2023 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner – Pak Khlong Pop-Up: Bangkok Flower Market Festival | Humans of Flower Market by Arch SU

The bustling Bangkok Flower Market, also known as Pak Khlong Talat, boasts over a thousand local vendors daily, making it one of Thailand’s largest flower markets. As a lively 24-hour hotspot, it’s an essential destination for tourists visiting the country. Back in 2016, the government implemented a city beautification program in the vicinity that barred street vendors from peddling their wares on the sidewalks. While the new pavement was functional, the neighborhood’s distinctive atmosphere vanished, and the once lively and organic vibe was replaced with a sterile, desolate one. The sense of place in the area has undergone a significant transformation, leaving it feeling regimented and devoid of character.

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Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2023

Pak Khlong Pop-Up: Bangkok Flower Market Festival
Pop-Ups Design (Built)

Humans of Flower Market by Arch SU

Supitcha Tovivich

Design Team
Arch SU x 27 June Studio x XD49 x PHKA

Project Location
Bangkok Flower Flower, Bangkok, Thailand


©Arch SU x 27 June Studio x XD49 x PHKA

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With the disappearance of the neighborhood’s unique ambiance, numerous tourists who frequented the area would inquire of the locals, “Where is the flower market we once knew?” Sadly, the locals’ responses were less than enthusiastic, as they lamented that it was no longer the same. Compounding this problem is the ongoing and protracted COVID-19 pandemic, which has triggered a global economic downturn, hitting local flower vendors hard.

            To address these challenges, the Faculty of Architecture at Silpakorn University has been partnering with local vendors and emerging designers since 2016 to investigate the flower market’s diverse sense of place. Through annual pop-up design events, they seek to inspire and cultivate future collaborations with other stakeholders, with a focus on identifying local assets, strengthening networks, and experimenting with creativity as a catalyst for participatory placemaking. This process aims to reinvigorate the area and foster a renewed sense of community, creating a more vibrant and sustainable local economy.

            The inaugural “Pak Khlong Pop-Up | Bangkok Flower Market Festival 2023” marked a significant milestone for the once old-fashioned neighborhood. For the first time, it was officially included in the highly anticipated Bangkok Design Week, elevating its status as a noteworthy destination. It took place during 4-12 February 2023 and was financially supported by Creative Economy Agency (CEA), Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University (Arch SU), Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture (OCAC), and Culture UK- Southeast Asia 2022-2023 Grant: Connections Through Culture Programme, British Council. The objective of the festival was not to host a one-time event, but rather to establish a platform for enduring collaboration, encompassing governmental organizations, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, private sectors, educational sectors, networks of designers, and local communities. To uncover the potential of abandoned and overlooked spaces, the festival utilized them for installing design interventions. Additionally, intangible art forms like AR technology, immersive, and interactive design were prioritized to minimize waste and enhance sustainability.

            The festival’s activities were divided into two categories. The first category showcased an exhibition of 50 photographs by Thai and British street photographers, as well as local laborers who pursued photography as a hobby during the COVID-19 quarantine period. The photos were displayed along a 200-meter pedestrian walkway. The second category comprised 11 art installations, which were strategically placed in hidden yet promising spaces, including an abandoned park, a neglected building, the area underneath a highway bridge, and a mezzanine floor above the flower market. Visitors were encouraged to participate in all the art installations, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.        

            The festival was a resounding success, with 31,760 visitors attending over the nine-day period. The majority of attendees were from the younger generation, with 65.4% aged between 18-24 years and 16.3% aged between 25-34 years. Additionally, 18.7% of all visitors had never visited the market before but came for the first time due to the event. The Governor of Bangkok and his team were present and voluntarily live-broadcasted the event on his Facebook page, which garnered 240,000 viewers. Furthermore, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and other stakeholders have initiated discussions and taken steps towards implementing long-term development plans for the area.

The festival had a significant positive impact on the local vendors, with a financial revenue of 4,870,000 THB, which is more than six times its budget. The overall satisfaction of visitors with the festival’s impact was reported to be 91.45%, as they felt it helped them get to know the area better. The festival also contributed to the creative economy in the neighborhood by incorporating contemporary art and hi-technology to create new and engaging experiences. Moreover, 80.4% of visitors expressed their desire to return to the market again.

Project Credit

  • Curator: Assistant Professor Dr.Supitcha Tovivich (Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorm University) and Humans of Flower Market by Arch SU
  • Designers and Contributors: 27 June Studio, PHKA Studio, XD49, Students from Community Architecture Studio (Arch SU), Golf Photographer, Sasamon Rattanalangkarn, Catalina Ortiz Arciniegas (UCL), Sasinant Chancharoensin (UCL), Jirapa Jianrungsang, Jakkrit Daengrasameesophon, From Object To Studio, Splendour Solis, Sonjai House
  • Financial Support: Creative Economy Agency (CEA), Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University (Arch SU), Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture (OCAC), and Culture UK- Southeast Asia 2022-2023 Grant: Connections Through Culture Programme, British Council
  • Collaborators & Partners: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Department of Rural Roads, Yodpiman Flower Market, Agricultural Product Central Market, Retail Shops and Local Vendors in Bangkok Flower Market.