About Freedom Ball

Freedom Ball questions whether the Hong Kong government controls the use of public space for the benefit of Hong Kong people.

We do this through simple and striking interventions in public spaces which encourage the public to engage directly with activities which are currently banned in the space.

The principles of our interventions are that they challenge the rules in a way that is positive and engaging and encourage the public to join in actively.

Our aim is to change the way that public spaces are managed, designed and controlled so that they meet the needs of Hong Kong people.

自由波向政府質疑: 政府控制公共空間的使用是否有利於公眾利益。


這些行動的宗旨就是: 大家用正面而又有趣的形式鼓勵公眾積極投入這類活動,挑戰僵化規條。

我們的目的在於改變公共空間的設計和管理模式, 最終能符合香港市民的需要。

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

City Speak IV

I'll be attending City Speak IV on Saturday which will also include a number of other far more knowledgable speakers discussing various issues around the regulation of public space, so come along and join the debate.
Details here: City Speak IV

Monday, September 15, 2008

Facebook Group

Cally has started a Facebook Group to share ideas and images related to the issues explored by Freedom Ball. Check it out here: Facebook Group 我們在公園裡准做什麼? --- 有沒有不吐不快的故事﹖

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Olivia's Story

Olivia wrote a story for a children's magazine that asks children to think about the rules in the park and kindly allowed us to put it up here at Freedom Ball as it relates closely to what we do.
Story by Olivia Yeung 羊瑾

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Freedom Ball in Kowloon Park

The third Freedom Ball event was in Kowloon Park on Saturday. You can see photos from the day here:

Cally Yu's Photos - Freedom Ball at HK parks

Wong Man-wai's Photos - Happy action- Freedom Ball

Jiro Kwok's Photos

Gweipo's Photos

This time things took a little time to get going but we had a lot of fun in the end and some interesting discussions with the park management!

If you want to see more of what happened then watch TVB Pearl's 'The Works' at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday 19th August) as they will be featuring Freedom Ball on the show and were filming on Saturday. If you miss the show on TV you will be able to see it online at RTHK Online - The Works


Cally Yu's Photos - Freedom Ball at HK parks

Wong Man-wai's Photos - Happy action- Freedom Ball

Jiro Kwok's Photos

Gweipo's Photos

本次行動起動較慢, 但我們最終都歡載而歸, 和公園管理人員的討論尤其有趣!
如果各位想睇多啲, 明天晚上7點(八月十六日星期二) TVB明珠台'The Works'有睇。上星期六這個節目的攝製組已到九龍公園錄影自由波行動。錯過節目仍可上网址RTHK Online - The Works重温。

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Freedom Ball on TV

There will be another Freedom Ball intervention this weekend, on Saturday afternoon so if you're interested in getting involved then let me know. It's been organised at short notice because RTHK would like to film a Freedom Ball activity in time to show it on their arts and culture program 'The Works' on Tuesday (7pm). Exact time and venue to be confirmed shortly - watch this space!

本周未又一個自由波事件簿:  星期六九龍公園約定你。時間倉促,只因RTHK計劃於下星期二(7點)在藝術及文化峰烟節目'The Works'播出。具体時間再行通知。

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Park Problems

Freedom Ball is all about questioning how parks and other public spaces can be better regulated, managed and designed. Freedom Ball aims to stimulate this debate through our interventions. In order to further the discussion, here are what I think some of the main problems are:

1) Excessive or unnecessary rules that prevent people from taking part in harmless and enjoyable activities in the park or at the beach such as playing ball games, sitting on the grass, walking a dog on a leash etc.

2) Too much 'dead space' in park design. Public space is so limited and valuable in Hong Kong that Park designers should maximise, not minimise, the opportunities for the public to use the space. Creating areas of open space and then banning people from walking or sitting in that space is nonsensical given the limited space available, in my opinion.

3) Too much restricted, single-use space which is often under-utilised. Designers of Hong Kong parks like to create specialist, single use spaces which are often empty. It is fine to give priority to specialist users of these spaces but if they are not being used for this purpose then ways should be found to make them available to the general public.

Possible solutions:

1) Park and beach rules should serve the needs of the Hong Kong public, enabling them to enjoy their parks and public spaces without unnecessary restrictions. I accept that there is, of course, a need for some regulations in parks and public spaces but these regulations should be reviewed to ensure that they meet the genuine needs of Hong Kong people.

2) Spaces should be designed so that they facilitate the public using and interacting with the public space not so that they restrict the public from accessing them.

3) Single-use spaces should be opened up to the general public wherever possible when they have not been booked for the specialist purpose for which they were designed. Use of space should be regularly reviewed and, if necessary, re-designed to better serve the public. Further than this, more priority should be given to open, flexible, multi-use space in future park design.

These are just my ideas. Freedom Ball is about making the way that public space is regulated, managed and designed serve the needs of Hong Kong people, so what do you think? Do you agree, disagree, or have any other ideas or suggestions? Do you have any examples of ways in which public spaces such as parks or beaches could be better regulated, managed or designed?

