Knowledge

We human tend to assume stuff, or atleast, have a pre-idea of what it is all about. This is ultimately clear to me when i started off interviewing people, asking questions. Migrant workers, sex workers, NGOs, documentaries. We never asked about it because it is not something we want to see, so we shun it under the deepest darkest layer of our society and hope they will be gone and ignored.

Just to understand the depth of this situation is already complicated enough to do a research, How they’re deprived of health support, mental support. I talked to michelle, a transwoman who shared her side of the story with me. She told me her jobs, her troubles and support that was given. She gave me a very interesting point of view towards the issue, something we, never thought of because it just never occur to us. She bought up the maslow’s hierachy of needs and break it down to me. There is a different between functioning and living. She cleared my thoughts that, to really help these people, physical health support will just get them to function. They can be living hell everyday and want to die, but we just want to talk about physical health, not touching the mental side.

People should always see the story from all directions before judging, i once asked “what if a sex worker really needed the money? Say she is funding her sick parents? Working a minimum wage job is not an option” and what i got was “those are rare cases, those who are willing to work for sex are because they’re filthy and wanted to get dirty for money” Which i find it to be a very bizarre comments, how did we know that is true? Its as if the commenter visited the sex workers and knew them all their life.

To further show what i meant and to my friends who believe we should continue shunning those sex workers, have a watch, they’re humans too.
https://www.ted.com/talks/toni_mac_the_laws_that_sex_workers_really_want

Today is also the day i presented my findings, but due to time constrain i believe, i couldn’t fully show my findings but i got a green light for it. Clinics is complex enough was the comment that was given to me, but sometimes i think i am perhaps a very program/system person. I tend to want to solve the whole system, to make sure it works and fully recover the person, rather than going into the details of it. Maybe that is why I can’t see the complexity of the project of a clinic.

When i visted CARAM to ask about the migrants workers, they seem to want this to occur very much, they kept asking if this is a real project and seem excited about it, but i must break their heart to tell them it is not. Perhaps one day, i can do something for it, get some GOVT fundings, NGO to work and a collaboration with some universities, to atleast provide the builders of our future a health standard that let them live with ease.

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Community

I was doing my research regarding community clinics, and i found that in Malaysia, klinik desa is refered to as community clinic, it is a clinic that serves its community but it provides no communal space, it is a building specifically dedicated to patients. It could actually just be any other clinic, but the word community means it should be able to let people relate to or utilize the space. (http://cheesheanheah.blogspot.my/ has done some research on it)

Then i started to look online for more examples of clinics that are closer to what i believe a community clinic should be, wanarn medical clinic seem to be doing what i deem as a community clinic (http://www.archello.com/en/project/wanarn-clinic)

[The Clinic] double as a place where the aborginal community could meet and socialize “on their way to the shop or whilst hunting rabbit”

This seem very appropriate as the clinic has another meaning to it, a communal space for the community. It seem to me that we have made clinic a scary place to be, people entering it is given a second look, worst if its something embarrassing.

I would have to check more on how a clinic actually functions and what are needed by the users that i intend to create for.

Views

As i was reading on my research topics of immigrants and sex workers, youtube documentaries and al Jazeera have been great resources to give an surface insight of the issue.

But what really left me in awe was how we tend to not notice the ugly, how the ugly was covered up, hidden somewhere while only displaying the beauty. Great, this is usually found in anything but when its done to our society, it felt wrong.

The immigrant documentaries showed me how we don’t notice their life, we kept thinking how we need better, but when we put ourselves in their shoe, they just wanted the basic. Everyday its how to earn, how to avoid the cops, while we, sit on our chair, enjoying the air condition thinking about making money. I was especially shocked when i saw that the UNHCR was so close to my house yet i never knew it existed. The centre that determine the refugee status of the immigrants, might actually be the only way for them to stay slightly safer here.

But i do understand that i should stay relevant to my site, hence i’ve chosen community clinic as my topic. I must say, when it comes to sex workers, i’ve always felt uncomfortable when its a transexual, but after the documentary view, and look into their life, I felt i knew more, they have their own challenge and socially, they are rejected, they are left broken down.

So much more to understand and look.

Bonus Vids if you’re reading

Questions

I must admit I am one who like asking alot of question, it could be thoughtful, bizarre, or just plain dumb questions. There’s time that i just couldn’t understand the thing behind it, hence i start questioning the logic, the reason, the yes, the no, so please take my questioning as a discussion rather than trying to win the conversation.

