Bangkok, Thailand (February 20, 2018) – Young leaders from across Bangkok came together at Chulalongkorn University last week to be part of the world’s first architecture competition for urban flying vehicles. With ฿10,000 in prize money available, the contest encouraged students to re-imagine the future of urban transportation and how drones will transform the architecture of cities.
The 2018 Fling / INDA Vertiport Architecture Competition was made possible through a unique partnership between Chulalongkorn University’s International Program in Design and Architecture (INDA) and Fling, a Thai-Canadian urban air mobility company at the forefront of providing urban drone services in the region.
Hundreds of students worked in teams to prepare submissions for the contest. Fling CEO Michael Currie awarded prizes to the three winning teams at a ceremony on February 16 at INDA Lab on the Chulalongkorn University campus.
“At Fling, we believe the future of urban transportation is through the air. Multirotor drones and other autonomous flying vehicles will fling packages, monitor infrastructure, and track criminal activity. The result will be more safety, convenience, and accessibility for residents of the busy cities of Southeast Asia,” says Currie. “We were amazed at the quality of submissions from INDA’s students who rose to the challenge of creating new structures to accommodate flying vehicles.”
First prize was awarded to a team of students who conceived of a balcony system and skywalk to serve as a landing pad for drone deliveries. Team member Phapot Putthammarong enthused, “Urban air transportation will play an important role of enhancing our daily routines to be more convenient and efficient. This design contest opens an opportunity for us to design our own near future.”
Second prize was awarded to a team who came up with a natural tower that could accommodate long-distance drone flights between the islands of Indonesia. Third prize went to a group that created a high-rise tower design for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel with open space for people and drones of various sizes.
INDA faculty member Tijn van de Wijdeven said, “INDA has done collaborations before but never with a high-technology company in such an innovative field. Engaging with industry helps to prepare our students for the working world, whether they become architects or move on to other careers.”
Urban air operations fit into the government’s “Thailand 4.0” initiative, since they have the potential to make Thailand a leader in sustainable growth and development, through lower pollution. They also equalize the benefits of prosperity across regions by reducing the burden of commute times.
Fling and Chulalongkorn University are studying ways to continue their partnership in the future.
Fling is a Thai-Canadian company, founded in 2017. Fling is developing the urban drone ecosystem to make city life more secure, more convenient, and more accessible. Starting in Southeast Asia, Fling is pioneering urban drone services, including smart city data collection, package deliveries, surveillance, and airspace integration.
INDA, the International Program in Design and Architecture, is an English language program taught within the Faculty of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Chulalongkorn is the oldest University in Thailand, founded in 1917 by King Rama VI in honor of his father, King Chulalongkorn. The Architecture Faculty was first established in 1939, and has a long and successful history of educating professionals for practice in Thailand. The international program – INDA – was founded in 2006, aimed at meeting a growing demand for English language instruction that would better prepare students for graduate study abroad.
Pasinee Kerdpongvanich, Supatsorn Boontumma, Phapot Putthammarong, Apisada Hanbunjerd
Punnathorn Phuwichit, Pancharee Rujiraarporn, Navapol Montong, Koonanan Panyahom, Boonyavee Sureephong
Nanna Thaiboonruang, Kemjira La-Orsuwan, Thanakorn Phonthanakornkul, Kaninor Suthamanuswong