Arguments on the Postmodern Movement in Thai Architecture During the 1980s
Keywords:Thai architecture, Postmodernism, Anti-Postmodernism, RangsanTorsuwan, Thai-ness
The Postmodern movement of applying old Western architectural elements to building facades became popular in Thailand in the 1980s. At the same time, however, the practice evoked criticism of both the works and the architects who produced them. One target of such criticism was architect RangsanTorsuwan, whose works in this style were branded as culturally invasive and alien to Thailand's national identity. Nevertheless, despite the criticism, Torsuwan’s works were commercially successful and several of his large-scale creations have made a lasting impression. This paper contextualizes and portrays this movement and the criticism leveled against it, and argues that both architects and customers played a vital role in the movement’s progression. This paper also examines the validity of critics’ claims, and finds that some criticism of this trend was misguided and vague.