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Wandering around today, we realized our guesthouse is in a trendy, expensive part of Bangkok, on Thonglor Street. And we happen to be staying in Bangkok’s interior design district, with Cassini showrooms, Alessi tchotchkes, lighting shops, etc. We discovered a large, fashionable lifestyle store which has two restaurants, a magazine shop, housewares, clothing and books. Affluent, fashionable Thais hang out here and eat lunch at New York prices. It’s a pretty nicely designed space, with good curation of products. But all in all, we saw the usual brands of designer goods — Custo clothing, a book by Karim Rashid, even marked up IKEA key cabinets. We were a bit disappointed to find there were no products we hadn’t seen before, and that the menus were predominantly western. I guess these are effects of globalisation, and that perhaps design-savvy culture is about the same everywhere. It makes me wonder how products can differentiate themselves now and in the future with all this cheap manufacture and easy distribution. Perhaps products that are limited edition, or handmade and difficult to produce will be at even more of a premium. Local materials and methods are becoming more interesting.

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