The “Design for Flood” project is a creative collaboration of designers. Using “design thinking” as a framework, the project seeks to develop a human-centered design strategy and solution for coping with floods. Interested participants are invited to join the contest to create sketch designs and prototype products from the assigned 10 design briefs. Selected participants will receive design and development support fund totaled over 2 million baths.
With “Design for Flood” project, TCDC is determined to use design thinking to create results that relieve and solve problems, as well as effectively improving the quality of life of flood victims.
This project is initiated by the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) in partnership with the School of Architecture and Design, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, the Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, FiF Design Studio, Cerebrum Design, KLS and REDEK.
The severe flooding in 2011 caused damage to a vast area of Thailand, spreading across 64 provinces and affecting 1,310,446 households. According to an economic estimation, 11.20 million rais of plantation area in the agricultural sector have been damaged, while in the industrial sector, especially in industrials estates, there were 748 companies that suffered flood damage, affecting the employment of 362,000 workers. The flood disaster affected the export in the last quarter of the year 2011. Due to the damage caused to 4 primary products, including vehicles, electronic components, electrical appliances and agricultural goods, it is estimated that the decrease in export value would total 77,171.6 million baht or 2,489.4 million US dollars. This would lead Thailand’s overall economic growth to decrease by 2.0%. As estimated by the World Bank, the economic damage caused by the flood is around 1.3 million baht, making it the world’s fourth costliest disaster since 2005.
In the future, Thailand might again be under threat of fluctuating weather conditions from La Nina. Particularly in 2011, the country was hit by 5 tropical storms, resulting in heavy downpour and the highest average annual rainfall in 23 years. Simultaneously with this occurrence, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has revealed the report “Mega-Stress for Mega-Cities,” which studies threats climate change poses towards 11 coastal or delta mega-cities in Asia. According to the report, out of 11 cities, Bangkok is the fifth most vulnerable metropolis because the city is only 2 meters above sea level and the sea level of Gulf of Thailand would rise 10-100 centimeters within the next 50 years. This will put almost 12 million citizens in over 1,500 square kilometers of Bangkok at risk and many parts of the city inundated.
Among this catastrophe, Thai society has seen a rise of creative creations, from small inventions to accommodation and shelter management system, aiming at problem solving and brining life back to normalcy. However, these amazing creative skills of Thai people need to be managed systematically by bringing together related knowledge from different fields to help further develop the creative ideas into substantial, effective solutions. The essential key to help citizens to cope and live with the floods with minimum damage is to be prepared and make precautionary plans for possible problems.
Therefore, Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC), in collaboration with the School of Architecture and Design, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, the Faculty of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, FiF Design Studio, Cerebrum Design, KLS and REDEK, have launched “Design for Flood” project, which aims to bring design thinking into use when researching problems and solutions to the flood crisis. The design thinking is a collaborative effort between designers and experts from various fields such as psychiatrists, anthropologists, architects, scientists, engineers, craftsmen, marketing experts and administrators in order to find comprehensive design solutions and strategies. The process started from an investigation to find the real problems from interviews and observations, an analysis and synthesis to achieve insights, a design process of creative products and services, to a production process to make designs and ideas come true. The objective of this process is to truly answer to the real needs of product and service users.