Urban Planning /

Bottom Up Community Planning in Kowloon

aoa, avoid obvious architects, vicky chan, wong tai sin, public housing, diamond hil, reservoir, tze wan shan, Housing authority, DAB, planning, sustainable, community, services, public, placemaking, design, architecture, house, buildings
In 2023, we worked with DAB Kowloon City and 3000 survey responses and 10 workshops to come up with 20 community improvements including park extensions, building upgrades, traffic policy, waterfront works and new community buildings. Listening to the community has been a fruitful process to understand different physical, emotional, cultural and safety concerns. As planners... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Haiti Ventiver Processing Center for the Community

aoa, avoid obvious architects, architecture, morocco, sustainable, design, local, green, community, institutional, buildings, built, ideas, planning, architect, designer, resilient, dubai, island, amphibian, aquatic, ocean, rising sea levels, water
We have a simple architectural proposal with Regine Benoit to help the community in Haiti. It is to build a mini ventiver processing center as a community hub so that the local farmers with kids can leverage on the facilities to sustain their families. The building is made of concrete structure to be earthquake resistant. It is... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Embracing Sustainable Architecture: Unveiling Our Thought Process

aoa, avoid obvious architects, architecture, morocco, sustainable, design, local, green, community, institutional, buildings, built, ideas, planning, architect, designer, resilient, dubai, island, amphibian, aquatic, ocean, rising sea levels, water
At Avoid Obvious Architects, we believe in looking beyond the surface to truly understand the unique needs of every site we work on. Our holistic approach takes into account the people, infrastructure, and climate, ensuring that our designs align seamlessly with the surrounding environment. While we acknowledge that perfection is elusive, we strive to create... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Learning From Morocco

aoa, avoid obvious architects, architecture, morocco, sustainable, design, local, green, community, institutional, buildings, built, ideas, planning, architect, designer
We offer comprehensive architectural and planning solutions for prominent cities in Morocco, including Rabat, Casablanca, El Jadida, Rachidia, Taroudant, and Larache. Partnering with IXI Architecture and Design and STILL Architecture, we become a global design team specific to the Moroccan context. Our international insights and appreciation for the local culture has led us to discover... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Oil Rigs as Revitalize Buildings

We were awarded by the Impacts Competition for our 2022 Skyrise Submission. Lagos, Nigeria is the most populated megacity in Africa with 15.4 million people. As the city grows in low-density fashion, quality of living has not improved with more equitable public amenities and infrastructure. Existing communities can benefit from better open spaces, greenery, renewable... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Housing of the Future

The future of housing revolves around the concept of the “4th spaces” – communal areas that exist beyond the boundaries of one’s individual home but contribute to the overall sense of home. These spaces play a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and connection among residents. When it comes to sustainable housing, effective... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Mycelium as Plastic Replacement

ESG Marketplace with #Blockchain. We are thankful for the opportunity from Hong Kong Construction Assciation (HKCA) to feature their ESG blockchain platfrom at Construction Industry Council Annual Conference. HKCA’s Honorary Secretary Rex Wong, JP explains that their mission is to to award and encourage contractors to work toward social and environmental goals. HKCA is a... Read more »
General Projects Urban Planning /

Community Projects in Leftover Spaces?

Community, projects, nonprofit, landscape, unused, vacant, leftover, spaces, land, music, center, ngo, aoa, architects, avoidobvious, urban planning, Vicky chan, design
Hong Kong has world class infrastructure from bridges to subway. They generate great connections and great amenities but often there are left over land that are too small and too irregular to do anything with it. In this opportunity, we worked with a 130m2 site to try to generate a music school that is 200m2... Read more »
Installation Projects /

Penta Retreat For Sensory Rehab

Our proposal addresses a conceptual retreat for ten people in an urban setting. During the 2020 pandemic, loss of smell or taste were common among recovered patients and not everyone can afford to travel to the countryside for a getaway. Penta Retreat situated in the heart of London is made for people to rejuvenate their... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Jumbo Restaurant As A Maritime Museum

