Science of the Secondary at BOOK B

A lifetime laboratory.


有人會觀察被視為無聊的東西,但其實用心鑽研,它會變成科學的 —— 次要科學 —— 「『次要』一詞指的是在日常生活、與物件和環境的恆常接觸中,沒有被意識到的情感和狀態。」


Now when I think of it, the way I drink is always connected to my mental status. A big cup of warm water helps me to concentrate, especially when I need a short break on a busy day. Gulping down a full cup of water always helps to loosen me up and recharge me with all the energy I need to continue working.

Some people enjoy observing the so-called “boring” things. These things can actually become “secondary science” if one is willing to dedicate the effort to investigate. “When speaking of the term ‘secondary’, we are referring to conditions and sensations that human beings are not conscious of in their day-to-day interaction with things and the immediate surroundings.”

What is logic or the norm?

Science of the Secondary-toilet paper1

來自新加坡,Atelier HOKO的Alvin與Clara,就是往這種地方裡鑽的人,探索著人類行為藏著的隱性情感,那大概是,我們夠了解自己嗎?以此延伸出雜誌《Science of the Secondary》,從蘋果、杯子、窗户、水管、雞蛋、襪子種種極尋常之物,我們卻似對它們一無所知。每次選定雜誌主題後,二人會強迫自己發問500至1000個好奇的事,是這種好奇誘發萬千種發現,也是這樣帶來科學。

最近他們把實驗帶到香港的書店BOOK B,以最新一期有關廁紙的使用習慣:「嗯?你是如何撕廁紙的?」另外還有杯子實驗室Drinking laboratory,從十七個形態迥異的杯子裡挑一個讓你最好奇的,半小時的喝飲,重新感受這日常背後的不自覺。

The Singaporean duo Alvin and Clara from Atelier HOKO are precisely this type of people. They are particularly interested in understanding the hidden emotion that can be observed in human behavior. This is perhaps a way to explore how much we know about ourselves. Science of the Secondary is the extension of such curiosity. Usual items like apples, cups, windows, tubes, eggs, socks and other things are at the same time familiar yet strange. After finalizing the theme of the magazine issue, the two of them will force themselves to ask 500 to 1000 curious questions; which would result in countless discoveries that have a chance to induce a scientific discovery.

The duo has recently brought their experiment to the Hong Kong bookshop, BOOK B, with their new issue on the habit of using toilet paper. “How do you tear the toilet paper?” Another project of Atelier HOKO is “A drinking laboratory” that experiments with different types of cups and have the customers to choose the one that can spark the greatest interest. The cafe turns the usual coffee drinking experience into a brand new one, so as to remind them of the amusing things of the daily routine.



Could we all be actually living in a massive laboratory where there are a lot of intriguing experiments going which we simply have missed them out most of the time? When feeling exhausted, I would remind myself not to lose my curiosity. We can put the curiosity aside for a while when feeling weak, but there should always be a time when we regain this precious eagerness for seeing more.

Like the booklet of “A drinking laboratory” writes, “First, we suck.” “When we are old and the teeth become weak, eating becomes mostly drinking.” No matter how long has time passed, we would always return to how we originally were. The curiosity of children is often inspiring; we may have fascinating ideas of our own but they were simply overshadowed by the concerns and numbness of a typical grown-up.

Science of the Secondary-cup1