april 18th 2016. this special event aimed at bringing interest upon one of the city’s most emblematic yet overlooked trait, namely the hem or alleyway. three speakers were invited to share their work and vision with the public.

more than a 100 people filled yoko cafe’s space to hear a novel perspective on what makes vietnamese cities’ identity.


the alleyway, hem, and the street in general, is vietnamese city’s most obvious public space. hosting a great diversity of both social and economic activities throughout the day (and the night), the street is a central place in the daily life of saigoneses. yet, the street and its lifestyle’s perenity is being challenged by several issues – flooding resilience, sururbanisation, new models of urbanisation…

with a panel of urban practitioners ranging from researcher, architects to artists, we will discuss the city’s public spaces life today and tomorrow.


8:15 – Marie Gibert is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. she presented her phd work on the recomposition of street life in ho chi minh city. Marie Gibert is one of the rare researchers working on ho chi minh’s vernacular urban fabric. following years of in-depth field work, her view on the past present and future of this vietnamese structure needed to be shared.

8:40 – showing of Landscape Duet, a short movie of contemporary dance taking place in hong-kong, followed by a discussion with the film-makers, t.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e, a belgo-franco-vietnamese artistic company that worked in hong-kong and is now based in brussels and ho chi minh city. a part of the short movie is shot in a large empty public space of hong-kong. bringing an international perspective into the debate, we questioned the functions associated with public spaces and landscape.

9:00 – Archie Pizzini, architect, director at HTA+Pizzini, presented his work on the public spaces of ho chi minh city and introduced the concept of rasquachismo he developed in his phd thesis to characterise the capacity of citizens’ resilience ability.

9:15 – open q&a with the public.

Marie Gibert presenting her work