Jumbo, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, Avoid Obvious, Boat, Restaurant, History, Architecture, Marine, Maritime Museum, Future, Past, Present, Design, Exhibition, One Belt One Road
In June 2022, Avoid Obvious Architects in partnership with VESSEL submitted a proposal to save the famous Jumbo Kingdom in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Although our proposal didn’t succeed, the idea to turn the restaurant into a maritime museum is still very valid as we look into the future of ship building and sustainable marine business.... Read more »
Urban Planning /

How Parkour Roof Can Revitalize Buildings

Parkour Roof As architects, we are fascinated by sports like running, skateboarding, and parkour. They require very minimal spaces and equipment to get started. Their equipment is often very versatile and can be turned into furniture for seating and eating, meeting, and playing. In the case study below, we re-imagined the roof of a shopping... Read more »
Urban Planning /

The Post Pandemic Retail

mall, retail, aoa, post pandemic, new design, wellbeing
Shopping and public spaces in the post pandemic world requires new emphasis on hygience and wellbeing. Our proposal in Guiyang Underground Mall listed seven strategies to combine new lifestyle into an traditional spaces. We hope to use nature, light, water and air to provide a healthy environment while letting people feel excited about dining, exercise,... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Architects on Fundraising

It is not the most natural thing for architects to come up with ideas on fundraising. For our urban farm in Kennedy Town, we were involved since the competition phase in 2018. We were lucky to win the competition but stuck with fund raising to build the farm. We presented the concept in Russia and... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Children and Waterfront

We think there are four elements that can make our waterfront more inclusive, fun and inter-generational. They are green, water, people and games. Below is our research, The Interplay, to transform a waterfront next to our K-farm project. They broke down the four ideas into four zones and it invites people of all ages to... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Construction Safety Exhibition with HKCA

HKAC, avoid obvious, architects, aoa,, vicky chan, designer, wood, mobile, booth, exhibition, construction safety, hong kong, Construction association, Convention, wood fin, concrete, 100 years old
Hong Kong Construction Association – Safety and Innovation AOA designed a booth to promote our industry’s safety, innovation and history. It is not an easy task to intrepret the past, present and future for an institution like HKCA with 100 years of history. Our approach is to use simple construction material and geometry that represent... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Children’s City Planning in Kowloon East of Hong Kong

Architecture For Children, city planning, education, volunteer, free, design, children, architecture, future, smart, planning, smart city, kwun tong, kowloon east, EKEO, hong kong, sustainable, model making, primary, students, k12
From Sept 2018, we were invited by Kwun Tong Government Primary School (Sau Ming Road) to begin a five year experiment to use urban planning as a scheme to tie multiple leaning subjects together. We as volunteer help to guide a team of 20 students from different grades to turn their ideas into practice. Year... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Model Making for non-profit projects

model making, avoid obvious, green, sustainable, architect, architecture, museum, recycled, green
It is not easy for a nonprofit client to come up with the money to pay for model making. Digital display and VR tour often become the only solution when there is no money to pay for the time and materials of physical modeling. However, we believe model making is the only way to convince... Read more »
Urban Planning /

A City of Sharing

dongguan, city, coastal, design, water, green, architecture, avoid obvious, architects, vicky chan, masterplan, awards, sustainable, people, sharing, friendly, history, context, old, new, greater bay area, shenzhen, hong kong, pearl river delta, china, future
A 80km2 city plan in Dongguan Our city proposal is to connect people to water, nature and sharing future. Technology will shape the way people interact, but physical design helps to improve our intimacy to nature and people. Greater Bay Area will become the most populated area in the world and Dongguan is at the... Read more »
General Urban Planning /

