REVITALIZATION OF THE SENSE OF PLACE AND THE PROTECTION OF NORMALITY FOR LOCAL TEMPLES IN THE CONTEXT OF IN-SITU IN THE NORTHEAST, THAILAND
Despite local people’s frequent visits to the local temples having historic sites, close attention is seldom paid to the existence of the sites. This research was a qualitative research study based on the theory of Genius Loci by Norberg Schultz in the context of in-situ concept, conducted on four local temples (Wat) in the Northeast of Thailand. From the perspective of ‘in-situ’, the study found the historic sites in these local temples in a dilemma where conservation or renovation was performed with a lack of scientific and rational guidance although the temples still play important roles in the local people’s daily life. The in-situ concept was not abided during the restoration and revitalization processes under the negotiation and conflict of multiple discourses. The historic sites were not integrated with other building and surrounding landscape, especially the extending boundary. The four elements: “atmosphere, belongingness, culture, and aesthetics” were thus weakened or became ambiguous and embodied in the sense of place. When the historic sites are revitalized based on the concept of in-situ under the protection of normality in everyday life, the sense of place should be perfectly represented through popularizing of the conscious conservation of cultural heritage and strengthened negotiation of multi-social forces. This is an alternative way of safeguarding cultural heritage in order to strengthen the aesthetic and cultural value of historic sites in local temples.