Poom Subpaiboonkit

The Cultural Appropriateness of Housing Design: Responding to Kon Muang Local Housing Culture with Earthquake-resilient Architecture in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

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Culture relates to housing and well-being but is not always considered in post-disaster housing. Generally, housing provision for victims is viewed as products and designed without cultural aspects, which cannot provide cultural support spatially and structurally. 

The 2014 Earthquake in Chiang Rai province, Thailand, damaged the Kon Muang people's houses and revealed the risks for future earthquakes. The Thai government failed to produce housing designs as they are not appealing to the victims spatially and structurally. The question of what is the Kon Muang housing culture and what housing designs are appropriate to the Kon Muang people and their culture is developed. 

This research introduces a qualitative approach utilising architectural typology study to investigate culture in housing in spaces, structures and the inherited earthquake-resilient mechanism. It is to determine the preserved and changed cultural aspects of the Kon Muang housing, which can be used to establish cultural preferences for housing design appropriate to the Kon Muang people. 

The results have shown consistent manifestations of culture in the configuration of Kon Muang’s traditional and contemporary houses. They are the expression of housing practices that respond to local culture, and the information on the cultural features is accumulated into design briefs for the housing design prototypes.  

Finally, the design briefs are synthesised into prototypical housing designs and are proposed as a way to integrate cultural aspects into the design processes. The prototype of the housing designs is culturally appropriate to the Kon Muang people, which can be used for future earthquake preparations. 

Names of Supervisors: 

  • Dr. Lorens Holm
  • Dr. Sandra Costa-Santos