Housing Crisis in Hong Kong

housing, crisis, hong kong, architect, modular, avoid obvious, urban planning
What cause the Housing Crisis in Hong Kong? We worked with Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Design Institute for Social Innovation on the issue of Hong Kong’s housing crisis. Below are some of the problems we learned and some of the solutions we discussed. Lack of Public Housing:There was a protest in 2003 against the government. The... Read more »
Installation Retail Urban Planning /

Urban Farm Transformation in 90 days

avoid obvious, theeae, artist, bar, farm, concept, store, retail, experience, first, farm to table., glass to table, aqua farm, hydroponic,, interior, rustic, reclaimed, wood, sustainable, design, architects, design and build, contractor, award winning, vicky chan, chris cho, hong kong, belgium, craft beer, restaurant, original
Urban Farm by Farmacy This is a video documentary showing the progress Farmacy HK took to grow rare spices and edible flowers inside a shopping mall. As of 2018, their urban farm is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Please see more detail about The Artist House.
Installation Retail /

Tetris Candy Shop

From Geometry to Candy – Tetris Candy Shop We helped the Bonbonist to roll out their first concept store in Hong Kong to sell candy. The company plays with geometry from their packaging to their graphics. It is “playful and chic” as the founder put it. The products and branding are like a 3d Tetris... Read more »
Installation Retail /

Color Nude and Its Effect

Color nude and its effect: We are fascinated by design fully painted in pink and how it can calm people. We did the opposite experiment. What if color nude can excite people? For this pop-up design for AS29, a jewelry shop, we decided to use the diner as a theme and painted the shop in... Read more »
Installation Retail /

Mobile Shop 8.0

storefront, mobile shop, tricycle, avoid obvious, retail, design, architecture, bike, bicycle, flexible, configurable, multiple configurations, detachable, assembly, kit of parts
Mobile Shop 8.0 for Storefront We designed a mobile shop on tricycle for storefront. This shop has 5 major pieces that can be attached and detached. By changing the pieces into different locations and positions, shop owners can adapt to various products and their displays. Below are other design highlights all pieces are outlined with... Read more »
Projects Urban Planning /

E-sport Stadium

e-sport, stadium, online, games, drone, players, video games, internet, AR, VR, MR, augmented reality, landscape, virtual reality, virtual, digital, electronic sports, battle, e-teams, next generation, future, avoid obvious, architects, architecture, urban design
E-sport Stadium Research We spent 2 weeks to study the phenomenon of e-sport and tournament of video games. We came up with a set of rules to guide the exterior and interior design of an e-sport stadium. Exterior – Architecture + Landscape: E-sport can last a lot longer than real sport. Some e-games can go... Read more »
General Graphics /

The Value of Hand Drawings

hand drawings, art, drawing, paper, pen, pencil, architecture, free hand, sketches, black, white, section, perspective, plan, architect, designer, city, product, building, landscape. furniture, interior
Hand Drawings in Urban, Building, Interior and Product Design While we explore digital techniques to engage clients in the design process, we are still a big supporter of traditional hand drawings. Below are the reasons: Freedom: Free hand drawings are not limited by dimensions, numbers and commands. Designers get to let lose in the process... Read more »
Urban Planning /

Inclusive City Planning 

Inclusive City Planning Vicky Chan spoke at New Cities Summit in Songdo. He shared the stage with Vera Baboun, former Palestine Mayor and Fleur Pellerin, former French cultural minister. His ideas to make inclusive public spaces focused on Sports Education Interactive Design Sports It is a challenge to bridge the income gap in a city,... Read more »
General Hiring /

Advice for Future Designers

We conducted an interview on Coroflot and gave advice to future designers Extracted from Coroflot Article What do you look for when hiring a designer? Willingness to learn, entrepreneurial spirit, and willingness to embrace green design. We don’t want people to work late and it is only possible if they learn to work very efficiently or... Read more »
General Retail /

Sustainability Award

Sustainability Award – Green Business, Green Materials and Green Design The Artist Lab won Shop! Gold Award and Sustainability Award. Below is a few diagrams to explain our ideas and how we combine architecture with the way our clients do business. Sustainability in retail is only feasible if our clients are really to embrace the ideas. We... Read more »
Publication /

Business of Architecture!

