Elaine W. Ho went to Hong Kong for two weeks and left the work-live space of HomeShop on Xiaojingchang Hutong to Tao. As an exchange, Tao was asked to make the residency term a means “to finish a project here”. His architecture internship at the firm Limited Design consisted of working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays including the commute, which meant that only sleeping hours were spent at HomeShop. As it happened, this project was inspired by just such a relationship between time and space.
In the period that Tao stayed at HomeShop, the actual time he used the space was from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. each weekday plus weekends for the duration of two weeks. HomeShop during the idle periods—weekdays 8am to 8pm—was therefore regarded as temp_space. From this, certain equations could be made according to the relations between time and space:
temp_space = useable_space × 24 hours effective_space = used_space × used hours time_plot_ratio = effective_space / temp_space
According to users’ feelings about the level of privacy of their spaces, the perfect private space can be considered as that which is continually used (used_space × 24 hours), and therefore, non-perfect private space can be called temp_space.
Based on this assumption, architecture resident Tao moved all the personal items in the space to the perfect private space of the bedroom, and changed the public room of HomeShop into a temp_space, available on weekdays from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. It was separated from the private space by a moveable canvas wall, while the existing glass door and curtain functioned as usual, providing shelter from weather and public views when desired. It became a well-insulated architectural space, freely provided with a contract to people who needed space. It could be utilized as a breakfast kiosk, a secret dating room for middle school students or a recreation room for senior neighbours. While it was not in use, temp_space became a public space, merging into the hutong street outside.
This idea was formed outside of internship work hours during the course of a few weekday evenings and constructed over the course of one weekend. It was used on several occasions, for a reading club and a couple of group meetings. The project was terminated upon HomeShop’s return as a used live-work space. The wooden frame and canvas were recycled.