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Graeme Bristol

THE CITIZEN ARCHITECT

MAY 2002

have a right to expression, can this be implemented more directly through the spaces they inhabit? 2.4.

THE GIRLS’ HOME

The Girls‟ Home is another HDF project that is ongoing. It started about two and a half years ago in November of 1999 when I was asked by a friend of mine to take over his volunteer job of teaching English on Tuesday evenings to this group of about 40 girls ranging in age from about 4 to 17. There were in this shelter as a result of any number of tragedies that befall children in the slums – parents jailed for drug offences, parents dead from AIDS or overdoses, an abusive uncle or parents using the children as drug carriers and so on. As a result they were brought by the police or neighbours or the courts to this home (see Figure 18).

Figure 18 - Exterior of Girls' Home

I realized quite quickly that teaching English to children was not something I was well equipped to do. So after taking them through the first clause of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Dylan‟s Chimes of Freedom, I found myself beginning to bring in pictures and plans of buildings and using them as sources for vocabulary. In other words, I was falling back to things with which I felt more familiar and comfortable. I asked them to make their own drawing so I could use them as a source of vocabulary (see Figure 18). „Draw a house,‟ I said. What they drew had nothing whatever to do with their current environment. Was this country image wishful thinking or a cultural 14

Citizen Architect 2002  

1. INTRODUCTION In January of 1998, I came to Bangkok to teach architecture. I came with some general intentions and with a set of ideas abo...

Citizen Architect 2002  

1. INTRODUCTION In January of 1998, I came to Bangkok to teach architecture. I came with some general intentions and with a set of ideas abo...

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