Bangkok

“The research focus of our city, Bangkok, is to explore its nationalism after years of self-colonization through the urban form’s development. It is interesting to re-capture the traces of European influences on Bangkok, a city that had never been formally colonized, yet with the monarchic elites and rich welcoming and developing the city’s fate in the footsteps of Western models. Since the era of Rama IV (1851), the city of water began to transform into a fragmented nation of different urban languages, directing the city’s growth from its environmental aquatic settlement to the first permanent land transformation… The lost of translation from water to land settlement became a problematic joint to the urban form of the city development… and after years of refilling the canal with permanent state of concrete construction, the origin of Bangkok’s image could hardly be interpreted in developing sequence and pace of the present.”

– Clara K.Y. Fung, “Schism in Water and Land-based Settlements,” 2014

Narratives


Bangkok (1932-1942) / 2.3 Abortion of the 1937 Previous Scheme

WANG Xuelu

To establish a new constitutional government in Thailand, the People’s Party started its revolution from below and seemingly gained a huge success after the coup in 1932 together with effective political policies afterwards to prevent Thailand from being colonized1. However, at the beginning the new government was, in fact, hybrid of both middle-class elites who ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) /3.3 The Transformation of Ratchadamnoen Boulevard in 1939-1941 Led by the State

WANG Xuelu

With the rising power of Phibun (his regime from 1938-1944), who intended to destroy monarchy completely, the tendency to reduce the authority of the monarchy directly influenced the architecture and urban planning afterwards. Modern architecture was used as to turn against the monarchy to throw out ornaments and motif. For People’s Party, architecture without ornaments ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 1.2 Pre-1932 Ratchadamnoen Boulevard—An Example of Modernization in Bangkok

WANG Xuelu

Located in the heart of the city, Ratchadamnoen Boulevard has always been the focus of major urban development in Bangkok especially during the Fifth Reign (1868-1910). After King Chulalongkorn (see post 1.1 for details) finished his first official visit to Europe in 1897, he started a new urban renewal project in Bangkok attempting to transform ...

(1932-1942) Power Making – episode 4 (educational)

TSE YU YING SCARLETT

The University The 1932 People’s Party Revolution was also known as Siamese coup d’état of 1932. A revolution born in Paris nurtured in Bangkok. The People’s Party was a group middle-class intelligentsia who studied overseas and pro-democracy, aimed to seize power from the monarchy government. Beside their ambitious plan to modernize and reform the Ratchadamnoen Avenue, they also ...

(1932-1942) Power Making – episode 4 (social / commercial)

TSE YU YING SCARLETT

Urban Development The Ratchadamnoen Avenue was the symbol of the “old Siam” and the People’s Party aimed to introduce the “new Siam” into the historical fabric by reforming both public and commercial architectures. In this episode, we will focus on the commercial and social aspect. Starting from in 1935, the People’s Party government completely reformed the landscape ...

(1932-1942) Power Making – episode 3 (the supreme court)

TSE YU YING SCARLETT

The Supreme Court Complex There was no such a thing as the Supreme Court in the old Thai monarch society. In 1891, an official department called ‘Ministry of Justice’ was set up in the Palace in the era of King Rama V. The Judicator Act of 1909 established the Supreme Court as the highest court in ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 4 Building up Siamese Identity

MOK Man Wing

National identity is a sense of a nation as a cohesive whole, as represented by distinctive traditions, culture, and language. Each country should have its own characteristics and be acknowledged by their local citizens. A nation consists of a group of people belonging to the same biological race whinin the same cultural life. The development ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 1.3 Shaping of Public Space by the Monarch

MOK Man Wing

In previous posts, the political system in Siam and the development of the Ratchadamnoen Avenue before 1932 were detailedly discussed, which this post would further explain the relationship between the two. The main issue would be how the western influence and the absolute monarchy contributed to the urban development in Siam, with Siam being the ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 3.1 Moving Forward by the State

MOK Man Wing

People’s Party (known as Khana Ratsadon in Thai) was the key organization, which drove the emergence of Siamese Revolution 1932 and the flowing in of ideas of democracy in political system. It consisted young, foreign-educated military officials and civil servants. The group was founded in 1927 by 7 Siamese students studying abroad, including Lieutenant Prayoon ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 3.2 The Reality of Ratchadamnoen Boulevard in 1937-1941 and Debates afterwards

