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Suppapong Sonsang; A Furniture Designer Who Grows Forests to Fulfill His Timber Needs

Suppapong Sonsang; A Furniture Designer Who Grows Forests to Fulfill His Timber Needs

Some ten years ago, Suppapong Sonsang rose to fame as a laureate of the Designer of the Year award. Apparently content with living a green lifestyle, he kind of vanished from the limelight and got into a different field, something more upstream.

He brought 70 rai of destroyed forest land back to life in a bid to generate enough timber supplies for Jird Design Gallery, his very own furniture brand. Committed to sustainable growth, he viewed the mammoth undertakings as crucial for the future of his career as designer.

Lesson 2 Understanding Wood / Learn from Suppapong Sonsang, a furniture designer of Jird Design Gallery.

In a recent meet-up with room Magazine, he said: “The design profession is dependent upon purchase orders and customer hiring contracts. To do a good job or run a business well, skill alone isn’t enough. You also need a readiness to accomplish the task, reliable resources, even luck, et cetera. So I set out to find a green route for business to continue to perform for a long time; meanwhile, relying less on hiring contracts and more on selling direct to end-users. I viewed the practice of growing and caring for timber forests as a basic occupation with some hope for the future.” 

Suppapong Sonsang

Suppapong started his first new growth forest at Kamphaeng Phet Province in lower northern Thailand and gradually expanded to Nong Pho, Ratchaburi. The latter has since served as his headquarters with storage facilities for partly prepared timber and logs. There’s a sawmill with 4-5 types of machinery, where logs are cut, sawn into lumber and packaged ready for delivery. As business grew, he converted his humble abode in the forest into a showroom.

As he put it, “Timber is a valuable resource. So I focus on planting only trees that have economic importance. Little by little, I searched for knowledge and experimented with various methods in a bid to achieve the desirable outcome. Eventually, I obtained not only the resources needed for furniture making, but also a workplace with the atmosphere of a nature reserve. Before anything else, it’s about the better quality of life.” 

Suppapong Sonsang

Suppapong’s forests are home to valuable ecosystems. Apart from hardwood trees that are grown for timber, he also set aside some areas for planting crops. His work on the farm encompasses three aspects of product manufacturing, including design, human resources, and forest resources management.

Sharing his work experience, Suppapong said: “I’m responsible for design while others are busy taking care of things, ranging from caring for the forest floor and planting new trees, to grafting branches and growing plants from seeds in nurseries. Everyone deserves a good quality of life. For people in the community who’re working with us, it’s an opportunity to learn new skills in carpentry and agriculture. The knowledge that they gain as apprentices will be an asset beneficial to their future career.

Suppapong Sonsang

“Meantime, the forests that we grow ensure that our furniture business will be adequately resourced for a long time to come, in other words until death do us part. It will be another 20 to 30 years down the road before some of the trees become fully grown and ready for harvesting. That said, it’s a guarantee that our community will still have timber supply lasting us a hundred years, or after old growth forests have been depleted.”

“While others invest in big manufacturing facilities and expensive machines, we put our money in land that we need to grow forests for timber. Oftentimes, people asked why we chose land covered with trees and undergrowth instead of beautiful pieces of property elsewhere. Well, it may be of little value to them. But it’s a great asset both for us and for the community 20 years down the road. We will have access to timber that our business needs. To begin with, it’s about growing healthy forest ecosystems. That means you need the initial capital, and patience. You have to give it all your energy to succeed. Been there, survived that. And now the rest is easy,” said Suppapong laughing.

Suppapong Sonsang

“From then until now, little went as planned. Success came from resilience and the ability to adapt to new challenges. The workers that we hired from the community had no carpentry skill. So we started training them while the trees still had a long way to grow and mature. We believe that by the time our forests are ready for harvesting, our helping hands will have become well versed in woodworking. In the meantime, we just have to keep up with design trends. Together, they constitute parallel paths to future growth.”  

Suppapong Sonsang

Above, a bench seat from the KOOPREE collection by Suppapong Sonsang is made of timber from KrathinThepa (scientific name: Acacia mangium) a species of fast growing tree in the pea family Fabaceae. Harvested at 7 years of age, the tree provides an alternative to hardwood commonly used in furniture making.

Suppapong Sonsang of Jird Design Gallery is one of subject matter experts being featured in an online curriculum titled, “A Passion for Woodworking”. It’s part of Baan Lae Suan Classroom, a collaboration with the Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization), or CEA. The program is designed for people interested in woodworking and those looking to acquire basic carpentry skills through furniture making using basic tools and community resources. Plus, it provides tips for developing a career in creative business. The program is hosted by Jeremiah Pitakwong, Editor of Baan Lae Suan Magazine.

