As a Thai, a Bangkokian and an architect, the first time I heard about CODI is when I wrote BU2 essay about participatory process in Thailand. It surprised me so much that I had never once heard about this enormous scale project with large amount of budget before. But when I started to research about the programme, I realize that the person who once worked as an architect in the programme was very close to me. And that brought me another surprise. I am not only know her well, I also know her office quite clear as a community architect firm but CODI has never come to my attention.
After reading more about CODI, I realize that I am not that ignorance but it is CODI’s intention not to be heard and they have been doing a very good job in this aspect. While Baan Mankhong project has been protected from the media by CODI, Its twin project, Baan Ur-Arthone was used as a political propaganda by the government and was targeted by other political parties and the public. The result was that the latter project was almost paralyzed while CODI became stronger and stronger.
Sonsook made a very good decision protecting her project from external factors and the project has been a success. However, my doubt still lies on the fact that I know well how Thai government system work. With this policy, I believe that transparency has to be questioned at the higher level. However, with the degree of success, one might keep an eye close while one is looking at the big picture.