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DESIGNING INFORMALITY

INDA Design and Build 2018

with H Gallery, Chefs Prin and Mint
Students: Ai, Bo, Boss, Nana, Opal, P, Piri, Plawan, Ploy, PookPang, Prin, tiger, Sense, Tong, Tony, Vich, Wynn


Bangkok streets are lined with ubiquitous stalls, makeshift kitchens and a large variety of temporary structures selling different food, clothes, and electronic gadgets. This urban condition represents the continuation of a long-standing tradition of informal trade within the community. In such a context, we see informality as an effective response to pre-conceived societal structures, as an instrument to re-organize political and formal imposed conditions. It is rooted in people's daily life, producing its own social, economic and cultural sphere, manifested through symbolically charged objects and mundane rituals.

The purpose of the open workshop is to identify the appropriate design categories to grasp informality into an architectural device. This will happen through the construction of an inhabitable chariot, treated as typological device – an hybrid synthesis between a market stall and a religious baldaquin. Researching what the markets already offer, sell and display - we will find a precise logic to curate a variable organization of goods, without misrepresenting the informality and spontaneity of the outcome.

We will determine the chariot’s architectural conditions, producing a spatial scaffolding to challenge the relationship between the different actors that will inhabit it: sellers, monks, musicians, guests and pedestrians. Testing a series of imaginary rituals, the ground floor of the H gallery will be transformed into a stage-set for happenings and informal gatherings. We will thus highlight the mutual influence between people's behaviors and designed elements.

The students will relentlassly assemble and disassemble a collective product, developing design and construction skills related to the field of movable structures. Particular attention will be dedicated to the artisanal crafting of specific ornamental and functional components, to understand the deep connection among aesthetics, mechanisms and spontaneous reactions.