ADS-C 2020 Davisi Boontharm Studio
Living with water. Re-making Bangkok’s aquatic memory
How are the cities of today coping with the climate crises? How does urbanization contribute to the problem? What kind of physical space design we need to adapt to this situation?
Over the centuries of neglect of its fragile environment, Bangkok has lost Thai aquatic roots. The city literally sinks. The way of urbanisation which led Bangkok to this crisis was evidently wrong. They were imposed by domination of particular power structures which sought short-term profit over long-term investment in environmental quality and cultural resilience. In order to avoid the full disaster, implementation of other ways of urban development is urgent. Those ways have to be brave, radical and imaginative. We can imagine that reappropriation of water, the cultural DNA of Thai culture, would be at the core of positive change. That would mean a novel kind of re-urbanising, inspired by traditional sensibilities but orientated forwards, addressing contemporary urban condition, the densities and intensities of real problems.
That is the opening position of this studio. The opening key words are all in the title อยกบน ํา- water – living – re-making – Bangkok – aquatic – memory. We invite the participants to reflect, reconsider, rethink, reimagine, respond, remake complex inter-relationship between the city and water applying critical thinking through responsible and responsive design. The question is how to initiate reshaping of the physical environment of Bangkok and the ways of living that empower the citizens to take control of their places/practices of everyday life, centered at the water and find ways out of the crises.
Keywords: aquatic city, places/practices of everyday life, resilient city, adaptive urbanism
Conceptual thinking: This studio proposes new approach; what if “flood is normal”
The area of our investigation is Bangkok’s North superblock, approximate size is 5×5 km, with neglected canals hidden inside.
Group work: Research and virtual workshop: