Spatial Anthropology of Traditional Thai-Islamic Dwellings in Eastern Bangkok

Waricha Wongphyat
2009 Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering  
Accelerated urbanization and the tremendous effort in achieving a state of modernization have significantly transformed the Bangkok cityscape over the past few decades. This situation inevitably accounts for the demise of traditional Thai dwellings, or ruan thai, the inherited tradition and the dwellers' way of life rooted in an agrarian society. Among the existing ruan thai in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, it is remarkable that there are not only Thai residents but also those from diverse
more » ... se from diverse cultural groups such as Muslims, the Mon and Laotians. This paper is a study of the spatial anthropology of the ruan thai resided in by Thai Muslims in the east of Bangkok. Based on field surveys and oral history, its central goal is to examine the spatial characteristics of Thai-Islamic dwellings, which reflect a dialogical relationship between the socio-cultural and spatio-temporal dimensions. Grounded in the context of a matriarchal society, the case studies constitute several spatial aspects shared by typical Thai dwellings. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the Islamic way of life plays a crucial role in the way the dwellers use space, particularly in terms of the invisible, yet fixed-feature, sphere.
doi:10.3130/jaabe.8.347 fatcat:u344g4lvmrd4fp5fmlngdnfl5m