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Surrogate Refuge: An Exploration Into the Remedial Process of Placemaking by Foreign Domestic Workers in Central, Hong Kong

Part 2 Dissertation 2020
Jessica Moss
University of Bath | UK
Located in the epicentre of Hong Kong, Central is home to a range of high-end retail shopping malls, multi-national financial corporations, and some of the city's most significant political and historical landmarks. The district witnesses a peculiar transformation on Sundays each week as Foreign Domestic Workers become unofficial agents of the public realm, temporarily transforming Central’s outdoor public spaces into a thriving diasporic community that is nicknamed ‘Little Manila’.

This dissertation explores the placemaking process conducted by Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong's public spaces during their day-off as a means by which documented experiences of alienation and exclusion in their work life are remediated against. ‘Little Manila’ is the case study for this exploration, supported by collated primary research conducted during September of 2019 that reveal details of this process.

The dissertation discusses the wider importance of user engagement in the creation of successful urban places as suggested by urban theorist Jan Gehl, Amos Rapoport, and Peter C. Smith, implying that the denunciation of the liberal use of public spaces in Hong Kong has significant implications on the city’s urban identity."

Jessica Moss

Prof Vaughan Hart
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