There are approximately 200,000 female domestic workers from other countries in Hong Kong. Most of them are employed as helpers with a residence provided by the employer, creating a situation whereby the working and living space are merged into one single space for six days a week. Government regulations dictate they must be given twelve consecutive hours of free time each Sunday, leading this massive workforce to the open spaces of Hong Kong.
The Green Umbrella considers the environmental consequences of this mass movement, supporting the manner in which domestic helpers assimilate the public space surrounding them to suit their own culture and form of gathering, involving dance, games, food, naps and political rallies. Along and below elevated walkways and highways recycled cardboard is used to create temporary territories amongst the pedestrian flow and adjacent to busy roads. The green umbrella is a digitally sensing device that can provide shelter and enclosure, together with a screen showing the level of air pollution measured with built-in CO2 sensors. This will allow users to identify the less polluted areas in the city where they can rest, whilst highlighting the issue as part of the social conscience of the city.
The green umbrellas will be strategically located and equipped to provide wifi to users of public space, together with a panic button to help users call for help.