The Bartlett School of Planning


Anon Chaimanee

Research subject

Thesis title: The Historical Traces of Residual Rhythms in Maintaining the Identity, Authenticity and Sense of Place in the contemporary city: the case of Sino-Thai neighbourhoods in Thai Cities

Primary supervisor: Dr Filipa Wunderlich
Secondary supervisor: Dr Michael Short
Starting date: January 2017
Completion date: April 2023
Contact: ucqbch6@ucl.ac.uk

Among the standardised and ahistorical urban landscapes under globalised and capitalist development, urban design and conservation approaches have raised issues of conserving an identity, authenticity and sense of place. Such previous approaches tended to promote the local uniqueness and sense of urban pasts into a modernised city through (a) the conservation and reconstruction of local architectures and historic sites, and (b) reinventing traditions of urban design concepts into the design practices in a contemporary city. However, such approaches failed to maintain an attachment between people and place as they missed considering the socio-cultural continuities of local lives and provided little evidence of social relations.

Given such gaps, this research aims to examine the importance of traditional life rhythms of locals’ livelihoods which still survive in a contemporary city in sustaining an identity and sense of urban place. This research particularly focuses on Sino-Thai life rhythms which have existed in Thai urban contexts for long time. Such rhythms are still performed within everyday urban spaces such as streets, footpaths, and vacant spaces located between buildings, embedding the rhythmic characteristics in Thai cities’ urban environment from past to present. Thus, they might represent the socio-cultural continuities of urban pasts, revealing what is fundamental to a sense of place in the perceptions and memories of people over time. 

The fieldwork will be conducted through a case-study which richly contains the Sino-Thai rhythms in urban contexts. The methods of data collection will involve rhythmanalysis, walking interview and ethnographic interview, thereby identifying the socio-cultural rhythms of a locality and examining how these rhythms sustain an attachment between people and place. The research explores an alternative approach in urban design and conservation by considering traditional life rhythm as an essential factor in maintaining identity and sense of place.


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Publications and other work

Published Work

Chaimanee, A. (2016). Urban Development and Architectural Typologies in Luang Prabang under the Western Influences during Period of the Colonial State. Built environment Inquiry-BEI Journal, Vol 15, No. 2 (2016). ISSN 1685-4489. pp. 33-52.

Chaimanee, A., Seih, L. (2014). The Analysis Theory of Spatial and Temporal Relations of a Street Market in Bangkok. Paper presented at the Built Environment Research Associates Conference, BERAC 5, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University. May 23, 2014 (pp.351-358), Bangkok, Thailand.


Chaimanee, A. (2015): The Western influences for the city development in the Mae-Khong River Regional communities. Thailand Research Expo 2015, Central World, Bangkok, August 17, 2015


Anon is a second-year PhD student at the Bartlett School of Planning. His thesis intends to develop a set of urban design and conservation approaches for Southeast Asian cities that is attuned to cultural background of people, including historical background and daily life practices. Previously, Anon has worked as a lecturer and researcher at Chiangmai University, Thailand, where he was researching and gaining knowledge in urban morphology, the image of the city and place identity of Southeast Asian cities. Anon has a degree in Architecture from Silpakorn University, Thailand and MA in Urban Design from Cardiff University.

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