Apply Now! A Whiter Building Student Workshop

workshop at The White Building, Phnom Penh, 20-21-22 September

Giorgio Talocci, in collaboration with:
STT – Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

This workshop will take place at the White Building (Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh), where a group of young practitioners and students will work in close contact with the community inhabiting it.

The White Building, commonly called simply ‘The Building’ by the people inhabiting it or living nearby, is an about 350meters not-so-white slab of masonry and concrete, originally built in the 1960s as housing for civil servants. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge’s regime, The Building has been re-appropriated by some of the original inhabitants and by newcomers: from that moment on it underwent a series of informal transformation through which its community has adapted the building’s original modernist structure to the needs of every household’s everyday life.

The workshop will start taking the entire first day to get acquainted with the community and its space, mapping the complex narratives populating The Building, understanding its functioning and its role in the wider urban dynamics of Tonle Bassac and of Phnom Penh as a whole. In the second day, drawing on the previous findings, we will start – working directly on site and in a constant interaction with the community – a process of participatory design, projecting the inhabitants’ aspirations toward a possible future scenario where a community-driven upgrading of the building could occur, and imagining a process to make this happen. Finally, on the last day, the workshop will finish in a collective presentation of the ideas we developed, sharing the outcomes with the community and learning from the feedback we will receive. At the end, the process will be left ‘open’ for future debate and possible actions that the community might be willing to undertake.

The workshop is open to everybody, with no limits of age nor of academic and professional background. The participants should have a good command of spoken English, although there will be Khmer-speaking staff too. The number of seats is however limited: for more information and to participate, please send your CV (or portfolio, if you prefer) and a brief letter of motivation to the address by Thursday 12 September at 11.59pm.