Made in Bangladesh : housing for garment workers in Chittagong, Bangladesh

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Al Rubai, Rafsaan
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Patel, Yusef
McConchie, Graeme
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Chittagong (Bangladesh)
garment factories
garment workers
female workers
women workers
affordable housing
childcare facilities
social housing
mixed use building types
critical regionalism
Al Rubai, R. (2020). Made in Bangladesh : housing for garment workers in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: Can designing housing for garment factory workers in Bangladesh, improve their quality of life? ABSTRACT: Manufacturing of textiles and garments is the most significant industry in Bangladesh. The country is the second-largest manufacturer of western apparel brands in the world. The industry has a negative stigma in developing countries due to the exploitation of workers. These issues are decreasing in Bangladesh, as the industry tries to re-brand and build the best factories in the world. The highest-rated environmentally friendly and sustainable factories in the world are now home to Bangladesh, competing with the global demand. The factories also provide more facilities and benefits for employees in the workplace. However, this initiative still does not consider the socio-economic issues of the employees that work in these factories. Majority of the workers are women from low-income communities with little educational background. The purpose of this research project is to improve the quality of life of garment workers by attempting to resolve the primary issues that are common amongst the female workers, which is affordable housing and childcare. The method of the research will be investigating a variety of case studies and relevant literature to provide the design principles to create a proposed design of what factory housing in Bangladesh may be. The majority of the case studies will investigate social housing projects and mixed-use public centres for low-income communities in South Asia. The literature reviews will investigate theories of Critical Regionalism to ensure the research is contextually appropriate. The design proposal will be applied to a site in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Chittagong is a significant port city, with a large concentration of factories that employs a significant number of residents from the city. The final design produced for the workers will provide affordable housing and facilities for childcare and education for the children of the garment employees. The housing colony will be situated near factories. The proposed design will improve the quality of life of the workers, relations between employers and workers and the public image of the manufacturers and apparel brands.
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