The Real Creative Class

In the seminar Global Exchange, Architecture, Interior Design and Lighting students are working with students in the Graduate Program in International Exchange and Design Technology to create tactical design activities which will create a foothold for creative communities under threat of eviction in Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Working with performing artists in Cambodia, and silk weavers in Thailand, the class seeks to secure tenure for marginalized forms of cultural production in rapidly modernizing contexts.


Silk weavers and clothing designers in Ban Krua community, a 230 year old Muslim village in the heart of modern Bangkok, slated for demolition in order to create an Expressway off ramp to the city’s central shopping district.

Phnom Penh:

Hundreds of squatters have occupied “the building”, a minimal standards modern housing slab just outside the preserved historical quarters of the city. A large development called “Elite Town” threatens the community, and the teaching spaces occupied by Cambodia Living Arts, an organization dedicated to connecting old masters of Cambodian performing arts with the children living in “the building.”