The Birth and Development of Interior Design as a Profession in Thailand

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This research article discusses the establishment of interior design in Thailand as a profession and its development from 1932 to the end of the twentieth century as well as the influence of Western design on the evolution of interior design education in Thailand. Research into the history of interior design in Thailand has been somewhat limited. Therefore, data for this research was gathered by interviewing selected influential pioneers interior designers, educators, and a successor of Shanghainese cabinet-makers to discover the origins of their interior design businesses, the genesis of their particular style, and how they were influenced by the modernist movement as it evolved in the West. Then, articles, magazines, and books from the past are reviewed to verify the information accuracy and understand more of the historical context. The results were tabulated chronologically in a chart to illustrate the development of interior design as a profession in Thailand. The research concludes that prior to interior design becoming recognized as a profession in Thailand, architects, artists, and cabinet-makers decorated interiors in the same way as in Western countries. Initially, interior design services were provided by furniture stores. Then, in 1956, when Silpakorn University offered the first interior design program, it became recognized as a profession. Early graduates, artists, and educators returning from abroad developed terminology to interpret modern geometric forms that made use of local and imported material. Their designs blended traditional values with modern concepts.