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    release the hounds!

    Tim Do Jun 1 '08 15

    i've been reluctant to post any thesis related material on this blog because post like these are so often thrashed for being only a means to solicit research help...please know that this is not one of those post. i think my research agenda is in place (as well as my advisors: juan azulay and tulay atak), but even so, i always welcome constructive feedback.

    with an entire research semester already behind me, this snapshot is during the initial few weeks of the design semester . the site is set: Saigon, Vietnam, and currently i am currently toiling with issues of programming. quickly i am finding how much of what i have learned from past semesters coming into play. i am fairly handy with formal techniques which are sort of sitting on the shelf at the moment as i explore content issues related to the site. the current methodology i am using for programmatic analysis is based off diagrammatic coupling i.e. juxtaposing known data e.g. shopping mall locations with political routes, to reveal unexpected relationships that may lead to something that is not yet known, and using these discoveries to define the urban fabric.



    at the moment i am looking at how forces related to global migrations impact local urban migrations and local markets within the city. specifically, i am looking at the generation of viet kieu, or overseas vietnamese who were displaced after the war ended in 1975. Often they are the children of the people who migrated immediately after, with concentration in Southern California and Silicon Valley. Often, as a generalization, this demographic is comprised of people in their 20s and 30s, educated, ecologically-minded, tech-savy, and entrepreneurial, or as richard florida would call, members of the "creative class" I think there is potential for the creation of a local and unofficial market of small, creative businesses (art studios, music shops, design/craft boutiques) that would cater to this generation to invest and start businesses in their native country i.e. a re-injection and integration of a displaced culture driven by economic incentive (given the investment potential of the current economic market condition of Vietnam) as well as a personal cultural incentive for people seeking to reconnect with their native culture.





    currently, foreign investment in vietnam is mostly tied to the industry and service sectors which is favorable to large developers, but neglects the so-called "creative-knowledge sector" which i think is ripe with economic as well as qualitative potential for intervention. this network possesses it's own unique scale, culture, and rules for development and has the potential to subvert urban morphological transformations that are inherent to mega-city development. in a sense, this project is a means to integrate as well as subvert the architectural banality that late capitalist tactics seem to elicit.




    i think that's it for now...some images were taken from this article in laweekly.

     

     
    • 15 Comments

    • Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Jun 1, 08 5:36 pm

      I like global projects. Especially sites dealing with upgrading access to markets/forces/development/infrastructure for local but not mainstream society/social groups.
      A friend of my recently completed his thesis on a rail-yard/market in Mumbai.

      Looks like you might be able to do something hopefully with the river and floodplain locale.

      Appleseed
      Jun 1, 08 9:16 pm

      So, you gonna have a building in the end?

      Tim DoTim Do
      Jun 1, 08 10:10 pm

      nam, yeah, the wetlands are under consideration.

      seed, when working with juan, that's not always guaranteed, but in my case...the answer is yes!

      juanazulay
      Jun 2, 08 2:11 pm

      trido - i'll take that as a compliment.

      Appleseed
      Jun 2, 08 3:34 pm

      I vaguely remember a pretty decent LA Weekly article on this subject; relatively successful second/third gen going back and doing entrepreneurial things. 2 years ago maybe? Was interesting to me.


      I'm hoping you include random tarantulas at some point

      juanazulay
      Jun 2, 08 9:23 pm

      that tarantula went bald from stress. i didn't realize that you could only feed it one cricket at a time and put 15 in the terrarium. they attacked the tarantula... and it lost its hair. i had to give it up for adoption after that.

      David CuthbertDavid Cuthbert
      Jun 3, 08 8:43 am

      what have you been reading? It very much brings to mind post-colonial studies and issues of Diaspora/migration, etc

      I like this idea of reverse migration and seems to be a solid conceptual standpoint for a conceptual architectural generation. I will be curious to see the "self" critique of the programme <- its where so many thesis' go wrong.

      good luck

      Tim DoTim Do
      Jun 3, 08 2:20 pm

      thanks architechno, this thesis certainly has a basis in post-colonial condition and geopolitics.

      the reading list is long my friend, but here are some central readings:

      virilio - speed and politics
      AD - cities of dispersal
      critical architecture in a geopolitical world
      corb in algiers and chandigarh
      million plateaus
      smlxl
      brandscapes
      cities and the creative class
      brandscapes
      and a number of academic essays related to saigon

      Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Jun 3, 08 3:50 pm

      Dot,
      How did you like Brandscpae.
      I actually interviewed Dr. Klingmann late last year (after a lecture she gave) as i was attemptin got get an Archinect feature together. Never happened but i had some very interesting discussions with her.
      I particularly am interested by her critique of green architecture as it relates to both the branding and commerical/marketing side of architecture.

      Tim DoTim Do
      Jun 3, 08 5:25 pm

      i thought it was a very well researched and concise book. the main point of the book is that experience is one of the few relevant qualities that architecture still has to offer in today's economy, and it gives a comprehensive architectural history of how that came to be. even if you are not interested in branding and marketing i think this book is good for its historic analysis. i don't recall as far as any mention of marketing green architecture, and if there is, it's very brief and tied into urban branding.

      Tim DoTim Do
      Jun 3, 08 5:39 pm

      i'm also wondering if anyone is feeding the python in the hallway. i'm afraid it's being neglected.

      Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Jun 3, 08 9:25 pm

      Perhaps not int he book but within her lecture and my conversation with her one point that was definitely discussed a bit was the use of "green" design as a marketing tool. Both for selling units to green consumers or with regard to getting a project approved past planning etc.
      It also, makes for sloppy architecture, in that it is the basis or kernel of a project, rather than just being a shaping force.

      yepp111
      Jun 6, 08 4:39 pm

      The critique of mega-city development pops up every year as a thesis project at SCIArc and they are never really that interesting. It's not focused enough and the resultant forms and solutions always seem very familiar. I think it's a bad idea to go down this path-


      Tim DoTim Do
      Jun 6, 08 6:28 pm

      i think that's a fair comment architectonicita. i agree that mega-city development is in fact a generic problem, but that's okay with me because that fact doesn't make it any less relevant. given saigon's rich and layered context, it i not the same as a critique of dubai or shanghai that have a much more insolated history. in a city like saigon, i believe there i much more at stake.

      i am hoping original content will emerge from the structure and programming, and not just non-specific or reactive problem solving.

      yepp111
      Jun 10, 08 5:55 pm

      I have always enjoyed thesis projects where ones voice is very personalized. It seems there are so many factors you are going to have to deal with that you are going to be bogged down in terms of producing. I would be worried about seeing a Maya project that visually looks similar to 8 other projects because their is no way to fold in all the topics you bring up.

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