Life in Hong Kong's shoebox housing by Marcelo Duhalde

Hong Kong has been notorious for its poor living conditions for those with lower incomes, with more than 220,000 people squeezing themselves in the tiny subdivided flats. With the coronavirus looming in the background and the scorching heat wave sweeping across the city in the summer, the graphics team of South China Morning Post collaborated with Hong Kong desk to deep dive into the city’s thorniest issues.

The development process of this project is way more different than the majority of other projects we have created before. Instead of searching data from online sources or seeking help from frontline reporters, the graphics team has splitted into two groups, visiting coffin homes and bed spaces in person and collecting figures by measuring the home size and interviewing the residents. For the sake of presenting the struggles of subdivided dwellers to the readers in a closer angle, we read through multiple reports and analysis that were published by the government and local NGO.

The infographic was combined with realistic illustrations and strong data visualisations, we used blender - a 3d model tool to build the structure of a typical closet home that resides 20 people inside and the technique of “Scrollytelling” to walk our readers through the insights of the flats step by step. With detailed illustrations and related photos, we try our best to visualise the life conditions of different types of subdivided flats in Hong Kong. This piece is a good example to tell humanitarian stories with composition of nice illustrations, 3d models, and interactive graphics.