HUMANS OF THE FLOWER MARKET

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.

 

"I would like to keep things the same, and for things to return to be as they were." - Uncle Sert

“I would like to keep things the same, and for things to return to be as they were.” – Uncle Sert


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.

"What is a garland made of? It is made of crown flowers and this change will affect the farming of crown flowers. If it is jasmine, it will effect jasmine farming, and there are also marigolds and roses. The ribbons are made by poor people in Ayutthaya after they finish farming the rice." - Aunty Yao

“What is a garland made of? It is made of crown flowers and this change will affect the farming of crown flowers. If it is jasmine, it will affect jasmine farming, and there are also marigolds and roses. The ribbons are made by poor people in Ayutthaya after they finish farming the rice.” – Aunty Yao

"My son is studying to become a pilot at Rangsit University. The money I make selling orchids is used to support him." - Aunty Tid

“My son is studying to become a pilot at Rangsit University. The money I make selling orchids is used to support him.” – Aunty Tid

"I met my husband here, he sold cassette tapes at the front of the Empire Theatre." - Thongsai Mualnugul

“I met my husband here, he sold cassette tapes at the front of the Empire Theatre.” – Thongsai Mualnugul

 TEXT:  SUPITCHA TOVIVICH
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