Pulsing Territories, Perpetual Frontiers
Mahtani, Nashin Kelash
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The construction of the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali in 1969 facilitated the birth of mass tourism on the island, as well as an increasing concentration of tourist-centered developments. As the tourism industry now constitutes 70% of the island’s GDP, tourist-dominant developments are highly economically profitable, but often culturally and environmentally unsustainable. Developments are continuously pushing boundaries into an increasing number of neighboring towns as tourists persistently search for “untouched” territories offering “authentic” cultural experiences. In the context of an island, with a finite amount of land, these sprawling developments are confronted with both physical and environmental constraints. The thesis seeks to propose an alternate form of tourism development that works cyclically, leveraging seasonal activities over time, rather than one that sprawls outward. Departing from traditional notions of static developments, the thesis questions the possibilities of designing infrastructures that work in synchrony with contextual cycles. The design of a networked infrastructure investigates how tourist developments and local economies can cycle between periods of high activity, periods of dormancy, and periods of regeneration. The proposal also seeks to question how an infrastructure could facilitate a symbiotic relationship between tourism and agriculture, effectively managing resources between the two industries through these cyclical periods. In addition how can these strategies generate new spatial experiences for tourists? How can spaces facilitate the possibilities of enhanced translatability in terms of the different stakeholders involved and their unique aspirations and often competing desires?