fredag 30. juli 2010

Phase 2 - "Routes"

As we have started to get to know the area and our relationship to the site and to people expanded, we began to search for clearer answers and more detailed information. In Phase 2 we aimed to get a better understanding of the residents lifestyle and their relationship to the spaces and other people inside the community.

In order to make it fun for kids and interesting for adults to participate in our workshops, we have tried to use some interactive solutions. Using a site plan, wool strings, and color stickers helped us mark out the resident’s daily routines and to point out sites of interest such as their favorite and worst places as well as the ones they spent most time at.

Routes in different colours showing different daily route of each person

1. How is your daily routine?

(What do you do after waking up in the morning until you go to sleep? / Where are the spaces that you go to? Where are the spaces you like hanging out with friends and why?)

2. What is your favoutite place?
3. What is the area you don’t like most?
4. Where do you spend most of your time?
5. Places to improve inside the community and suggestions of how and what to do.

This exercise has been very enriching for everyone: it has showed the residentes who were actors in these workshops, a different perspective of their community and their lifestyle apart from the spaces that they have to use, and it has given us more detailed information about how they use and move within and outside the community.

The workshop was firstly conducted at three known gathering sites mentioned in the first phase (Rotary court, Boxing court and Ton Sai area), however it was mostly children who participated. In order to get the same information from a wider age perspective, we walked around the site to make the same with teenagers and adults. This part of the workshop took place mainly at the entrance of their homes. Most adults were glad to participate, and became very engaged as we interacted with them. People from all ages have participated in the workshop giving us a broader perspective of the residents and the sites.

Through these questions we have noticed that people tend to stay around the areas where they live and do not use other spaces inside the community. The community has been sub-divided by its residents into smaller areas, but these boundaries are invisible and vary according the social aspects of each person. Many residents rather go outside the community than using other spaces not belonging to “their area”. If people go outside the community is mainly to work, to go to the market to school or to video games shops.
Working with adults in making their own daily routes

In general, for the adults, the daily routine takes place at home for the unemployed ones and at work for the ones who are employed. For the last ones, most have temporary jobs and this uncertain working hours lead to an unstable income and therefore an unstable daily situation. Most jobs are connected to the port, therefore the convenience of living at Khlong Toei and being at home during most part of the day. Also some people use the Rotary or the “Wales pond” to exercise, depending on their residential area but most of them do not leave their “area” and rather go outside than to another “area inside the community”.
As favourite place people chose the Rotary because they can exercise, keep the children occupied inside the community and because it keeps the community energetic and “alive”. Others chose the space under the highways because is windy; others, their own home and some didn’t have an opinion about it or didn’t have any favourite place inside the community.
As worst place most of people didn´t answer or didn’t have a worst place inside the community, others pointed out the Rotary and the area near the Library because of the high amount of people addicted to drugs.
The place where people spend most of their time is in front of their home or near friend’s house, specially gathering outside, in the sóis, with neighbours and friends. We experienced that the favourite gathering place for adults is at someone’s house. Most interaction happens by the entrance of the houses and the public street has become a real extension of the house.

Potter finding his own daily route

Children are more active and therefore better known with the site, however, the answers changed depending on their age and the area where they reside. In general, their daily routine is between home, the open space more close to it to play different games, school and computer games shops (both inside and outside the community).
As favourite places they chose between their home and the place they spend most time, which is the closest open space where they gather with their friends or school or even the computer shops. For the worst places inside the community, the pond and the sidewalk next to it was mentioned because of the high amount of garbage; the rotary by some as well as the football court next to the library because in both areas, there is too many people addicted to drugs, acting aggressively.

As suggestions for places to improve, people pointed out the Rotary, the Pond, the Library and some didn´t answer the questions. For the Rotary, the suggestions were to fix the fence to avoid dogs getting inside and mess the space; and also to make it as a standard football court with a good drainage system to don’t get constantly flooded. The problem with using the Rotary is the quantity of people around addicted to drugs and alcohol so, it became a space for a specific group of users, a kind of a “private place” where people from other areas avoid to go. Also the walkway between the Rotary and the Pond because it is broken since quite a while and they have repaired it several times but it keep sinking. For the Library, the general opinion is that it is small, but is a good space for the kids is a good space, even if they don’t want to read, they have a space to play games. However, it is an area with a lot of kids addicted to drugs. Also someone referred that the boxing court could be a good place for an intervention but since it is a private space, is more difficult to intervene in it.

With this phase it became much more clear our idea about the spaces, how people use them and which places people chose to have an intervention, as well as why and how. From this we selected six places to use in the next phase “spaces”. The Routary court and pond (A), Boxing court (B), Library (C), football court 2, next to the Library (D), Ton Sai area (E) and the community committee house (F).

Route map showing most popular places

Additional activity

While doing this workshop, Mario was also organising the little kids who are too young to focus on the workshop to draw and paint with him, to draw attention from interfering the others while doing the route map. This process is also very important when the participants are children at different ages. Some are too little but wanted to be part of the workshop. So we needed to create another activity for them to be in the same place as the others, to make them feel that they are also part of it.

Picture of the Rotary Court drawn by the children in the Rotary Court area

P Mario drawing with the kids to draw attention from interfering ones who
were doing the routes

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