Radio, Avoid Obvious, New York, Professional, Architect, Urban Planning, Interview, vicky chan
Radio Interview by Michael David on Empire Radio Now. Recording: What do you do? We are a group of architects and urban planners who design cities and buildings but our focus is sustainable design. Why is sustainable design important to us? We believe building sustainable cities is the best way to combat climate change Why do... Read more »
Urban Planning /

The Future of Cities

Our Organic Highway project was included in Oscar Boyson’s video – The Future of Cities Special thanks to the videographer George Du from Hong Kong.
Installation /

Mobile Screen

verderbilt, terminal, grand central, new york,, installation, interactive, art, avoid obvious, architects. aoa. vicky chan
Mobile Screen – The Art Performance of a Product We were tasked to revitalize the space in Vanderbilt Hall at New York Grand Central Terminal. Information display is incredibly important in a terminal. Instead of treating the screen as a static device, we questioned the possibilities of using the screens to define four spaces. Spatial... Read more »
General Graphics /

Flower Cards

Flower cards, cards with seeds, plants, business, cards. graphic, sustainable, seeded paper
Flower Cards with Seeded Paper We love plants and we love graphics. Seeded paper is the best method to turn our business cards into flowers. It is poetic that our names will be turned into flowers. The paper is essentially toilet paper and the ink is natural pigment. See our previous design with TextMoss.
Installation Retail /

Mobile Bar 7.0

mobile, bar, cafe, avoid obvious, la station, coffee, module, architecture, train, kit of part, hilton, hotel, vicky chan, architects
Mobile Bar 7.0 – La Station Coffee Stop La Station is a French Coffee Shop based in Hong Kong. They are testing the pop-up retail with us inside the Hilton Hotel. Below is our concept to use their mobile cafe and the theme of Paris Subway to transform the hotel lobby into a subway station.... Read more »
Commercial /

Make Hotel

Maker, movement, hotel, movable, next generation, future, sustainable, experiential, architecture, interior design, avoid obvious, AOarchitect, AOA, Vicky Chan
MAKE HOTEL: A HOTEL FOR MAKERS This is a research started by Avoid Obvious Architects to rethink hotel for the 21st century. Other than exclusivity, high-end materials and moody lighting, current hotels are not embracing the maker and entrepreneurial movement. Can hotels be customized by their patrons for different needs? How can a hotel become... Read more »
Installation Retail /

Mobile Bar 5.0

corney & Barrow, wine, mobile, bar, cart, exhibition, wood, sustainable, vintage, world, map, england, merchants, architects, architecture, avoid obvious
  Mobile Architecture Beta 5.0 – Mobile Bar We always integrate connectivity, mobility, and sustainability into our building and design. We were commissioned by Corney & Barrow to expand their Asian presence by building mobile architecture that can move with them to different events. Corney & Barrow is a 230-year-old English wine merchant who sells... Read more »
teaching /

Sustainable Architecture for Children

Avoid obvious, architecture, children, high-rise, city planning, sustainable, green, towers, buildings, paper, model, making
Architecture for Children with Collective Intelligence We are teaching children about sustainability, architecture and city planning. Below are 9 exercises to be conducted in 20 classes. Special thanks to Pua Owen, Elizabeth Corts and Chi Tam for their ideas. See our other syllabus. Sustainability with Architecture Fall 2016 Environmental problems and causes – part 1.... Read more »
General Urban Planning /