Suppapong Sonsang

In the previous video, we presented a lesson on the Milking Stool by distinguished designer/carpenter Phisanu Numsiriyothin. In this episode, Suppapong Sonsang shows the steps in transforming homegrown timber into a beautiful bench seat. 

Source: 
https://www.baanlaesuan.com/online-program/classroom/215124.html
https://www.baanlaesuan.com/181474/design/design-update/people/jird

Phisanu Numsiriyothin Master Woodworker Who Cares about Forests

Phisanu Numsiriyothin Master Woodworker Who Cares about Forests

A designer who’s passionate about all things made of wood, Phisanu Numsiriyothin has grown familiar with using woodworking tools at home since a very young age.

Let’s begin with building a cow milking stool. Learn from Phisanu Numsiriyothin, master woodworker and professional carpenter. / Lesson 1 Getting Started in Woodworking

Upon graduation with a degree in Visual Arts, he led a self-indulgent life for a time pushing himself beyond the limits only to find it had taken a toll on his body and mind. He soon learned that life didn’t get much better than spending the day in a woodworking studio. Life took a turn for the better after his exposure to works of outstanding artistry by big names such as George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, James Krenov, and master craftsman Saiyart Sema-ngern. Only then did his career in woodworking begin in earnest.

Phisanu Numsiriyothin / BaanLaeSuan Classroom / A Passion for Woodworking / Getting Started in Woodworking / master woodworker / professional carpenter

In a recent interview with room magazine, Phisanu said his belief in the value of woodworking came from experience that spanned more than a decade. “A designer may have considerable knowledge of chair making. But if he’s unfamiliar with splintering or tear-out, has never done wood planing or used joinery tools, then he’s only thinking of two parts of the entire process — design proportions, and graphic visuals or style. In the end, beautiful design is achieved, but it may not be the best choice for wood. Plus, ill-conceived design could result in a lot of waste that compounds the world’s garbage problem.”  

The world that he alludes briefly to is one in which a woodworker exists in harmony with natural woodlands. It’s a world where people harvest trees for timber responsibly and at the same time allow time for forests to thrive. Such an ideology can translate into a physically concrete form as is the case with “Rush Chair” by Phisanu in collaboration with the design duo, Jutamas Buranajade and Piti Amraranga, of o-d-a. They use small pieces trimmed off large trees to build the chair frame using traditional methods of wood joinery, while the seat is made of woven natural fibers dyed different shades of indigo.

Phisanu Numsiriyothin / BaanLaeSuan Classroom / A Passion for Woodworking / Getting Started in Woodworking / master woodworker / professional carpenter

If sustainable design refers to a piece of furniture that’s comfortable to sit on, easy to fix using parts sourced directly from nature, and capable of reducing negative impacts on the environment, then Rush Chair would fit that definition, a chair that’s eco-friendly in every sense of the word.

As Phisanu puts it, “If we design without focusing on just our needs and start paying attention to the environment,  the result will be very different. As for me, I focus not only on the production technique, but also on the wood being used, the tools needed to perform the task, and everything that combines to add value to woodwork.”

Rush Chair
Rush Chair

For the time being, Phisanu has relocated his fully equipped studio from Bangkok’s Buddha Puja area to Kuchinarai District in Kalasin. Here, he established a field workshop to make furniture from locally sourced materials. The villagers were available to work after the annual rice growing season had passed. So he persuaded them to join in making the Rush Chair based on design improved in conjunction with o-d-a. By making seat furniture from tree branches found in the area, Phisana subtly communicated the need to protect and preserve the environment among participating villagers. He has discovered the astounding connection between people and trees, and used it wisely promote nature conservation in the long term.

“I believe that between the chair and the trees, our home planet prefers more trees. They are crucial to the physical surroundings, far more important than my designing achievements. By realizing the importance of each and every tree, we are motivated to come up with good design and elaborate manufacturing process, and the resulting effect is worth a try.”

Phisanu Numsiriyothin / BaanLaeSuan Classroom / A Passion for Woodworking / Getting Started in Woodworking / master woodworker / professional carpenterPhisanu Numsiriyothin / BaanLaeSuan Classroom / A Passion for Woodworking / Getting Started in Woodworking / master woodworker / professional carpenter

Phisanu Numsiriyothin is one of subject matter experts being featured in an online curriculum titled, “A Passion for Woodworking”. It’s part of BaanLaeSuan Classroom, a collaboration with the Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization), or CEA. The program is designed for people interested in woodworking and those wanting to acquire basic carpentry skills through furniture making, plus ideas about using local materials and tips for developing a career in creative business. It’s hosted by Jeremiah Pitakwong, Editor of BaanLaeSuan Magazine.

Phisanu said: “A stool for milking dairy cows. It’s a basic stool, very basic and easy to build. It’s lightweight and portable. A first for anyone wanting to try his hand at woodworking. Plus it’s come a long way in terms of design history. It depends on the material we can find, or the purpose of use. This one isn’t made of wood sticks. I made it instead from a solid tree trunk. And this one from wood slabs. The method differs occasionally. Sometimes we use leftovers or cut wide planks to make legs. We’re talking about using one type of material.” 

