Project Results

After decades of wandering the streets of tourist towns begging for food and money or working in unethical elephant camps, Elephant World is initiated to provide a source of stable income for the Kui and their elephants through monthly salary.

The villagers comply with regulations that ensure suitable living condition and treatment for elephants. It is impossible to separate elephants from Kui culture. Even their social organisation depends on the wisdom about elephants. Returning home means the Kui can continue to practice and pass on their heritage to the next generations. But without the revived forest and abundant water source, returning home will not be sustainable. And the problem of animal exploitation may reoccur.

The Cultural Courtyard proposes that building construction can build new resources rather than reduce natural resources. The Observation Tower suggests that as well as being a tourist attraction to admire the scenery, visitors may contribute to restoring the forest. This new way of looking at buildings may be employed by other design projects. The Elephant Museum encourages locals to take pride in their ethnic heritage.

Many buildings are designed to be human-centred, iconic and long-lasting. But at Elephant World, buildings are designed to also accommodate another species with a scale different from us. And it is hoped that the forest will expand and architecture will eventually be covered by the greenery. Architecture is only a temporary medium for the two to coexist. While reviving the forest and water source, the Kui earn their living via ecotourism.

When the fertile forest fully returns, elephants roam in the woods, and the Kui and elephants may continue to live, or no longer live under the same roof. But they will live under the same sun, use the same water source and eat from the same source of food.