MAPPING THE INFORMALITY
Making as a process
Summer Course in collaboration with: The University of Santo Tomas, Manila UCSI School of Architecture, Kuala Lumpur
This course offers the opportunity to explore the area of the Baseco Compound, one of the densestinformal settlements in Manila. In the last ten years, the district has suffered from natural disastersand high levels of crime and poverty. Due to its proximity to Manila Bay, it is particularly vulnerableto river flooding and storm surges.
One of the key questions explored in this summer elective is how action research can becomea strategic tool for experimenting with alternative strategies in the revitalisation of informalsettlements. In particular, the studio explores the potential of on-site research and design activitiesas educational tools for teaching about the processes of urban informality. Furthermore, theuse of temporary urban interventions realised with the participation of the community will bea preliminary attempt towards a wider revitalisation strategy that aims to develop an inclusiveapproach where a mix of academic investigation, teaching, and design form a symbiotic andsynergistic effect.
Using the BaSECo compound as a pilot study, this course aims to explore the complex dynamicsbetween informal and formal processes by facilitating the translation of short-term, bottom-uppractices and community knowledge into long-term, top-down strategies. Using an immersive two-week learning experience, the course is focused on facilitating students’ learning about design through the implementation of small-scale interventions and placemaking activities realised with the support of local residents and NGOs.
Students will realise two pilot projects: a children’s playhouse and a basketball court for the community. The students will also analyse the impact that these projects could have in creating new socio-spatial relationships and thereby generating alternative places of social interaction.