The current Abhisit administration has vowed to put considerable attention into “Creative Economy Developments” in 2011. So much so that the Thai government has set a buget of 7 billion baht for the year in the name of its pursuit. If you’re like us, and many other Bangkok entrepreneurs, you have no idea what a “Creative Economy” is (though we imagine Thammasat will have a course in it next semester); and ironically, the government doesn’t seem capable of explaining what it is either.
And yet the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) Resource Center remains one of the most popular hangouts in Bangkok with fashionable youth developing their “creative economy” craft.
So what makes this place so popular?
Maybe its because of TCDC’s hi-so location on the top-level of Emporium Shopping Mall, looking over the cityscape. Maybe its due to the smartly attractive and well-dressed people that spend their afternoons in the pursuit of creative thought over foamy lattes. Or maybe the visitors really are keen on design and fashion and rely on the TCDC for inspiration and history in paving their way to very lucrative government contracts for architecture and design.
Whatever the reason, there is one fact – TCDC is the best creative library in Bangkok. Most of the materials are on art-history, interior design, architecture, fashion, textiles, graphic design, photography and film. TCDC includes over 25,000 books and 250 magazines and journals, plus access to the databases: ARTbibliographies Modern, Design and Applied Arts Index and the Global Market Information Database. Amazing stuff.
Whether you want to read about Roberto Burle Marx’s spectacular landscape designs or read film theorists draw parallels between Plato’s Cave and modern day cinema, TCDC is the must-have membership in Bangkok for any left-brain thinker.
Membership to the TCDC also includes wi-fi access, entry to the multimedia and movie rooms, and access to Material ConneXion Bangkok, a database of the latest textiles, woods, plastics, metals and other materials available for purchase.
First-time visitors can peruse for free before they decide if they want to become a TCDC member. Students with a valid ID card get a great rate for a year’s membership of 600 baht. A resident pays from 1,200 baht for premium membership to 8,000 baht for the platinum level, which allows for more hours on databases and items reserved in its multimedia rooms.
You are not allowed to check books out, but as one of the few quiet spots in Bangkok, this place is definitely worth your time. If anything, being surrounded by creative-types is always a healthy way to spend a day if your feeling a bit uninspired.
Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC)
Location: Sixth floor, Emporium mall
BTS: Phrom Pong
Hours: 10:30 am-9 pm Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Mondays)