1. Discover the place of justice in the emotional design of urban public spaces.
2. Explore the role of architects working on emotional justice.
3. Discover, through field research and interviews, what urban renewal experiences can provide effective paradigms for the emotional justice of public space in the future.
The tour starts with a visit to the Songkhla Mosque and ends in the garden city of Singapore.
First Stop: Central Mosque, Songkhla, Thailand
In 2019 I briefly visited Songkhla, Thailand for a design studio—too short of a visit to do any field research on urban space and culture, or to pay any attention to urban justice. When I saw the topic of the SOM Foundation China Fellowship this year, I immediately remembered this town where Thais of different cultural and religious backgrounds, many of whom immigrated after World War II, unevenly share the urban public space. For example, Thai Muslims make up 20% of the population of Songkhla but use only 5% of the urban public space. In my continuous academic study, I found that the justice of urban space is not only a result of geographical distribution of social resources, but also a response to the spiritual and emotional needs of the public in a pluralistic society. It is Songkhla that made me realize for the first time the importance of justice in urban design in the postimmigrant era and to start considering this phenomena in postepidemic era. Therefore, I hope to start my trip from Songkhla.
Second Stop: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok, Thailand
I am deeply influenced by the culture and emotional atmosphere embodied in Bangkok’s bazaars and will try to summarize the value of emotional design in these traditional spaces.
Third Stop: Death Railway from Kanchanaburi, Thailand to Myanmar
Kanchanaburi is known for its bridge over the Khwae Yai River, which connects to the historic Death Railway to Myanmar. The railway is named for the thousands of POWs and Asian laborers who died working on the railway during the Japanese occupation of the region in World War II. I will try to find if there is emotional justice in a city that holds a heavy historical and emotional burden.
Fourth Stop: New Delhi, India
New Delhi is like two cities, with the rich and poor living on the same land. Urban areas are divided into old neighborhoods that have a long history and new neighborhoods that are the result of modern planning. I aim to investigate the fairness of urban public space and the gap between the rich and the poor.
Fifth Stop: Singapore
As a tourist city recognized by the world, I wish to find successful examples of emotional justice in Singapore’s urban spaces, such as Kampung Admiralty and Gardens by the Bay, which are built for all citizens regardless of race, language, or religion. I would like to observe how urban public space can reflect the common values of citizens who have a diverse cultural imprint.