Tuesday 11 May 2010

TCDC Bangkok - Think you know Thailand? Think Again!

When I mention the name TCDC what do you think of? That's right, a double adapter, an each way bet, a lady-boy or katoey. So damn predictable, you lot!

TCDC has got nothing to do with AC/DC or anything of the sort. It is the Thailand Creative and Design Centre, based in The Emporium at Phrong Pohm in the heart of Sukhumvit, Bangkok.

The Centre opened about five years ago to serve as Thailand's 'premier learning resource centre for design and creativity'. OK, that part sounds pretty boring, but wait till you hear this: the centre holds 25,000 design magazines in its library, and stages regular exhibitions.

The permanent exhibition is really cool: 'What is Design?' displays Genius Loci, the best of 10 inventive countries around the world, starting with Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and homberg hats in the middle 1800s and on from there, showing how economics, politics, religion, etc, all inform a nation's sense of, and need for, design. Presented in a wonderful multi-coloured chronological timeline along the walls.

Visually, there's a huge old Citroen as a centrepiece. And so many items of fashion and gadgets like Philippe Starck's famous alien spider-like lemon juicer that does nothing but dribble juice onto your kitchen counter, a Vespa scooter, amazing minimalist Muji electronics, and, yes, even the Bic pen gets a run. It was revolutionary once, you know. Jing jing!

What's also on now? 'Baht and Brains' addresses the marriage of creativity and business. Did you know that Thailand is one of the top 20 exporters of creative goods in the world? It's not surprising when you see the home-grown fashion bursting from the windows of Siam Paragon, Siam Centre, and the Emporium. And what about the amazing design of Thailand's countless spas and boutique hotels?

Yes, there is a very funky heart to this culture, hence their drive toward a Creative Economy.

Want to see another side of Thailand? It's right here at TCDC in the heart of Bangkok's urban jungle.

1 comment:

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