Preserving Identity in a Global Context Case Study: Architecture and Interior Design

By Pisprapai Sarasalin.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research aims to explain the effectiveness in terms of design process of the traditional Thai house by revealing its relationship to contemporary design concepts.The traditional Thai house serves as an excellent case study for our current generation of designers to consider, analyse, and develop for contemporary situations.

This research and analysis demonstrates that the traditional Thai house exemplifies many important theories of the 20th century and current design directions of the 21st century. Issues such as sustainable design, prefabricated construction,modern ideals of dwelling, and shifting functions of the home are investigated as current trends across the globe that are,in fact, at the fundamental core of traditional Thai housing.

Past research in Thailand has attempted to retain cultural identity through the immortalization of the traditional Thai dwelling, looking inwards at the development of a single culture without recognizing its relationship to the larger, global context. While historical preservation values the symbolic and cultural character of Thai dwellings, this research is interested in the concepts-some visible and some intangible-of traditional Thai dwelling and how they relate to the modern world.However,the traditional Thai house is not the ultimate goal, but instead it is the basic groundwork upon which new ideas about building and dwelling can be developed. These new ideas, confirmed by current global trends and practices,are perhaps the only way to maintain a strong cultural identity within today’s shifting world. Identity can be preserved by developing traditional building methods to merge with today’s technology, by identifying the patterns of dwelling that worked in the past and are still effective today, and by requiring our designed buildings and designed products to perform at higher standards.

Keywords: Cultural Identity, Sustainable, Prefabricated Construction and Dwelling

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.129-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.921MB).

Pisprapai Sarasalin

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Faculty of Art and Design, Rangsit University, PATUMTHANI, Thailand

Professor Pisprapai Sarasalin is currently a professor in the Faculty of Art and Design at Rangsit University. In the past, she has worked as a visiting professor at both Silpakorn and Chulalongkorn Universities in Bangkok, Thailand. Since 1986, she has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate schools at Rangsit University, heading courses such as History of Western Architecture and Interior Design, Introduction to Interior Design, as well as Design Seminar and Senior Thesis in various departments. She founded the RSU Art and Design Company for Rangsit University. She is also the founder and an active member of the Interior Architecture and Interior Design Association of Thailand. With a background in design, she attended graduate school at the University of Kansas and worked as a designer for Hallmark Cards, Inc. for 13 years. Her work relates to various disciplines such as graphic design, calligraphy, illustration, textile design, and interior design. Professor Sarasalin has written an academic book entitled, “History of Western Architecture and Interior Design in the 20th Century.” Other research and development topics range from designed products that utilize natural Asian materials to contemporary adaptation of classical Thai textiles.


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