The moving bento : manifestation of cultural flavours
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Citation:Teo, A. (2017). The moving bento : manifestation of cultural flavours. An unpublished explanatory document submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4479
RESEARCH QUESTION: How might ephemeral architecture, street food , and ethnic festival contribute to the suburban and urban life of Dominion Road? This project started with a site in mind - Dominion Road. The purpose of this research project is not to solve a particular problem, instead, it is interested to identify the ‘good’ components within the existing urban fabric of Dominion Road and build upon them. Dominion Road is known as a melting pot of international ethnic cultures. Ethnic diversity is evident in its population of resident and business owners, and even in the types of businesses located along this road. An array of retail shops including eateries encompass cuisines from around the world. Dominion Road is also an arterial road, servicing several suburbs between the Auckland CBD and South Auckland. It is one of the main routes with the highest public transport users in Auckland. Dominion Road is a place where people go running errands by day and a haven for affordable dining by night. Given the central location of Dominion Road and its accessibility, this research project aims to further manifest the diverse ethnicity through two cultural elements, namely cultural festivals, and 'street food', with a particular focus on Asian street food cultures. The research question for this project is , therefore, “How might ephemeral architecture, street food , and ethnic festival contribute to the suburban and urban life of Dominion Road?”. The study of Asian street food culture identified the role of ‘street food’ in the socio-economy. Street food stalls capture ‘people on the go’ which therefore are usually located in areas where foot traffic is high. Due to the ephemeral nature of ‘street food’, street food stalls are not only seen on a regular basis, they play a key role in occasional events such as cultural festivals. The literature review of Suburban Urbanities: Suburbs and the Life of the High Street and the architectural precedent studies of Victoria Street Lunar Festival in Melbourne, Bastille Day in Remuera and Wellington Friday Night Market are advocates of the utilization of 'high street' as a platform for cultural activities. The nature of 'street food' and the role of a suburban 'high street' are both points to Dominion Road, an ideal location. These resulted in the identification of four site typologies for ‘street food’ and ethnic festival events to take place. The literature reviews of Ephemera, Temporary Urbanism and Imaging and What time is this place suggested that ephemera urbanism at a particular time is able to positively contribute to the community and the image of a city. The architectural proposition developed within the study is the ‘Bento Set’ - a set of five stackable ‘bentos’ that are easily transportable and assembled on site. The flexibility of the foldable furniture panels to create different arrangements is inspired through the study of different Asian street food frameworks and the architectural precedent of the Future Shack by Sean Godsell. It is hoped that this research project will provide a new perspective on ephemeral architecture with the utilization of Dominion Road’s existing urban fabric to celebrate its ethnic diversity