The kintsugi project uses festivals as domestic tourism to tackle the ethnic division in Malaysia. It involves the participation of different ethnicity in the making and using process. Through participation, people gain the chance to form meaningful relationships and create social integration.
This thesis project is framed at 3 different scales - macro, meso, and micro.
The macro is the project overview. The kintsugi project consists of 12 festivals, one each month. Temporary structures for festivals are constructed and scattered around the tourism spots on Georgetown UNESCO's world heritage site. The materials for one festival will be taken off and reuse for another festival. This process involves workers from different ethnicity and meaningful relationships may be formed. Bamboos and batik are the main construction materials, their making processes involve the intangible heritage of different ethnicity in Penang. Kintsugi headquarter is set up in Georgetown as a place for different ethnicity to share their making techniques and create the Kintsugi structures together.
The meso zooms into the design of a chosen festival – a food festival. The festival includes food and activities from different ethnicity. 3 streets (the Kapitan Keling Street, the Chulia Street and Little India) with 3 different ethnic culture influences are chosen to celebrate the festival. During the festival, multi-ethnics pedestrians replace the vehicles on the streets and also increase the visitors to the existing shophouses along the streets. To involve different ethnicity in the using process, the architectural elements inspired by different ethnicity are included in the festival structures. Different ethnicity can find their own identity via the festival architecture and feel included. Similar ethnic elements can be found on the micro-scale. Foundations designed to adapt to the temporariness of the structure require manhole covers on a non-festival day. So, the manhole covers with the ethnic elements become the memory reminder of the food festival.