Public Cerebro   
An Online Town Planning Tool    
Veerasu Sae-Tae      
 2016     
     
   -Third Prize Winner-     
 ASA International Design Competition 2016     
  
http://www.asacompetition.com/     
       The association of Siamese architects      















Collage – The public is waiting for senators to arrival and witnessing the initiating of the “Public Cerebro”, an online program for public town planning tool.

Isometric – “Phase 1” The homepage of program – where the Bangkok Riverfront Corridor is the first project that will apply this tool to gather public opinions. In this state, the public has the power to decide whether the project is necessary or not if the vote is less than 80% the project will be withdrawal. 
The program is user-friendly, it is similar to those of social media website.

Plan – “Phase 2”The List of projects and their detail information can be found once you sign in with your national id card. You will be access to all the drawings. Here you can comment on the particular group at that you are applied for. It is the opportunity for you to suggest what you believe would benefit the city.

Detail Isometric – “Phase 3” Once you clicked into the specific project, the initiator information will show up, at this point, you will be asked to choose whether to approve the project to begin its construction
 

Database- the program can be used as a database of Thai politicians, and their achievement will be recorded. The public can rate their performance and monitor their project progress via their PC, tablet or mobile phone, anytime. This would also help during a national election.

Overall process, of the program. The program runs in a simple loop. The  aim is to solve this endless debates and conflicts of interest between multiple parties

Manifesto :
  
Architecture always has a political impact, effect, and meaning. 

Design for the public is a form of collective use, in which the public should be able to influence the design, function and how they imagine the city would be. 

When the authority neglects the power of the people, the public’s opinion, the protest occurred. 

Public Cerebro is an online public gathering opinion and a tracking tool for governmental town planning projects. It speculates on a hypothesis that the public projects from the government should be open and transparent to the public, where the public ‘s opinions should be taken into account. Indeed, the definition of the public should be equally evaluated, regardless of their incomes and social status. In another word, a person who walks on the street and a person who drives a  car should be considered as equally important. With the leap in the cloud and wireless technology, it allows us to connect to each other faster.Therefore, using this technology to receive public ‘s opinions and suggestions would eliminate a huge amount of unnecessary procedures to initiate any public projects.Nowadays, Thai people are more familiar with the internet, wireless devices, cloud data storage, social media application, blogging and personal website. These marked the new basic of our society today, which creates a possibility to integrate this technology with city governing. It would be a perfect solution to make an open process of monitoring works of politicians. Moreover, it allows the public to envision the future of their city. Like the internet itself is a symbol of freedom, equality and unity, the city would slowly develop to be an open democratic city.

The development of Bangkok Chao Phraya River bank will be the first project that the government adopted this tool to acquire rapid informative feedback from the public. The project initiated by cooperating between Ministry of the Interior and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration for the hope to bring a landmark and happiness to Bangkok and its citizen.Unfortunately, the project has triggered many worries and disagreement among the public, the profession groups, namely a heritage circle, university professors and also the Association of Siamese Architect.It is a 15-kilometre long project on both sides of the riverbank. It will be huge megaproject and it not cheap; the construction will cost around 14,006 million Baht.  Currently, the government has postponed the construction to January 2016, and it will be resume on June 2016. The initial aim is to solve all informal setting and environment problems along the riverbank.

The system will divide into 3 phases, namely: the bidding, the hearing, and the trial. In the first phase The bidding”, The government will bid its proposal by uploading the data to the website’s database. The authority working with architect’s team will upload their initiative goals, procedure, research, design drawings, construction reports and 3dmodel on the website’s online interactive map, In which it will be used to pinpoint the parameter and design visually.Then, the project will be open for a vote by the public who registered with their national ID card. The citizen will be given an avatar, to post comments and questions on the project, while the architects and government staff will be responsible for answering them before they make their decision. Each citizen has one vote. The duration of the first phase is two months.For the project will pass to the next phase, it has to receive more than 80 percent of citizen’s vote to proceed. It will indicate that the public is interested in the project.

In the second phase, “the hearing”, the system will categorize the project into different scales, S, M, L and XL with a unique domain address. In this phase, the citizen will give an opportunity to assign themselves into one of the particular group, namely: Heritage, Social, and Dwelling, Economics, Sustainability, and Architecture. After that, they can comment on the proposal but within the scope of their chosen group. In this subdivided pages, the members of that group can propose the counter solutions to the initial proposal; the system will be similar to a blog or commenting on a typical social media page.Within each group, the members have to discuss and draw their standpoints and arguments. After the two months open discussion, an authority team of experts will analyze the posts that are shown as a team’s conclusion. Next the team of architects, planners and researchers will reconfigure the proposal to meet the demands of the public requests. They will be given another two months to come up with an adjusted proposal, in which will lead us ti the next phase of the program.

The Thrid phase is called “the trail” it is an essential voting day that would determine the future of the project. The authority team will reupload their new proposals for the public to make their final vote whether to approve the project to begin its construction. It has to receive more than 80% of the agreeable votes. The vote will open only for one month; each citizen has two options to vote: approve or disapprove. However if the projects failed to reach 80% of the votes but more than 60%, the project will return to the second phase of discussion and adjust the proposal. However, the process of rediscussion could happen only once.The program ‘s aim is to solve this endless debates and conflicts of interest between multiple parties to accelerate the political process between the public, the private and the state sectors.

Architecture is a form of collective use, effort, and value. It is not meant to serve a particular person, but a group of people, it involves many parties in a project, and it carries meaning and represents our culture and society. In a context of Thailand, today architecture is driven by economics, many of these projects together shaping our city and environment. Are those sprawls of urban villages, towers of repetitive modern condominium and apartment or warehouse and factories typology in our country are the types of landscape or cityscape that the public and local want? This path that our practice is moving towards, resulting in an environment that no one wants. For example, If we look in the case of Samutprakarn City today, it has full of factories and warehouses and empty land waiting to sell, the landscape does not reveal any traces of history and cultural of the past, it contains no value. This an effect from private sectors but, even more, the serious problem, occurred in the public projects by the government using top-down authority and management to approve and initiate government buildings, unwanted public space and festival and events. To sum up, the basic of today is to acquire as many as public opinions and needs and be able to process them quickly and response to the needs of the mass simultaneously. With the advanced in technology, especially internet, city governing and management can no longer come from a top-down method. It needs to come from the bottom-up approach where we response to the needs of the local people.

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Additional Texts (not in the poster)
Architecture always has a political impact, effect, and meaning. Design for the public is a form of collective use, in which the public should be able to influence the design, function and how they imagine the city would be. When the authority neglects the power of the people, the public’s opinion, the protest occurred. It can be seen, a protest in Germany over Stuttgart 21, an extension of the central train station project, it will cause some parts of the old building to be abolished. The federal authority and a German railway company made an agreement to initiate the project regarding the professional and heritage circle’s disagreement. As the project started to parameterise the area, the people of Stuttgart had an uprising to reclaim their rights, as the public as a city should be able to say how their train station would be. The project has been reposition and reconstructs for a new design plan. 

In Thailand, in which we are facing a similar situation where the government and private stakeholders have the power to initiate public projects without no regard to public influence. Many of our taxes had been spent unwillingly on mega projects, and the result is far from reaching an expectation. For example, Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the project initiated by the Thai Army Forces. The majority of the building is finished; however the park itself is nowhere near its definition. The project is a memorial park in which the architects aim is to translate the pattern of the ancient war formation to the park. However, who to decide whether, Is this what the public want. Is it a public park? Is the scale appropriate for a human?, Is it worth the effort spending to construct?, or All of these questions might bring this project to be a better project.

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