Chicken Dig Rubbish – In Search of Praxis

7 – 21 August 2018


AAVS Cambodia is a 2-week summer workshop in Takeo, where students design and build new additions to an existing village school in Thnout Village. After 10 years of building schools in rural Cambodia, Project Little Dream is collaborating with Vann Molyvann Project, an organization dedicated to document the works the most influential Khmer Modernist architect, to conduct a series of architectural experiments in Takeo. Like a chicken scourging a pile for rubbish for small morsels of food, we are In Search for Praxis - the manner in which architects are engaged with the world.

The participants will take on visits to our schools and various journeys in Takeo. We will travel to active sites of agricultural production, engage with local forms of knowledge, and take inspiration from these ingredients that defines Cambodia today. On one hand, The Search for Praxis examines the spatial practices and craftsmanship that is lost in post-conflict Cambodia.

On the other hand, we are trying to find the recurring roles as architects to design in a rural setting. The history of Cambodia is one of ingenuity, improvisation and resilience. Through a series of seminars and conversations, we will find out what it means to be a designer in vernacular architecture. Are we architects? Or are we simply practitioners of a craft?

Our object of study will be food - the seemingly banal everyday object yet central to the cultural practice. Through understanding the material politics, commodity chains, we will use local cuisines as an anchor for our observation. The extension to the school will equip the campus with communal facilities. At the end of the workshop, we will host our first food festival at Thount School inviting local students, teachers, parents and neighbours. In fact, Chicken dig Rubbish is a local delicacy. Want to know what it is? This August, we invite you to take a seat at the table.