The Impact of Capitalism on the Representation of Some Contemporary Modern Architecture in Thailand

By Atip Utaiwatananont.

Published by The Design Collection

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

After the era of industrial revolution, there were dramatic changes to various principles. These changes include the principle of modern architecture which normally focuses on logical approach. Even though different architectural masters convey different design concepts, most of them base their thought on one common philosophy; saying that “Architectural aesthetics should be derived from logic. It expresses itself though its pure form and space without unnecessary ornamentations.” However today’s architectural design has a large number of factors to be considered beyond form, function and engineering. One of the significant, and unavoidable, influences is an economically driven society. Such an economically driven society emphasizes a mutual agreement between the seller and the buyer, marketing strategy, intellectual asset and contract. Therefore it is not only the architect, urban planner, or academician who can determine the architectural identity of community, but also the investor who drives the economy with mega projects. This influences both the process of architectural design and construction.

This paper presents the challenge of architectural design under an economically driven system. Such influence has been developing for a long time, from manually painting billboards to the combination between corporate identity and building form. Now, we can see all the buildings in prime locations have been used to maximize the return on investment by renting. Large numbers of vertical spaces are full of vinyl commercial billboards. The highest building in Thailand, which is visible from every angle of Bangkok, is fully covered with advertisements. This has turned one of Bangkok’s prominent architectural landmarks into merely a huge advertising landmark. This force is going beyond a level which takes into account style and form. This article is expected to inspire all of the stake holders to be aware of the problem, and to work together to find architectural resolution. It aims to reserve the architectural value of Bangkok which is full of traditional spirit and passion and should not be overwhelmed by urban landscapes full of gigantic advertising that people can live in.

Keywords: Architecture, Modern Architecture, Contemporary Architecture, Economic, Capitalism, Advertising, Thailand

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.93-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.134MB).

Atip Utaiwatananont

Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

I'm working as a lecturer at Faculty of Architecture, Khon Kaen University. I was a research assistant at Research Center of Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University. After that, I was graduated a Master Degree in Architecture from Chulalongkorn University Thailand. I worked as freelance architect for 3 years. I also ran a computer tutorial shool at the same time. I currently work on Veterinary Hospital design project in Khon Kaen University. I spend my free time as a enthusiastic photographer.

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