Toby Tai Shi Kit

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Efficient teamwork, shared objectives, plus good use of specialist knowledge and individual skills have helped to optimise everyone’s respective contributions to the project.

Toby Tai always aspired to develop a career which would allow him to use his specialised skills and unique design flair, while also making a meaningful contribution to society. He is therefore pleased to collaborate with a group of Minecraft enthusiasts to found the community project “CubicHK”. Through this initiative, Tai takes full advantage of his studies at HKMU as well as growing expertise in the field of innovation and technology, and at the same time helping current HKMU students sharpen their skills and apply their talents.

The project is using Minecraft to realistically recreate the city of Hong Kong in a life-size representation on a 1:1 scale, covering the urban areas, the New Territories and the outlying islands. “Our goal is to spark young people’s interest in Hong Kong’s unique cityscape, which has a diverse cultural heritage and is rich in architectural wonders,” Tai says. “We want to preserve episodes of daily life in the city in a format easily accessible to most young people.”

As the team members all have full-time jobs, a number of HKMU students from the Solution-Focused Internship Project, an HKMU scheme that matches students with local companies, were recruited to help recreate the newly expanded university campus with Minecraft.

Even though CubicHK is a community project, it has served to inspire all the students taking part. Students have been asked to solve practical problems and tackle challenges as a team, which gave them extra motivation.

“To make the images as realistic as possible, precision and accuracy are the priorities,” Tai says. “Sourcing accurate reference materials has been difficult. But we searched through an enormous amount of publicly accessible terrain data available through the Lands Department and online mapping platform. The ultra-high density of Hong Kong’s urban areas makes recreating them realistically a major challenge.”

He believes, though, that efficient teamwork, shared objectives, plus good use of specialist knowledge and individual skills have helped to optimise everyone’s respective contributions to the project.

The collective CubicHK efforts will soon come to fruition as some faithfully Minecraft-recreated landmarks in Tsim Sha Tsui are being showcased on the project website and in videos on YouTube. Because Hong Kong was built on diverse economic activities, Tai says, young people can always find careers that are rewarding and which, at the same time, enable them to make notable contributions and have a positive impact on society.