This blog is a living document and arena of critical reflection for students in the MSc Building & Urban Design in Development (BUDD) course, within the Development Planning Unit of University College London.  In May 2011 , twenty-six students will journey to Bangkok, Thailand to undertake fieldwork investigating the co-production of housing at scale.  The students will actively reflect on their ongoing research and analysis of anthropocentric spatial practices before, during and after the fieldwork.  The BUDD course will focus on the abstract and concrete materiality of several designated sites, housing, livelihoods and public realm combined with spatial integration in a wider context, giving voice to critical reflections on the role of design, urban interventions and spatial agencies.


2 Responses to About

  1. Leonie says:

    Dear all,
    I am currently a Master student in Sciences Po Paris, in a programme called “Governing the large metropolis”. I am undertaking a module called “conflicts and urban change” for which I am working on a paper on poor housing settlements upscaling in Bangkok.
    I came across your blog which I found really interesting, and I would like to ask you if you guys have any ideas/details/criticisms on the Baan Mankong programme.

    Thank you

  2. Anna Schulenburg says:

    Dear Leonie,
    Your masters programme looks very interesting, particularly the combination with practice.
    You could look at our two fieldtrip reports, which we put together as a comprehensive groupwork different from the more personal reflections in this blog. They suggest some strategies and proposals as a result of our analysis of 6 sites in Bangkok and point to some of our ideas/details/criticisms that you were asking about. The appendices give details on seminars, interviews and surveys on site. You can find them here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/courses/masters/msc_building/Fieldwork/Overseasfieldwork
    Another good link is a piece on ‘archinect’ by our tutor which you might have seen: http://archinect.com/features/article/25485248/decoding-bangkok-s-pocket-urbanization-social-housing-provision-and-the-role-of-community-architects

    Within what we found to be an impressive programme I would say that in my group 3 challenges or questions with B.M. were discussed in particular. Firstly the question if/how B.M. can be inclusive of all members of a community and support those which have difficulties or no interest to join for a variety of reasons, financial or social. Even small communities are of course diverse and have inhabitants of different income levels, backgrounds, abilities etc. and conflicts and their resolution are part of the process of change and transformation. Secondly, about how the upgrading process of the settlements (we understood them as pockets with little integration into the city of Bangkok as a whole) could integrate them further into the city than they currently do in order to become less vulnerable to pressures of land and development in the future. We looked at this mostly from the angle of urban and building design as well as planning. And thirdly we were interested in the role of design and the community architect as a potential that could have a greater impact. The sheer size and time frame of the process of saving and decision-making in the communities make a stronger and even involvement of community architects across all communities within the programme difficult to achieve. At the same time their role in coordinating and supporting community efforts could contribute more to increase the scale of the programme.
    A few thoughts – there are many more aspects playing into this. Hopefully this is useful to your work, happy to also get your thoughts on the topic.


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