Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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"Dwelling", as the heart of our existence, implies the establishment of a meaningful relationship between human and a given environment. In this respect, the private dwelling, the house, is a privileged entity for a phenomenological study of the intimate value of the lived space. Created from the inhabitants' experience accumulated through time, the lived space, or the existential space, not merely reveals the "here of life" of a dwelling place but also reflects the "microcultural pattern' of a society as a whole. Sadly, with the rapid growth of modernization and globalization, such characteristics of the traditional Thai dwelling, or ruan thai, one which originated from the specific natural settings, e.g. Climate, topography, technology, resources, and has been rooted in the matriarchal society-the multidimensional culture, has been gradually disappearing from the scene of our society nowadays. This study is an attempt to examine the way the dwellers use space in ruan thai within this ever-shifting context. The study specifically pays attention to the sufficient way of life that reveals an intimate relationship with the worthwhile use of space and the respectful use of place. With phenomenology and architectural psychology as its background, the in-depth exploration takes the form of a case study-the traditional Thai houses at Ban Khlang Lamsali, form which the dwellers' way of life and their dwellings would be explicated.

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