Utopian City for Businesses

G107, Bao’an, Shenzhen, masterplan, city planning, sustainable, green, manufacturing, avoid obvious, tetra, architecture, planners, architects, aoarchitect, tetra-arch, connections, drone, highway, future, futuristic, carbon zero, carbon neutral, china, hong kong, pearl river delta, Baoan, autopilot, driverless, high speed, transit, multimodal, connections, sharing economy, co-working, shared, amenities, natural, nature, road, infrastructure, water cycle, water management, landscape, design, branding, engineering, marketing, drone-view, aerial, airport
How can we create an Utopian City using Collective Intelligence? We conducted a world-wide survey about city planning. We wanted to find out how we can use collective intelligence to design an utopian city for businesses. Our final design can be seen here. Below are data collected. Wijdène Kaabi, KAA Studio, Tunisia/London/Hong Kong Minimize social polarity... Read more »
Installation /

Automated Partitioning System

Automated, Partitioning, Avoid Obvious, Interior Design, Architecture,
Automated Partitioning System Function MOD is a automated partitioning system that allows users to dynamically modify environments for their changing needs. MOD is a system of modular screen units throughout the educational space. Each unit is a 5’ by 5’ square and is supported from the ceiling. Lighting is provided for each unit. By adjusting... Read more »
Retail /

40 under 40

Avoid Obvious Architects won Design:Retail 40 under 40 Award. We are next to talented designers from Nike, Samsung and American Express. See our retail project: Wanda Pavilion, Tramways, Bryon Lars  
Installation Urban Planning /

Flag Plaza

Flags, International, Avoid Obvious, UN, United Nations, Olypmics, Plaza, Benches, 2d, 3d, wood, wave, sustainable, architecture, furniture
World Countries Flags > International Flag Plaza We are always interested in bridging the gap between graphics and architecture. The idea of International Flag Plaza is to give a spatial and democratic identity to all countries flags. Those flags on poles are always seen in Olympics Games or UN conferences, but the setting doesn’t leave... Read more »
Graphics Installation /


greenwall, green, vertical, planting, platns, moss, text, 3d, greenscape, landscape, triangle fire, boardway, NYU, brown building, avoid obvious
TextMOSS – Text can grows The idea of this TextMoss is to use plant material to symbolize the event of Triangle Fire and the ongoing struggle for working class. The memorial subtlety integrates itself to the Brown building, but the use of material makes it visually unique from the surrounding context. Wouldn’t it be nice... Read more »
Installation /

AO Museum

model making, avoid obvious, green, sustainable, architect, architecture, museum, recycled, green
AO Museum AO Museum is our experimental model to combine all of our projects into one project. The idea is inspired by our previous AO sandwich. Can projects repeat itself to new project? Can ideas like materials be recycled and turned into a new idea? Our work plays with our sustainable ideas. It has our... Read more »
Commercial Installation /

OLED Turbine

Wind turbine, flow, sculpture, green, sustainable, razor, gillete, boston, competition, winner, product, design, architecture, spiral, twisted, avoid obvious, OLED, Advestising, Commerical
OLED Turbine :: Aliasing Aliasing is an array of wind turbines that uses OLED technology as the blades. The result is a sustainable billboard powered by wind. Each OLED panel is stacked on top of each other to form a spiral which serves as a vertical axis wind turbine to provide energy for information display.... Read more »
Installation /

Gillette – Razor Turbine

Wind turbine, flow, sculpture, green, sustainable, razor, gillete, boston, competition, winner, product, design, architecture, spiral, twisted, avoid obvious
Awarded: Gillette Landmark Design Competition 3rd place. FLOW is two vertical-axis wind turbines that combine the history of P&G Gillette with environmental goal of 21st century. The form and configuration of FLOW is inspired by Gillette’s Safety Razor patented in 1904. Both turbines have nine mini sets of blades. Each blade retains the proportion of... Read more »
Installation Urban Planning /

International Flag Bench

craftwsmanship, wooden bench, 3d bench, waved bench, 2d to 3d. cnc, Architecture, Avoid obvious
2d to 3d: International Flag as Benches We are always interested in bridging the gap between 2d graphics and 3d architecture. We did it with type and mask previously and this time we explore the potential from a flag’s graphic. The idea is to find spatial quality within a 2d graphics. From a first glance,... Read more »