WANG Xuelu

The morning of 24 June 1940 witnessed the opening of the Democracy Monument at the heart of Ratchadamnoen Boulevard marking the inauguration of Thailand as Constitutional Regime1. Ten multi-story apartment building blocks and modern buildings were planned to be built to replace all the existing properties on the Central Ratchadamnoen Boulevard, from Phan Bibhob-lila Bridge ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 2.2 The 1937 Previous Scheme of Ratchadamnoen Boulevard

WANG Xuelu

With the emergence of the People’s Party, the establishment of a brand new constitutional government in Thailand and the events of World War II and its aftermath, the progressive nationalist policies steered by the People’s Party extended from politics to many aspects such as economic, culture and social life, among which the city’s development played ...

(1932- 1942) Power Making – episode 2 (typology)

TSE YU YING SCARLETT

The Prototype Let’s take a step back in this episode and look into the making of the ‘new style’. In another word, the architectural language and structure of powers on the built artifacts by The People’s Party. Ratchadamnoen Avenue to symbolize the old Siam, which was all about Royal. The People’s Party wanted to build for the ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 1.1 Bangkok & Modernization

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 1.1 Bangkok & Modernization

Looking back at the history of Thailand, the political system had been going through significant transformations in different stages of time. Due to the occurrence of key historical events, new ideas were brought in and the government had been greatly reformed by the ruler. In the chosen historical period, King Chulalongkorn had been a key ...

Bangkok (1932-1942) / 2.1 Thai Nationalism ‘From Below’

MOK Man Wing

Due to the reign of King Chulalongkorn, he had brought in a lot of western administrative and education ideas into Siam. Also, he encouraged Siamese to study abroad in England and the United States etc. As a result, the exchange of knowledge allowed the people in the higher social class to have a more critical ...

(1932- 1942) Power Making – episode 1 (monumental)

TSE YU YING SCARLETT

Introduction The absolute monarchy of Thailand was overthrown by The People’s Party from 1932 to 1957. This is the Siamese Revolution. The People’s Party regarded their era as the new beginning of time and they sought distinguishment from the monarchy through built artifacts. In this series, we will be looking into significant artifacts and explore through the ...

Historical Documents


 

Bibliography


Bangkok (1932-1942)/ Construction of Thai Nationalism

WANG Xuelu

Bangkok (1932-1942)/ Searching for Identity during Modernization

WANG Xuelu

BANGKOK (1932-1942) / A Study of Urban Renewal on Ratchadamnoen Boulevard in 1932-1957

WANG Xuelu

Bangkok (1932-1942) / Parallel modernization and self-colonization: Urban evolution and practices in Bangkok and Tehran

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / The Setting of the Siamese Revolution

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / Memory, Democracy and Urban Space: Bangkok’s ‘Path to Democracy’

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / War, Trade and Desire: Urban Design and the Counter Public Spheres of Bangkok

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / Absolute Monarchy and the Development of Bangkok’s Urban Spaces

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1932-1942) / A study of the emergence and development of nation and nationalism in Thailand

MOK Man Wing

Bangkok (1999-2009) socio-economic development under BTS skytrain

Lincoln Lau

BANGKOK (1999-2009)/BTS Skytrain

Wu Ho Ting

Bangkok (1890-1910)/ Overview of Road Construction in Bangkok

Lanqing Hu

BANGKOK (1890-1910)/ Theoretical Framework

Naixin Jiang

Bangkok(1890-1910)/ From sacred city to National capital

Xiaoou Chen

Bangkok(-1900)/ The sacred city

Xiaoou Chen

Bangkok (1890-1910)/ Historical Background

Naixin Jiang

Bangkok (1890-1910)/ Road as Both the Cause and Effect in the Process of Westernization

Lanqing Hu

Bangkok (1890-1910)/ Road Construction: the Forming of the Amphibian City

Lanqing Hu

Bangkok (1960-1970) / Bibliography

Xiliu Yang

Bangkok/ Bibliography2

Zheng Nian Chan

Bangkok/ Bibliography

Clara K.Y. Fung

 

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