NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)



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Wat Pathumwanaram, a green oasis in the heart of the newly redevelopedCentral Shopping District of Bangkok, represents not only a repositoryof cultural memory within this modern corner of the city, but also bearswitness previous episodes of historical modernities and memories inThailand. It is the purpose of this paper to juxtapose modernity and memory ascoupled concepts which continually interact in space and time. Memory is animportant concept of modernity outlined here through the concepts of 19thcentury French philosopher Henri Bergson, and modernity has developed itsown memories, especially in this particular area of Bangkok where so manyhistorical forms of modernity have found expression between the eras of RamaIV to Rama IX. Cultural memory and modernity are continually redefined byevery generation and differently interpreted by every individual. Modernitiesand memories are therefore dynamic, living elements of the city, rather thanfixed in place or meaning.

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