Lonely Planet Writer

Bangkok introduces the world to local arts scene with launch of Design Week

Preparing to launch its first Bangkok Design Week between 27 January and 4 February, the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) hopes to promote the Thai capital as a growing centre of arts and innovation.  

Bangkok’s floating barge park. Image by TCDC

Though Bangkok has been home to a growing arts movement over the last few years, the northern city of Chiang Mai has long cultivated its cool reputation as a creative capital and hub for artists. Since 2014 TCDC’s annual Chiang Mai Design Week has served as a major draw for art-loving Bangkokians and others interested in the city and country’s creative output.

Bangkok. Image by Sutthipong Kongtrakool/Getty Images

Now in the Big Mango, the first Bangkok Design Week promises to bring together local and international talents around the theme of “New-ist Vibes,” hoping to explore ideas and insights about the future of the city. With art showcases, exhibitions, symposiums, a creative market, networking events, and even a barge transformed into a floating park that people can hang out on, the schedule is packed with opportunities for visitors to engage with Thai art and take part in conversations about the city’s development and the future of design.

Taking place across Bangkok’s many creative districts, all events are located a short distance from BTS and MRT routes to ensure easy visitor access. By bringing people to neighbourhoods slightly off-the-beaten-path, like Charoen Krung where the main TCDC building is located, the festival also offers a great opportunity to discover newly-flourishing areas of the city.  

By Micaela Marini Higgs