Thomas Chun Tung Tse

This thesis addresses the issue of displacement of informal commerce during urban regeneration. In multicultural suburbs like Footscray, informal commercial practices and associated spaces help recent immigrants access employment and establish social and professional networks. However, as the suburb undergoes regeneration these small-scale practices and the spaces that enable them are being overlooked in favour of higher end retail. Meanwhile, the design of public spaces, particularly transport related places is approached through prioritizing efficiency. This creates what Marc Auge illustrates as “non places” that nobody has a special tie to. This thesis challenges this approach and argues that public architecture should be able to respond to changing conditions continuously and allow for multiple appropriations and occupations across time. The proposed transit hub allows for multiple speeds to interweave, hybridizing formal and informal economies and spaces that reciprocally influence each other through time. Moments of transition and waiting are embedded with engagement and surprise. As such, creating a highly social and mobile network system at local and broader scales.

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