To help combat the problem of drug addiction in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with the support of the Narcotics division of the HK Police Force, funded this interactive centre, commissioning MET to design and supervise its completion.
It has become a focal point for drug education and anti-drug educational activities in the territory, providing a one-stop service offering comprehensive information for young people on the harm of drug and substance abuse, along with community involvement and support for parents, professionals, teachers and workers in the anti-drug field. MET was awarded the design and build contract by the Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) on the basis of our experience of designing various health and welfare projects for the Wellcome Trust in London. As well as designing the experience we were also appointed to do the branding of exhibition designs under the supervision of Arch SD.
Our content approach was not to create a moralising tone or any summarising voice of authority. Instead, we believed that using the words of people who had "been there, done that" and the experiences of those whose lives have been touched by drugs would be far more impactful.
All of this is underpinned by hard, dispassionately presented medical fact on the physical and psychological effects of drugs. The intention above all is to stimulate debate and learning, which is then carried on in other areas of the space and at home and in the classroom.
The centre has been extremely well received by the community and officials, marking an important milestone in Hong Kong’s drug prevention education and publicity efforts to combat drug and substance abuse.