Creative Chiang Mai Ecosystem Directory

This is the fourth edition of this publication, which we have renamed the Chiang Mai Creative Directory (previously Chiang Mai Creative Mapping)—a report on the creative diversity of Chiang Mai. For this fourth edition, we have updated key contact information and added or revised more than 20 entries across all categories. The information is also available online, in PDF format and as a searchable database.

Charm Learn Studio, a ceramic art co-op, was founded in 2012 by three passionate designers, Thanita Yothawong, Natthapol Wannaporn and Chanchai Boriboon in Bangkok. Their signature product is a ceramic lunch-box set “Pin-To”, which has clinched various recognitions, such as the PM Award 2017, the DeMark Award 2017 and the Good Design Award 2017. In 2020, Natthapol Wannaporn opened a branch in Chiang Mai, his hometown, under the name Charm Learn Studio CNX. Located in San Kamphaeng, a district well-known for ceramics, the studio is aimed at those who are interested in ceramics, offering a space for artisans and enthusiasts to work and share their ideas. Through events, workshops and residency programs, Charm Learn Studio’s vision is to create a community space for artists and craft makers as well as elevate ceramics as an artform by itself. The studio also cooperates with the Chiang Mai City of Craft and Folk Arts initiative, and Chiang Mai Design Week by TCDC.

Hongsara & Angkan developed their love of filigree art from their father, Mr Pongmit Uppanun, and created the brand Angsa Studio in 2008.

Filigree, an ancient art tracing back 5000 years, consists of twisting fine thread-like wires to shape and soldering them into highly delicate ornamental lacy designs.This lacy metal technique is one of the oldest and most beautiful art forms and is ideal for multi- layered designs such as flower and insect motifs.

Today, Hongsara & Angkan carry on the tradition and design filigree jewelry art pieces in both traditional and contemporary styles. Angsa Studio exhibits works and handcrafts as well as providing spaces for people who are interested in craft workshops.

Studio Phuwa is an exhibition space where Dr. Chiranthanin Kitika shows his contemporary works and projects. A lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University, and freelance architect and designer, Dr Kitika curates students’ projects, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work to the public. The studio emphasises the local lifestyle and aims to steer the community through networking and collaborations. The studio believes that culture is part of innovation. Their works have been integrated with research and many urban design projects, leading them to participate in activities and events such as the Chiang Mai Design Week, Street Art Liberation and digital disruption learning courses.

Wat Gate Community is a historical community and neighborhood on the eastern bank of the Ping River where many generations of people from different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities, whether Lanna, Chinese or European, have settled and lived together. Wat Gate Karam, a temple founded more 500 years ago that now acts as the center of the community.

Located in the heart of Wat Ket neighborhood on the east bank of the Ping River near Wat Ket Temple, Woo café opened its doors in 2014 as a café and dining space, a gallery and a lifestyle shop. The café zone occupies the ground floor of the main building, serving drinks, cake, desserts and Thai-Western fusion food from breakfast to dinner. The Art Gallery is located above the ground floor café.

A creative venue, Thapae East, opened its door to the public in 2015. It comprises of two main areas: an open air lawn area with a large two-storey red-steel structure used as a background for events such as film screenings, parties and concerts, and two rows of shophouses that include a restaurant and bar at the entrance leading to the lawn area. Shops are run by artists and friends and include shops for book binding, Indian style accessories, handmade and home decorative items, an architecture office and a Mexican restaurant. Thapae East is known to host exciting concerts of different styles of music every month.

The Brick Startup Space is a co working space for new entrepreneurs and a place to incubate creative ideas. The The Brick Startup Space is supported by the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology and operated by Technology Business Incubation Department of the Science and Technology Park, Chiang Mai University (STeP).

Established in 1993, the Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture (CPAC), Chiang Mai University (CMU), is responsible for the promotion and preservation of arts and culture in Chiang Mai. The center consists of offices in a former period home, and eight traditional wooden houses and three rice granaries that act as a museum. The CPAC is currently working to improve the site as a center of cultural activities by becoming a “living museum” for demonstrating Lanna lifestyle, Lanna architecture and handicrafts as well as an academic study center for Lanna architecture and culture.

Ran Lao or To Tell bookstore is known among local academics and bookworms as a place to find alternative books and rare academic magazines. Founded in 2000 by four partners, it not only sells books but also serves as a meeting place where readers, writers, artists and musicians can relax and exchange ideas.

Established in 2003, the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) is a public organization administered under the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The agency is responsible for helping plan and write policy for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, developing and promoting the software industry in Thailand. It supports and trains individuals and software personnel and promotes the software market and manufacturing process in Thailand through financial incentives, grants, and loans. SIPA also has a service center, which offers expert advisory services to those in the software industry on subjects such as getting financial support from the Thailand Board of Investment, copyright laws and business support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Sri Prakad House is an old wooden building built in 1905. Over the years, the house was used as a kindergarden, a clinic and a printing business. After World War II, it was converted into the Sri Prakard Hotel until it closed down in 2002. Presently, Pa Oor, a third generation member of the family that owns it has renovated the house for operation as an exhibition space telling the history of Sri Prakard as well as offering other rooms and space to promote healthy living, the environment and culture.

StarWork is a serviced office and co-working space in the east of Chiang Mai near Star Avenue and bus station, offering a selections of working environments and office types to suit local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

TCDC Chiang Mai is an educational center for design and creativity, and is the first of its kind in Northern Thailand. TCDC Chiang Mai serves as an education resource in order to promote and develop creativity amongst entrepreneurs, designers, students as well as any members of the general public who are interested. TCDC Chiang Mai aims to help and support these people reach their full potential by taking local knowledge and Chiang Mai’s diverse cultural heritage, and applying it to a modern setting by using technology and modern techniques. By doing so, TCDC hopes to help create different and unique identities for products and services that can help strengthen businesses, and therefore also propel and expand the Thai economy through creativity.

TCDC Chiang Mai is a public learning center for design and creativity that is the first of its kind in Northern Thailand. It serves as an education resource in order to promote and develop creativity amongst entrepreneurs, designers, students and interested members of the general public. TCDC Chiang Mai aims to help and support such people reach their full potential by combining local knowledge and Chiang Mai’s diverse cultural heritage with modern knowledge and technology. In this way, TCDC support local producers and designers to create unique identities and upgrade the quality of their products and services to strengthen businesses and expand the Thai economy through creativity.