When looking at matters, sometimes its all about balance, actually most of the time it is about balance. We cannot strive a constant for anything as changes kept occuring in our lives. There comes the question of needs and wants. Just to put it out there, i believe to improve, you cannot stay at the needs. If one has all they need, why do they desire to improve their condition? This only occurs when wants come into play, people started to ask for comfort, ask for more, but is this wrong? It seem wrong, the society made it sounds wrong to ask for more, but it is exactly what the society is doing. We want more money so we live a better life, what is a better life? better house? better car? Why? Also, is this wrong? Aren’t this desire of wanting better brings us into the future? Isn’t that what created the phones, computers that we all enjoy now? I still believe what once vincent told me, we must always find balance in designing, too much of something might not be the right choice.

I’m very inclined in designing for the poor people, infact i’m very interested in the topic of sex workers and immigrants, all the why and what and things kept flooding my mind. My lecturer told me to do a parody of it, it sounds very interesting, to display the dirty and ugly out, blurt it out to the face of the users, to create awareness that prostitution is not a right thing. I think we all knew it is not a right thing to do, we were taught so when we were young. Yet still many people visit brothels to get a sexual fix, this problem has been there since the earliest of civilization. Why is this so? I need to find out, but isn’t it an animal instinct? Basic human needs, food, shelter, sex? Altho i don’t agree with providing services such as prostitution, the biggest question is, how can i bring out the ugliness of it to the public? Is this even a right architecture move for my thesis?

Timeline

One thing that intrigued me is what and how do we define a community, especially for a site such as Bukit Ceylon, which have been highly gentrified. We have a huge community of immigrants working for the local shop owners that doesn’t live there for the constantly changing tourist.

We once used to be immigrants to this land, to develop it, we were imported, and after many years, we settled down and call ourself malaysian. Can this be what is happening in Bukit Ceylon? Due to the development of Bukit Ceylon, the need to feed the tourist crowd, we hired cheap labours to do our work, but this never happened in other countries such as France or Japan. Even touristy areas are attended by local people, why is it so different here?

The immigrant community is so obvious that they even have mini stores and facilities run by the immigrants dedicated to the immigrants. We might not see how this affect us, but to the tourist who lived in Bukit Bintang, they might actually think the Myanmar or Bangladesh immigrants are what make up of Malaysia, our image, taken over by the immigrant, is this what we want?

Confused.

The start

I have always been interested in looking at the other side of beauty, we were always sold beautifully packaged products and items such as iPhones, High-End condominiums, you-name-it. Maybe this was the training that I had during my degree years or perhaps I am just weird like that. I like the uncomfortable taboo talks. Before getting into my pre-thesis year, I tried to look for a topic that i am truly interested so that my thesis could be something that is useful or at least, something that I like.I knew where my interest lies, personally for myself, I have watched quite some documentaries on the poor layer of the society, sex-worker, refugee, immigrants, because they all remind and show me how much we have exploited the

I knew where my interest lies, personally for myself, I have watched quite some documentaries on the poor layer of the society, sex-worker, refugee, immigrants, because they all remind and show me how much we have exploited the poors and the unfortunate to gain benefits for ourselves. This would be the perfect time for me to look beyond the documentaries and talks, to create something for the unfortunate.

On the first day of my pre-thesis semester, the 38 of us came back, greeted and talked about our choices of lecturers and projects, then in a quick session, a paper was passsed down, names were written, people running around , and then we were separated into our groups. Frankly speaking i did my choice based on the issue and site, i knew what concern me most, immigrants or sex worker. Then my group has a site on Kampung Baru and Bukit Ceylon, which i thought “Perfect!”.

Not until i went to site that i realize how hard and complicated this network of people are, the history, the timeline, the reason. I was too fixated towards the sex worker and immigrant community that when i sat down, widen my views, that I realized, it is not easy to define a community. Our site, bukit ceylon, is too intertwined with expats, tourist, workers, immigrant that they cannot lose each other, but non of them have a true identity towards the site. The information we gathered only show a snippet of what the site is made of, i am looking forwards towards my experience of interviewing the immigrants, reading the history, looking at the timeline why the actual local people move out and rent the place out, and does the immigrants feel that they are at home?

This sums up my first week of pre-thesis semester. I am hungry to know more about this place, where most would think of the beautiful changkat bars, or the tourist oriented local delicacies, but a car is only as good as its engine gets.