Interview with designer Stanley Siu (SS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Rising Moon Pavilion.

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Interview with Stanley Siu at Tuesday 20th of May 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SS : Rising Moon is a temporary pavilion designed to serve as an anchor attraction during the 2013 Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival. It reinterpreted traditional paper lanterns with recycled plastic bottles and at the same time creating a Synthetic Moon, thus promoting the message of environmental protection.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SS : Our concept is to bring the distanced Moon closer to the surface of Victoria Park, which gives the visitors a dynamic visual impact, a Synthetic Moon.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SS : Rising Moon is the gold award winner of Hong Kong Tourism Board Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Wonderland Design Competition 2013. We then carried forward the concept to construction for the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong on 14th September 2013.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
SS : Rising Moon is influenced by our local traditions and our childhood memories, where it is the Chinese tradition to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and to be gathered under the full moon once a year with family and friends lighting up paper lanterns, a symbol of Reunion. With such tradition and folklore, the Moon has always been the main focus during Mid-Autumn Festival as it become brighter, bigger in size and a perfect circle during the Full Moon Phase.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
SS : Rising Moon is designed for the public of Hong Kong, where residents and tourists would be able to celebrate the meaningful festival together.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SS : Rising Moon is not only a piece of architecture, it is also an art sculpture. While visitor are celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival and enjoying the architecture of the pavilion, we have brought questions to them as well. When almost 7000 PET bottles were acquired by Rising Moon could only represents 15 minutes of consumption of the city, we might as well think about what can be done so that our future generation will grow up in a healthier environment.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SS : One of the highlights of the lighting effects was the performance of the Moon Phases, from the New Moon to Full Moon. It almost like the Moon is rising from the water in Victoria Park.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SS : We are creating a Synthetic Moon through reflection of water. We designed a "Half" Moon sitting on a pool , where reflection completes the Full Moon. Not only we are bringing a 20m "Moon" to Hong Kong, we are also bringing the real "Moon" into the pavilion through an opening at the crown of the hemisphere as well as the reflection from water inside.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
SS : Technology has taken a big role in Rising Moon. Prefabrication of Geodesic Steel Structure, 148 Triangular Steel Modules and LED animations are all based on precise calculations by computer programmes.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
SS : We have calculate the path and angle of the Moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival through Astronomy applications, in order to let the Moon shine through the opening and into the pavilion during the Mid-Autumn Festival while the Moon is at its biggest and brightest.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
SS : The biggest challenges face during design and construction is the limited construction time and unstable weather. The construction period of Rising Moon was between 02 September 2013 and 13 September 2013, 12 days. In order to deliver the Rising Moon within a short period of time, we standardize the design with triangular modules through complex geodesic calculations. 148 steel triangular modules were simplified into 6 types of different module. Prefabrication of triangular modules and inserting LED components into water bottles were the vital part of the construction of Rising Moon. This process minimize the on-site production time, the affect caused by unstable weather, while maintaining its quality to a high standard.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SS : We believe the pavilion has given a new dimension on sustainable design.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
SS : Comprehensive preparation and attention to details would have great affect on the resulting quality of design.