From Google bus blockade in San Francisco to Occupy Gezi Park in Istanbul, public space activism has become a worldwide phenomenon. This talk offers a critical view into a different form of activism in East Asia that involves sharing of rooms, resources, and networks of reciprocity in the increasingly neo-liberalized spaces of precarity.
Jeffrey Hou is Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture and Adjunct Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work focuses on design activism, community engagement, and public space and democracy. In a career that spans across the Pacific, he has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers, and fishers in Taiwan, neighborhood residents in Japan, villagers in China, and inner-city immigrant youths and elders in North American cities. Hou is the editor of Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities (2010), which received the EDRA Places Book Award in 2012. He is also the co-editor of a new book titled, Messy Urbanism: Understanding the ‘Other’ Cities of Asia.