" รู้หวัน? ... มิงกะละบา"
Lecture for THE PHUKET ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS
(Design Built) Experience in Myanmar
(Design Built) Experience in Myanmar
STUDIO OUTLINE Architectural Design V, Summer 2015
Our second semester at INDA Architecture program has ended. See link below for the research booklet that contains work done mainly during the first half.
Industrial delocalization and globalization in the post - industrial era are pushing cities and countries into competition to attract and develop economic activities. These cities and countries are setting up business clusters and industrial parks to promote entrepreneurship, supporting them with variety of incentives and improved infrastructure. Due to rapid increase internet usage and the parallel success of IT enterprise; IT clusters have been the main global focus of the last decade.
Silicon Valley (USA) has been the Mecca of the IT clusters in the world. But other cities, states and countries worldwide are joining the competition for attracting global talent by promoting themselves as the new IT hubs. Each city is finding a different model and format to promote their industries. And the megacities seem to be challenging the isolated ‘valley’ model and the dominance of the Silicon Valley (http://www.theguardian. com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/sep/04/ silicon-valley-technology-startups-megacities).
Another reason for the popularity of the mega cities might be related to the changing demographics of the entrepreneurs. Starting a large scale IT business does not require a large starting capital; infrastructure or a large team. A few talented individual with high speed internet and access to information and investors are all that is needed. This phenomenon has translated itself into a much younger and dynamic entrepreneur community who select the most convenient and livable city to base their startup. It is not surprising that Bangkok with its dynamic lifestyle options and relatively low living costs, has been attracting many international entrepreneurs. Although currently at a smaller scale than some of its counterparts, Bangkok’s IT ecosystem is becoming one of the most vibrant hubs in Southeast Asia; and is expected to grow in the near future. (http://www. bangkokpost.com/news/general/451789/china-backs-thai- bid-to-become-it-hub).
During this studio, we will investigate the IT work environments within the context of Bangkok and speculate over future spatial and programmatic typologies / organizations / networks as tools to generate a dynamic and creative IT ecosystem. Creating a cluster means providing living and working space for a large community in close proximity. This poses a difficult challenge in dense and crowded cities. Some cities preferred building ground-up cities (http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Digital_Media_City); some others are using this challenge as an opportunity to rejuvenate under- utilized and under-developed neighborhoods
(http:// brooklyntechtriangle.com). In the case of Bangkok, the ideal model is yet to be developed.
Within this framework, many questions arise:
• What is the role of architecture in promoting such a creative environment at a global scale?
• Are there any possibilities for the City of Bangkok to integrate the supporting elements to its infrastructure
network such as innovative digital and/or physical tools; or work spaces within its public realm?
• Is it possible to repurpose existing buildings, spaces, neighborhoods to support the IT industry?
• Does the unpredictability the IT startups (short life cycle, high failure percentage, fast growth) challenge
the typical office building typology?
• Lack of qualified local IT workforce requires a large number of international workers at the beginning years.
How can the work environment be differentiated globally and attract talent to Bangkok? Can or shall
the work environment facilitate the adaptation of expatriates into the local community?
• Cross-generational educational programs need to be provided for the local community.
Are there possibilities to cluster educational facilities within the work environment?
• Is it possible to cluster the small scale collaborative work areas up into a larger envelope?
• What is the new office typology for the Digital Era? Can concepts and terminology that belong to other fields
such as ‘Networking’ or ‘Clustering’ be utilized as Architectural design, organization and form making tools?
Architectural Design IV, Fall 2014
During this studio, we focused on Koh Mak as a ground for speculation on new architectural typologies for tourism and hybrid models.
Interventions varied from agriculture to aquaculture; from park to navy base.
Koh Mak (island) resides in between two popular large islands Koh Chang and Koh Kood on the Eastern seaboard of the gulf of Thailand. Due to its large private ownership ( 95% - the largest privately owned island in Thailand), and a general concensus among the stake-holders for keeping the island low-density, car free and family friendly has limited the development unlikes its neighborhood islands. Landowners are committed to investigating the bike routes and not allowing car traffic; controlling noise and light pollution; finding creative ways to grow the local economy and to improve quality of life without sacrificing the qualities of the island that they have preserved for centuries.
However, the urge for cultural and ecological preservation and minimal environmental impact generally conflict with the desire and need for growth. Addressing the conflict, requires questioning of preconceptions about established touristic and economical models for the island and the established land use patterns. It might also require challenging the presumed manifestations of sustainability, preservation and eco-friendliness.
Throughout the studio, we requested students to develop unique attitudes / solutions towards the following issues;
constructed locally _ What would be the criterial and methodologies for defining the context (cultural, natural and architectural) and developing an architectural response / language in an island where the majority of the population is foreign (labour and tourist); almost the entirely of the island's land is cultivated; and the building materials and construction methods imported?
(un)natural habit _ Koh Chang and Koh Kood have native forests, waterfalls, hills and many more beach options. In contrast, Koh Mak has flat land and almost its entire land cover is dedicated to plantations. Although Koh Mak lack the diverse natural and leisure attractions, it has to rely on tourism as the main driver for its economy. In addition to the beach resorts, can the anthropogenic landscape of Koh Mak be ulilized as an alternative destination for tourists and the modern nomads?
Isolated & Collective _ Many residents of Koh Mak elect to be here for the isolation and solitude it offers. Yet is is precisely this isolation that promotes collaboration and a sense of commune among the island's citizens. What would be the architectural manifestation of the collective yet solitude lifestyle? Or in contrast, is it possible to create total isolation and self dependence for individuals through architectural intervention?
Our first semester at INDA Architecture program has ended. See link below for the research booklet that contains work done mainly during the first half.