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Welcome to the Machine

Nicholas Ken Hong Lai

Taylor’s University

The demand for transport and delivery efficiency and the notion of reducing the carbon footprint leads to the implementation and development of electrical drone technology in passenger transportation and delivering of goods as a greener solution. While the drone technology still seeks for stability and reliability, the architecture that accommodate drones should also be explored in terms of its design and planning as future adoption of drone comes with sets of spatial implication and would alter the existing urban form. This thesis project speculates the urban insertion of a drone hub (a typology that has yet to be realised) in the urban context of Klang, Malaysia in the near future. This drone hub houses a logistic core and passenger drone concourses that are interconnected by public spaces. Neither defending nor criticizing the existing drone hub proposals and the use of these soul-less machine in our society, the project seeks to explore the heterotopia idea with the design narrative that reflects the drone hub as being mechanically expressive. The technological components for drones are designed in modules to ease the adding and removing of a specific component due to technological expansion. There are also minimal fixed walls in the project as it allows spatial flexibility that permits adaptability in various programs. The thesis takes on the notion of architecture as the background of speculative possibilities with the intention to take on the design approach dissimilar to the current design trends of hiding the processes and components behind walls. While the project takes on one of the myriads of possibilities of how a drone hub could be, it also communicates a further critical discourse of the drone hub typology in the distant future, its impact of the urban form that we are well adhere of, and the societal impact of implementing drone technology.

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