First of all, we have to say sorry for our messy blog!
Our stay in Bangkok was such an everyday rush that we neglected our blog in order to do as much as we could in Khlog Toei. So, the big lack of information that we are missing in the blog, we will try to update as fast as possible.It is important to give an introduction about the goals, how the process is going to develop in Bangkok and how we organized this first part that occurred in June/July 2010.
The “We Khlong Toei” project is the result of a collaboration process between the community of Khlong Toei, architects, urban planners and other interested ones.The project aims to build up a long term cooperation channel that can develop into a gradual transformation of public spaces and the revitalization of the area.
Architecture and social activities with small interventions will be used as instruments of communication and interaction between the participants. This work is expected to become a “chain reactor”, inspiring people and leading to further positive changes in other areas. It is vital the project to be run by the people who live in the area, since it is to them it belongs to; we, the outsiders, are only the catalysts.
This project has been divided into 2 parts. Part 1 completed during June-July, 2010 and Part 2 to be developed in the beginning of 2011.
Right in the first part, it is important to get a group of people who are interested in collaborate with us, making changes to the area. This intervention is suppose to work as a starting point to show possibilities of changes which should lead to other future positive changes that the community can develop on their own.
The Part 1 process aims not only to collect information and knowledge but also learn more about Khlong Toei spaces, how people use them, people’s everyday lives and more importantly, how they understand and feel about their own private and public spaces in the community. From this, it will help us not only to understand the problems that are visible, but also the problems of minds that lay underneath their spaces which cause a chronic habit that has been affecting their own homes and environment so far.
It is very important for us to spend time with the community and use different activities as tools to learn and communicate with the people while at the same time observing what they try to communicate back. The activities will vary from just sitting, asking questions, drawing workshops, eating, drinking, playing sports, having movie nights, to some space transformation activities, etc. In this process is important for us to keep in mind that we are just the temporary outsiders working with the ones who have lived in the community for a long time. So it is very important for us to "not just throw in our ideas ", but rather listen to what the community say and find ways to engage the two sides, making possible to think about changes and to really do something.
The process is focused on public spaces as they are considered ‘not belonging to anybody’ and ‘belonging to everybody’ at the same time. Also, it is easier to start having some changes as the condition of land right is easier to negotiate.
We are hoping that the process of working, learning and exchanging with people in Part 1 will help engage people more to their spaces, making them seeing the possibility of better changes through activities and changes that we work on together. The future intervention that we make will not function only as spaces for the people to do things, but also the starting point to create future better changes to other areas and which will definitely lead to other improvements.