THE PATTERNS OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE PAK KLONG TALAT FLOWER MARKET COMMUNITY ARE CONNECTED BOTH PHYSICALLY, ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY IN AN INTRIGUING HUMAN ECOSYSTEM.
While the current implementation of the government’s policies is intensely elevating the reorganization of traditional urban areas, the line between demolition, revitalization and development is, at times, being spread way too thin. Local “neighborhoods” and their qualitative characteristics are under great pressure following the authoritative desire to organize the city’s physical appearance as a part of the political agenda. Humans of Flower Market is a project that brought together a mobile photography exhibition and a publication, both of which were the results of the efforts by students from a Vernacular Architecture Conservation and Community Development course taught at Silpakorn University.
The students firstly observed, surveyed, documented and presented their findings related to the relationships between different members of the ‘Pak Klong Talat or Flower Market’ community, such as the flower merchants (both those with proper shops and street kiosks), the cart people, ice and food delivery people, city law enforcement agents, tuk tuk drivers, etc. Primary observations found that the patterns of relationships between the different groups were all connected both physically, economically and socially in an intriguing human ecosystem. An absence of one group or the other would therefore ignite a chain reaction cycle. Ultimately, the challenge in terms of the development of this long-standing flower market is how to maintain a balance between public space management for personal and public interests, while also supporting the neighborhood’s unique characteristics. The project’s open view towards an informal economy as an obstacle as well as an opportunity is just only a step in the right direction that will hopefully lead to asking the right questions, and finding the right answers.
TEXT: SUPITCHA TOVIVICH