Class of 6.3 tells the story of how an earthquake in the Northern Province of Thailand not only led to a massive emergency reconstruction of 9 educational facilities, but also afforded an entire community the opportunity to rethink the role of architecture in the shaping of Thai rural education.
On May 4th, 2014, an earthquake registering 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked Chiang Rai, a major province in Northern Thailand. Among those buildings shaken to the ground were nine elementary schools, thus leaving hundreds of local school children without classrooms and other important educational facilities. This was the fate of the Class of 6.3, or the student victims of the 2014 Chiang Rai Earthquake.
In the wake of this catastrophe, Design for Disasters, a non-profit organization founded by Vipavee Kunivichayanont, asked nine Thai architects to help redesign and rebuild these nine elementary schools in desperate need. During this emergency design and construction process, a team of architects, engineers, consultants, school principals, school teachers, under the guidance of the Association of Siamese Architects, worked to quickly design and engineer new earthquake-safe facilities for the nine schools. In the end, the Chiang Rai Earthquake brought together an entire community of people – young and old, amateur and professionals – to work together in re- building nine elementary schools.
…the Chiang Rai Earthquake taught us think about how natural catastrophe must be a priority in the architectural agenda.
… it forced us to re-think existing ineffective governmental building typologies, like the obsolete schools that had just been destroyed.
…it forced us to reconsider the way in which our children should be educated in rural areas.
In the end, the Chiang Rai Earthquake brought back a newfound hope for children and teachers in the Class of 6.3.
Exhibitors: Pitupong Chaowakul, Chatpong Chuenrudeemol, Jeravej Hongsakul, Kanika R’Kul, Jun Sekino Chutayaves Sinthuphan, Suriya Umpansiriratana, Twitee Vajrabhaya, Varudh Varavarn.
- The Class of 6.3: Rebuilding Nine Schools after 2014 Chiang Rai Earthquake