University : Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
Tutor(s) : Dr Nasreen Hossain, Patrick D’ Rozario and Dr Apurba k Poddar
About 77% of merchandise exports come from RMG (ready-made garments) industry in a developing country like Bangladesh. We are the second-largest Apparel producer in the world, right after China. People from different parts of the country come to this industry to make a livelihood. But it’s difficult for them to lead a decent life when they get a wage of 68 USD per month.
Their living costs and monthly expenses are two times costlier than the other residential areas like Dhanmondi or Gulshan in Dhaka. To generate extra income and maintain monthly expenses they with their family members have to work a second jobs such as sewing bedsheets, tailoring, making handicrafts, vegetable gardening, or working as a day labourer to make their lives easier. As a result, they have to work on their spare time for that job after spending 10-12 hours in garments. We don’t think about them nevertheless. Even while designing “Low-cost housing” for their community we only consider the affordability aspect. Neither do we consider their secondary income source nor incorporate spaces for these jobs with the living modules. We only see them as cheap labourers and limit their economic growth.
Yet, through Architectural dimensions like Housing, we don’t address these issues regarding the garment workers’ cheap labour.
The “Economic growth” is limited by different types of policies of other corporations regarding RMG. There is a possibility of resolving this barrier with the help of the government and stakeholders of this industry.
This project aims to enhance the quality of life of garment workers by collaboration among the government, garments owners, and landowners. It addresses three objectives.
We cannot deny the contribution of these neglected garment workers to our GDP growth. It’s high time we thought about a better future for the workers for the betterment and sustainability of the garments industry.
Established in 2012, Tamayouz Excellence Award is an unaffiliated, independent initiative that aims to advance the profession of architecture academically and professionally. Tamayouz is dedicated to supporting aspirational and transformative projects that tackle local and global challenges and that are informed by a holistic understanding of context.