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    thesis check...done

    By John Tubles
    Feb 17, '11 10:54 PM EST

    Two weeks ago my thesis advisor pretty much told me to think of plan b as I continue to work.... but i didnt... i didnt sleep much the past weeks for the thesis check we just had today...


    Basically today's objective is to show that your project is going anywhere but down hill...

    So here is what I pinned up..

    ... now I desperately need a drink...


    • that's very interesting work john.

      are people living in the cemetary because of population pressure in the slums or is there some other reason that brings them there?

      Feb 18, 11 8:03 pm  · 
      John Tubles

      well the short answer is both...

      here is how the slum system in my particular site and probably the same in other parts of the country.

      apparently in the slums in the philippines especially the big ones there are some organized gang that "manages" the slums.. so now in that slums in particular, (not really sure everywhere else) the gang that handles the slum also ask people that live in the slums "rent".

      also there are also people called professional squatters who were given a house by the government in a relocation site outside the city but sold it and decided to moved back in the city and settle illegally. with money from deal they build extension for their previous shanti homes for extended families or as a rental property.

      as for the people who live in the cemetery.. there are 3 main reasons why the live their... no space in the slum..cannot afford rent in the slums...and people who from generations now have lived in the cemetery because they work there...

      what i got from my conversations with them is that eventhough it is dirty, unsanitary and no utilities, they would rather reside inside a mausoleum than to be living in the streets of Manila or the slums because of life safety reasons....

      Basically they are seeking refuge in a place where nothing else could protect them but the cemetery program.

      this makes me think the essence of shelter, nature of home and the man's innate need for a sense of place.

      Feb 20, 11 1:49 am  · 

      Wow that is hard to imagine as a way of life.

      I guess if you improved the life of the cemetarians the gangs would move in and boot out the current inhabitants.

      Will you work on the rest of the slum and the effect your project will have on its surroundings?

      Feb 20, 11 5:24 am  · 
      John Tubles

      so my thesis basically tackles the problem in stages and when it is completed it would affect the cemetery and the settlement adjacent to it.. I am also going to try to design this as a prototype that could be empolyed in other slums with some slight variations..

      stage1] convert the cemetery into a crematorium

      because the cemetery itself is the only one in the city and its size has not change over a century now... there are no space... i am consevatively guesstimating that there would be around 40,000(low-end) to about 80,000 (higher end, including infants) remains in 4.2 acre cemetery. by doing this, it allows the for the site to house more remains and make it more sanitary. plus this could free up some space that could house the rest of the development

      stage 2] Add the "symbiotic support" programs

      such as chapel/chuch, market place, some outdoor public spaces and livelihood/empowerment learning centers. from my research i noticed that most social housing projects for the slum residents generally fail because of the lack of support programs that is necessary for them to live. these "symbiotic programs" will support, educate and empower the would be residents inorder to improve their way of life and broaden their way of thinking.

      stage 3] housing

      for this i am allocating around 20-25sqm/unit which is considerably larger than the average slum unit that is around 9-12sqm. my goal is for these units to have plumbing and clean water source + legal utilities...

      Feb 20, 11 3:44 pm  · 

      how are the non-living residents housed? in jars as ashes? in plywood boxes as corpses? this is a really interesting problem, how to reconcile exisitng systems for housing the dead with future systems for supporting life. you could add programitc complexity if your thesis advisor is willing to tolerate zombie culture... what happens if the dead become un-dead? how would the architecture that accomodates resurrection look like? keep us posted!

      Feb 21, 11 3:15 am  · 

      John I just happened to come across these two BBC slide-shows yesterday. They seem to be relevant. One is actually from late last year and explores Cemetery living in Navotas. The other explores Intramuros, Manila's forgotten past and looks at ways in which the government is trying to revitalize the old historic fort district.

      Admittedly you are much closer to this than I, but one thing struck me from these videos. They discuss how Intramuros is void currently of any (or at least many families/residents). Now I am not suggesting we simply relocate the residents of Navotas to Intramuros, but even with your larger plan for development, is intitutionalizing the location of people living in/near cemetery (or what would in your scheme become a crematorium) the best approach if as the video makes clear they need people living in other areas of city (for urban life and density)?

      Moreover, although the symbiotic support piece of your programming sounds like the right direction, it seems more than a location/object (and obviously your are designing a thesis project) are needed. As recently published feature Favela Chic amongst other sources have indicated what if often more important than specifically a new building is the affiliated infrastructural (both physical [electric/power/sewage]or social[job training/etc]) upgrades, when it comes to these sorts of formalizing of informal conditions.

      Feb 21, 11 9:27 am  · 

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