In most countries of the Western world, appropriating the space surrounding your home or even changes done to your home is a matter which includes the city council, the planning department, and a group of other officials. After your plans have been created, they have to be assessed by a number of people before falling through. But the case of the Baan Mankong communities, may not be as complex.” The BMK program opens participatory space for residents to establish their local rules to socially and spatially control their community by themselves.” (Natakun, 2010)
A Phd done by a student named Boonanan Natakum at Melbourne University on the Bangbua Lang Kongkanparp Community explores the appropriation of near home spaces and discusses the significance of the involvement of the residents in the participatory design process. The near home space, which separates the house from the street, is an important part of the daily lives of these residents. They are designed bearing in mind factors of safety and security, livelihoods, social spaces, ETC. According to Natakum’s findings, there have been attempts of planned public spaces, however the near home spaces take on that role informally. By creating their near home spaces as they wish, they are able to socialize with their neighbours, while also allowing the process of knowledge sharing to easily be transmitted throughout the community.
During my trip to Bangkok, I will take the opportunity to use Natakum’s findings as a starting point for my observations on the field. It is in my interest, to further understand the way in which the residents of the Baan Mankong Communities use the space surrounding their homes and further my understanding of the power relations of the space alongside the agreements and negotiations undergone by the community to achieve the desired outcome.
• Natakun, Boonanan, (2010), “Collective Near-Home Space Appropriation: A Case Study of Baan Mankong, Participatory Slum-Upgrading Project, Bangkok”, paper presented in 40th UAA International Conference, held in Honolulu, 10-13 March 2010, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Australia