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E X P LOR IN G TH E P O T E NT I AL O F M O BI L I T Y IN FR A S TR U C TU RE T HRO UG H URBAN DE S I G N

ABSTRACT This research explores the requalification of productive space by testing new potentials for infrastructure. Our examination of mobility infrastructure in particular is inextricable from the issue of urban development and its implications for socioeconomic growth. Our research concerns the appropriateness of the increasing infrastructural investments made in megacities. We intend to test ways of revealing infrastructure’s scope with regards to manufacturing, residential, and civic space. Our test case is Bangkok, a megacity perpetually in flux and hyperphysical in its climate. It is commercialized to a degree that is extreme even by comparison with other megacities. Its fabric offers unique features, many of which are now imperiled by contemporary urban transformations such as monofunctional developments. Nowhere is the threat to its dynamism starker than in the case of the Port Authority (Klong Toey) property, a desirable strip of land bypassed by infrastructural expansion plans and currently slated for redevelopment. But it is also home to Bangkok’s largest slums and concentration of industry. In our interventions, we propose different ways of retaining these features that enhance the area’s complex productive relationship with the rest of the city. We will focus on the adaptation of Bangkok’s underserved yet vital industries to their particular urban environments. Using key design tools, our five individual projects address the difficulty of merging new urban fabric with these older industries by exploiting existing infrastructure. Each intervention relies one of two methodologies. The first is a systematic approach that considers relations within the industries; the second is contextual and attempts to elaborate on existing morphologies.


INNER CITY

3

PORT AREA

SETTLEMENTS PRODUCTION vendor

rail

storage

workshop

distribution

motorway

canal

Our systematic projects reexamine the relationships within the textile and food production industries, both central to Thailand’s high-value export economy. We test how the city can accommodate these industries through strategic interventions that consider speed and time. The first project tests this by integrating urban manufacturing and the textile industry within the derelict patch of the district. At the adjacent, outlying junction, the second project envisions the impact of a multi-nodal hub that facilitates food production and distribution. Both aim at creating synergies by reinforcing links between the area’s industries and local institutions. Our three morphological interventions occur in the civic and residential contexts, with the latter addressing the water. The first addresses it by focusing on edge conditions, where housing is provided with continuous productive and service space. The other reclaims its navigability through housing that stitches existing networks back into the dead end streets. Finally, the third project enhances the public realm by creating interfaces between the city and its massive tourist base in which micro-economies will be able to thrive. Ultimately, both the systematic and morphological interventions seek to maintain the productive capacity definitive of the area and deeply embedded in Thai cultural practices. Promoting a Dual Economy: Rethinking Food Production by Zohreh Ahmad Productive Field: Reframing the Void by Nitisha Popat

Housing: Incorporating Local Production by Sigen Palis Housing as Infrastructure by Diana S. B. Medina

Micro-economies and the Public Realm by Teerapat Amnueypornsakul

AA Housing and Urbanism Bangkok Group  
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