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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

TEST YOURSELF: Designs for life

Photo by Melalin Mahavongtrakul

Bangkok Design Week 2020 is focused on alternative ways of living

Test Yourself is where you can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like University Entrance Exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

You can download a PDF of this story to be used in class or at home. Click the link below.

Read the following story by Melalin Mahavongtrakul from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Explore possibilities for the way we can live at Bangkok Design Week 2020, in the Charoen Krung neighbourhood of Bangrak district until Sunday Feb 9.


This is also a great opportunity to explore Charoen Krung and its nearby Talad Noi community. In recent years, Charoen Krung has emerged as a creative district where new meets old. Cafes, galleries and street art have been mushrooming in this century-old neighbourhood of Thai-Chinese and Muslim influences that altogether result in a new hipster hotspot that comes alive day and night. Begin your exploration at the Grand Postal Building, weave through the community's back alleys to piers along the river, and discover all that this extraordinary area has to offer.

Bangkok Design Week, under the theme "Resilience: New Potential for Living", invites visitors to consider alternatives for living in the immediate future. A population that could rise to 9.7 billion people in 2050, as estimated by the UN's World Population Prospects 2019, will bring about unavoidable changes to worldwide cities and the environment.

"This is the third time we're organising the Bangkok Design Week. We believe that, in every year and every time we do this, we will try to expand our activities. We've had 400,000 people visiting the Design Week each year. This time around, I'd say the level of excitement has increased," said Apisit Laistrooglai, director of CEA.


A lot of the works featured in Design Week are never-before-seen originals that many creative teams have put together. Great additions this year include light installations, increasing involvement of the food scene, and old buildings in the area that are open for public viewing only during Design Week.

Bangkok became part of the Unesco Creative Cities Network last year as the Creative City of Design. Living up to its name, Bangkok Design Week 2020 has extended itself from the main area of Charoen Krung-Talad Noi to cover other emerging creative districts such as Ari-Pradipat, Thong Lor-Ekamai, and Sam Yan-Rama IV. Exhibitions, workshops, live music, film screenings, performances and markets will take place at these venues until Sunday.

Some highlights of Bangkok Design Week 2020:

Hundred Years Between

One of the must-visit venues of Design Week is the Old Customs House, the building in Charoen Krung 36 that overlooks the Chao Phraya River. The place was designed by an Italian architect and built in the 1880s. During Design Week, Customs House serves as a venue for a photo exhibition by Thanphuying Sirikitiya Jensen that captures the enigmatic grandiosity of nature. The photos were taken on her journey to Norway.

Following Design Week, the Old Customs House will become a luxury hotel.

Bangkok #Safezone Shelter

Escape polluted air by entering the white pavilion outside the Grand Postal Building. Stepping in, visitors will feel relaxed and cool. The air-purifying plants, fan system and natural filter retain the quality air and provide a much-needed green space in these days when a PM2.5 haze sits over Bangkok. The pavilion is filled with plants that have the ability to capture dust and absorb toxic substances.

Bangkok Sealandia

Imagine Bangkok in 2050. How will our lives be affected? Located at Baan Real Rare in Talad Noi, Bangkok Sealandia is an experimental design by Sumphat Gallery and young, under-30 designers who could possibly become victims of climate change themselves in a few decades. Hopefully, visitors will get some ideas from the exhibition that will spark them to action.

For more information, visit

Section 1: Read through the story and answer the following questions.

1. What is the last day of the event? …………….

2. Several new cafes and galleries have opened in Charoen Krung. True or false? …………….

3. Bangkok Design Week has happened twice before. True or false? …………….

4. Bangkok Design Week 2020 covers a larger area than before. True or false? …………….

Questions 5-8: choose the correct answer from the following venues:

a. Old Customs House b. Safezone Shelter c. Baan Real Rare

5. This venue has a view of the river …………..

6. This venue will give visitors ideas …………….

7. This venue is cool …………….

8. This venue will become a luxury hotel …………….

Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words in the space provided.

9. creative ……… 10. discover ……… 11. consider ………. 12. emerge ………. 13. polluted ……….

Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

The Marine Police Lodging on Charoen Krung 36 now …14… D17/20, which is a design and craft project …15… by the Embassy of France. The project aims to …16… the design industry in Southeast Asia through a series of workshops …17… in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Local designers have …18… French counterparts in developing products, now displayed at the exhibition. Some of these designs …19… previously showcased at Chiang Mai Design Week 2018.

14. a. house    b. houses c. housing

15. a. developed b. develops c. development

16. a. stronger b. strong c. strengthen

17. a. hold b. held    c. holding

18. a. join b. joins    c. joined

19. a. was b. were c. will

Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. growing or increasing quickly ……………

21. a person who follows the latest trends and fashions ……………

22. to become greater in number or size ……………

23. a trip …………

24. expensive and enjoyable ……………

Answers: 1. Sunday Feb 9. 2. True. 3. True. 4. True. 5. a. 6. c. 7. b. 8. a.

9. creativity. 10. discovery. 11. consideration. 12. emergence. 13. pollution.

14. b. 15. a. 16. c. 17. b. 18. c. 19. b.

20. mushrooming. 21. hipster. 22. expand. 23. journey. 24. luxury.

SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!

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