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Graeme Bristol

THE CITIZEN ARCHITECT

MAY 2002

relationship between housing and health or education, infrastructure development and so on. What should have been separate courses on development, planning, and sustainability had to be compressed into this a few short weeks of the studio. The 34 students formed groups of 3 or 4. Each group was to identify two communities that they felt met the parameters of the Habitat Agenda. After gathering some preliminary information on each community each group presented their information. From all 18 of these presentations the students and faculty picked 3 communities that best met the criteria. These were:   

a small community of about 1500 people by a freeway offramp in Bangna (southeastern Bangkok) a small Muslim community of about 500 people in the Onnut landfill site (one of the major landfills in eastern Bangkok a small portion of the Klong Toei slum comprised of about 1800 people on one hectare of land. As one of the oldest and most notorious slums in the country, there was considerable hesitation in taking this on.

The small groups of students were formed into three larger groups to begin the process of design with the community. The first step was data collection, both physical and social. Each team had to designate a group leader and delegate the tasks of data collection. Some students, then, gathered more physical data: Size of the community – area and population Condition of the buildings and infrastructure; materials used. Services available – waste removal, water, electricity, telephone Site – plan, ownership pattern, open space, density Climate Hazards Others worked on gathering information about the people in the community itself: History – where did they come from? When was the land first occupied? Employment pattern Education – including cost, location of schools Health – chronic medical problems? Access to services. Diet. Sources of food, means of cooking, Age breakdown Religion. Along with their observations and the comments of community members about their needs, the students then categorized the identified problems into three broad categories: Socio-economic, physical and environmental. From that they developed a preliminary program from which they could then proceed to address these problems in a schematic design for presentation to the community. 3

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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