City North Projection

In ‘projection’ we find homonymic connections that scaffold a productive space for investigating urban planning logic. This space is virtual, existing in the financial forecasts of now, the selective aspects of architectures to come and the marshaled real(i)ties of developers. Telegraphic teleologies and future returns warp ernest utopian visions into destructors of the real. Reality is the property of the future.

Originally a (building) site-specific installation in which a film was projected onto the draft supplementary planning document (SPD) in a room strewn with glossy marketing material, bansaws and benches, chipboard and sawdust. The fabricated image of imminent realities projected amongst the frozen actuality of development becomes a spectral premonition of a future forestalled.


In combining three forms of projection into one sensory experience these images simultaneous encapsulate and juxtapose differing perspectives of a place. The SPD is a simplification and quantification of the past framed in terms of future potentials to seduce the present (property developers). A 3D model of the current reality was generated using photogrammetry and 200 photos of a Saturday afternoon. This crude quantising of reality into data points and the resulting errors and artifacts manifest the poverty of this perspective.

The datafication of social reality is designed to omit that which does not fit into the projection. Finally a 3D model of the proposed development was created by studying the sales brochures from Savills Hong Kong. These images again project a future designed to seduce the present (overseas investors). In their virtuality they are permitted a richer reality replete with dreams and sunshine and piazzas. The difficulty in finding a decent plan of the development and instead relying on ‘marketing renders’ illuminates just how imaginary the projection is.