a translation to an extreme opposite, clear and linear spaces in opposition.


– Xiaoyang Fang

The etching-like presentation makes people seem to see the ghost bones of the city. The reappearance of Jiulongzhai is successful, and the painting is not limited to the form of Jiulongzhai, but its temperament and character.

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