自由波行動就是向公園及其它公共空間的立規, 管理及設計提出問題,舉行活動激發討論。有及於此,本人且拋磚引玉,以下是我所認識的主要問題:

1)過多或無必要的規條阻碍大家進行一些有益又有趣的活動: 例如在公園和沙灘玩波, 草地上閑坐, 帶狗隻散步等。

2)公園設計過多「死角」。香港寸金尺土, 公共空間彌足珍貴。公園設計者應提供機會讓公眾盡用空間, 而非縮减。本人認為創造公共空間, 又遏制公眾使用實為無稽之談。

3)過多受限的單一功能空間未能善用。香港公園設計者喜設計尃用場地, 却不幸地經常性丟空。我提議這些場地若然丟空, 則應開放給公眾使用。


1)公園和沙灘之立例應服務香港市民的需要, 無拘無束地享受自己的空間。我當然明白而且接受: 無規矩不能成方园, 但請謹記「規矩」應以香港市民的需要為首務。


3)尃用場地若非預訂, 則應開放給公眾使用。經常檢查場地的使用率, 有需要的話, 則重新設計, 善加使用。未來的公園設計, 希望更開放, 更靈活, 更多功能。

以上謹為本人之磚, 愿得彼人之玉。你同意或反對本人的睇法或有其他建議? 能否提供公園及其它公共空間的立規, 管理及設計的更好意見呢?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thanks for your support!

Thanks to everyone who has e-mailed or commented in support of Freedom Ball in the past few days, it's really appreciated. I'll reply to all your e-mails as soon as possible as well as posting about the next stage for Freedom Ball.

多謝所有在前幾天用電郵或留言支持自由波的每一位, 我衷心地致送我的感激之情. 我會盡快地回覆所有的電郵並公佈關於自由波下一個階段的事。

Friday, August 1, 2008

South China Morning Post

The South China Morning Post have said they will run a piece about Freedom Ball in tomorrow's paper (Sunday 3rd August) so have a look!

南華早報已說將在明天的報張上(八月三日, 星期天)貼上一篇關於自由波的文章,請看一看吧!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poll 投票箱

Just a note on the poll, I realised that it was not allowing multiple selections so I have amended it to allow multiple selections in either category.

關於投票箱, 我稍作說明: 我之前發現不能作多項選擇所以我改動了少少現在两個項目均能作多項選擇。

Freedom Ball Posters 自由波海報

Above are the first series of Freedom Ball Posters. I'll be using these to promote the project. The first, small-scale interventions have been really successful and well supported but I want to take the project to the next level which will involve printing up a large quantity of the balls including logo and message and doing larger scale interventions. This will require a much larger team of people and we're looking for help with transportation, more photographers and video cameramen and people to conduct and record interviews. We'll also be looking to get press coverage for these larger scale events. If you're interested in getting involved then leave a comment here or email me at david@davidbiddlecombe.com

以上是自由波海報第一擊。我會用這些海報來推廣本次計劃。第一輪行動己告成功! 雖然規模小, 但反應好,大家很支持。多謝哂! 本人決定本次計劃將進入下一個層面:包括印制大量自由波,波波上寫有標誌和宣言並舉辦更大規模的行動。此舉需要大家支持。我們需要以下各方面的協助:交通工具;攝影師;錄影人員;採訪員等。我們亦要尋求媒體大量報道本次大規模的行動。有興趣参加者請留言或電邮本人: david@davidbiddlecombe.com

Freedom Ball at Quarry Bay Park 自由波蒞臨鰂鱼涌公園

Our second experiment was at Quarry Bay Park. Again the support from the public was great. The park management tried to stop proceedings this time, though, threatening to call the police at one point. Encouragingly, the result was that, rather than scaring people away, it merely prompted more people to join in in defiance of the regulations.

When it started to rain we sheltered under cover and had a discussion about the park rules. Again, people were really supportive and some agreed to pose for a group photo in support of the project (see photo 6 above).

This positive response was duplicated all day as we 'toured' the park.

我們的第二個試驗選擇了鰂鱼涌公園。 再一次,公眾給了巨大的支持。 公園管理人員设法令这次行動流產,縱然他們曾威脅要向警察舉報。 但令人鼓舞的是: 這些威脅沒能把人吓跑,相反地只是激勵更多市民加入挑戰這些規條。

下雨了,我們暫避於簷下, 并齊齊探討公園的規條。 再不約而同地,市民真誠支持, 有些市民甚至赞成影大合照以表支持(上面的see photo 6)。

整天『遊』園活動中, 随處可遇這些熱烈支持。

Freedom Ball at Wan Chai Park 自由波蒞臨灣仔公園

Welcome to Freedom Ball, a project which seeks to challenge whether the rules imposed by the government on public spaces are in the interests of the public.We do this by facilitating small acts of disobedience which encourage the public to break the rules in public places and stimulate discussion about what purpose those rules serve. To do this we focus on the rule that bans ball games in parks.

Support from the public at our first intervention in Wan Chai park was overwhelmingly positive, with kids (and adults) happily joining in and some interesting discussions, with members of the public questioning why, for example, their children were not allowed to ride their bicycles in the park.

歡迎流覽自由波計劃,此計劃主要探求, 討論和挑戰政府行使對於公共空間的使用規條是否是有利於公眾。由是我們要舉辮一些「公民抗命」行動: 諸如我們鼓勵公眾在公共场所打破框框和刺激大家討論此等規條目的何在等等。 我們且將公園禁止球類活動作為焦點。

我們灣仔公園第一個試驗行動從公眾的支持度看來, 碓是壓倒性地正面: 孩子(和成人) 愉快地加入,伴随著一些有趣的讨论,有公眾質疑,例如,他們的孩子為什麼不允许在公園骑自行车。

Monday, April 14, 2008


Welcome to Freedom Ball - more information coming soon!