In recent months, there have been huge pro-democracy protests in Thailand. This thesis is about how architecture can, in an implicit way, help foster protesters’ naïve idealism of equality.
Generations of students and alumni from Thammasat University have been imbued with a sense of radical activism; this radical activism has surfaced recurrently when its students and alumni have been at the forefront of student uprisings in the 1970s, 1990s and the present protests.
The thesis hypothesises the expansion of the university’s campus as a hybrid emporium where class identities melt away, enabling new pluralities to emerge. Chatuchak Weekend Market is drawn on as a precedent of democratic space that enables a coming together of people. Modules are reimagined as not just shops, but a diverse mix of lecture theatres, shops, cafes, faculty offices, student hostels and capsule hotels – to facilitate the emergence of this plural community.
The project examines the possibility of using modular spaces and though its aggregation with interchangeable use and functions produce space or spaces that refuse denoting features. Here in this project, one finds academic use interchanging with say commercial or housing use. Through this, it is hope that architecture can participate in critiquing the current feudalist practices very much ingrained within Thai society.- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Bobby Wong Chong Thai