Phisanu Numsiriyothin / BaanLaeSuan Classroom / A Passion for Woodworking / Getting Started in Woodworking / master woodworker / professional carpenter
Milking stool

 Let’s begin with building a cow milking stool. Learn from Phisanu Numsiriyothin, master woodworker and professional carpenter. Click this link to get started https://dai.ly/x7zc9y1

Plant Me on the Moon

Plant Me on the Moon

The coffee shop name got its inspiration from “Fly Me to the Moon”, one of Frank Sinatra’s all-time greatest hits. A brainchild of the Bangkok-based studio Embassy of Design Territory, the serene café serving coffee and refreshments is nestled among lush tropical gardens in the heart of the city’s Lad Phrao District.

Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok

Drawing on his experience and a remarkable aptitude for organizing events, the designer transformed an ordinary co-creating office space into a coffee shop ensconced among the trees and shrubs. The café on the ground floor is characterized by a relaxing cozy atmosphere that gives off good vibes. Vertical gardens come in handy to fulfill a dream that one day humans will be able to grow them on the Moon.

Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in BangkokPlant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok

Design ideas: The outside part of the shop is made of steel scaffolds with platforms or shelves, upon which gardens of luxuriant foliage thrive. The café interior built of plywood affords ample space, while exterior glass walls protect it from the elements, let natural light shine through and increase aesthetic appeal. Wood furniture, vintage décor and garden plants have positive effects on the atmosphere and good mental health. There’s a picture of Leon: The Professional, a 1994 action thriller film, starkly juxtaposed with lush green surroundings. If you’re shopping for plant containers, there are plenty of them to buy.

Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok

Why we love it: Like an oasis tucked away in a city neighborhood, “Plant Me on the Moon” is a perfect rendezvous to share good times with friends and loved ones. The atmosphere is just right for life, and coffee smells like fresh ground heaven, plus a collection of soothing garden music. Drop in for a nice cup of coffee, sit back, relax and enjoy the calm and peaceful greenhouse view!

Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok Plant Me on the Moon , cafe in Bangkok

Address: 17 LadPhrao 93 off Lad Phrao Road,
Khlong Chaokhunsing, Wang Thonglang, Bangkok 10310
Open Daily 8.30 am – 8.00 pm
https://www.facebook.com/plantmeonthemoon/

 

Story: BRL
Photographs: Anupong Chaisukkasem

 

Amdaeng, The Most Romantic Hotel in Bangkok

Amdaeng, The Most Romantic Hotel in Bangkok

Time and budget allowing, it’s not hard to find a Chao Phraya riverside hotel in Bangkok for a night’s stay. What’s harder is to find a place rich with art and an atmosphere that makes you feel at home while taking you back in time to an earlier age in the river’s history.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Korakada /// Photography:  Soopakorn, BEE+ /// 
Owner: Passapol Limpisirisan, Wiboon Lee /// Creative: MONDAY /// Architect: Anupap Onsard /// Interior Designer: Sutida Pongprayoon /// Landscape Architect: Sawin Tantanawat /// Artist: Studiojew+ 

This 10-room contemporary hotel with a taste of “Thainess” stands on 100 square meters in a tiny alley just off Chiang Mai Street, in the same neighborhood as the fascinating tourist destination Lhong 1919. “Amdaeng,” the hotel’s name, belonged to a fabled woman from the past and was suggested by the “Amdaengkhlee” on a former owner’s land deed from the Rama V era.  

Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel

All the main architectural elements inside and out are painted vermilion: posts, beams, floors, walls, ceilings, so that looking from the other side of the river it stands out clearly from its surroundings. Coming in from the other side you approach the entrance through a maze of alleyways, as the scene gradually opens up to reveal a red building that seems to be composed of separate sculptures joined together to become one grand form in which the architect envisioned people living.  

Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotelAmdaeng Bangkok riverside hotelAmdaeng Bangkok riverside hotelAmdaeng Bangkok riverside hotelAmdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel

Inside is a restaurant with a quiet calm feeling, lowering the dial on the red, and also more masculine: The feminine “Amdaeng” calls for some male balance, so the restaurant is named “Nye,” meaning “mister” in Thai. The restaurant materials and décor are simple and straightforward but rich with art, bringing to mind the phrase “blue and white,” for the indigo-patterned tile of China favored by Chinese social clubs and found everywhere in old China. Up above is a fabulous roof deck with a sort of “grandstand” for viewing the river rising upwards in tiered circles like the chedi of a Thai temple. In the future this area will be a nighttime bar.

Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel Amdaeng Bangkok riverside hotel

Guest room décor shows a mix of styles reflecting Thai as well as other cultures: Chinese, European, Indian. To recall an earlier era when the dominant cultures were mixing in a formative way, aging techniques are used to alter the look of the glass, the floor tile is dimmed with a charcoal color, antique furniture is used, and remodeling has added beauty and refinement to an atmosphere of bygone days so as to live up to the catchphrase, “The most romantic hotel in Bangkok.”

Contact: 12/1 Soi Chiangmai 1, Chiangmai Road, Khlongsan Bangkok, Thailand 
FACEBOOKAMDAENG
WEBSITEamdaeng.com
TEL: 02-162-0138

Link: www.baanlaesuan.com/90546/design/directory/amdaeng-hotel/

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SEVEN OF THE HIPPEST NEW PLACES EVERYONE IN BANGKOK SHOULD CHECK OUT

 

Relaxing Country Lifestyle

Relaxing Country Lifestyle

From time to time, it’s good to leave a hectic lifestyle behind. Escape to the countryside and enjoy life in the slow lane. Priceless! There’s nothing like staying close to nature and being surrounded by mountains and lush paddy fields. Do something you’ve never done before. You can be a part of a local community by getting involved in farm activities.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Samutcha Virapornd, BRL /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul // Design: Creative Crews // Structural Engineer: WOR Consultant // Mechanical Engineer: EXM Consultant // Handicrafts: Bundanjai

Collect freshly laid eggs from the chicken coop, pick mushrooms from the nursery, and get vegetables straight from the garden. Even cook your own meals using seasonal ingredients from the community. Or treat yourself to a chicken coop sauna amidst rice fields, a spa idea you never imagine. There are plenty of reasons a farmstay is the perfect experience as you learn to live in a natural environment. Ahsa Farmstay is offering tourists a chance to stay overnight on a working farm. It’s a place to be happy and have fun as you interact with people in the community and learn about their heritage and culture of farming.

Modern Vernacular Homes

From Mueang Chiang Rai, head north towards Doi Mae Salong. About half way there, you come into Mae Chan District. Ahsa Farmstay is located on 85 Rai (33.6 acres) of land surrounded by views of the rolling terrain, fertile grounds and lush plains. The luxuriant vegetation encompassing the farm house makes the atmosphere calm and relaxing. The property owners have spared no effort in making sure visitors are happy physically and mentally as they gain an understanding of local culture and the beauty of traditional Lanna architecture.

Modern Vernacular Homes

Ahsa Farmstay is the work of Creative Crews, an architectural design firm passionate about traditional Lanna architecture. By looking at the northern heritage from a different perspective, they are able to create a home that’s modern in style and functions. This is achieved by reducing design detail and embracing the traditional principles of form and layout. The result is a home that combines privacy, comfort and convenience. Ahsa Farmstay consists of four buildings. The property owners’ home sits at the center of the rectangular floor plan flanked by two-story buildings that provide guest accommodations on the left and right wings. There are four guest rooms in all. A pavilion that’s up front by the entrance provides a place to unwind and relax, and room for activities.

Modern Vernacular Homes
Typical of house-on-stilts design, the underfloor space serves as open dining room with a kitchen hidden from view in the background. It’s equipped with stoves and facilities for food preparation. For visitors keen to experience truly country style meals, there’s a barbecue grill for cooking food out of doors.
Modern Vernacular Homes
The lodging house offers two guest rooms, one on each floor. To prevent humidity damage, the room on the ground floor is built of brick with cement plaster. The exterior is painted earth tones to blend in with its natural surroundings.

Khun Im, who oversees Ahsa Farmstay, says the design concept is inspired by a desire to be a part of the local community. This is the first phase of an on-going experiment. The farm owners are a family that reside in this community. By living on the property, they are on hand to take care of their guests at all times. Determined to preserve their way of life, they prefer not to travel some distance to work in the city. And that’s what gives rise to the farmstay project.

“We have good relationships with the community and hire local carpenters to build. They are rare these days, but we find some in the neighborhood. For quality assurance, they work under our supervision. The project is built almost entirely of wood recycled from old houses. Our architects take the time to do it right. They go through each and every piece and handpick only the ones that meet specified construction standards,” he said.

An architect on the team added, “Reclaimed wood is the main building material because it can be sourced directly from the community. It comes in handy since some villagers are willing to sell it as reusable material. In the end, it’s about finding new use for old wood and adapting it to serve new purposes. Once the villagers see that we can do it well, they adopt the idea and technique to better suit their construction needs. In the end, it adds up to the continuation of cultural heritage and preservation of traditional Lanna architecture by passing on the skill and knowledge to young people in the community.”

Besides old wood, the team is able to put other recyclable materials to good use. They include concrete roof shingles that are rare nowadays. They are made the old-fashioned way using the pedal powered pottery wheel. Also known as the kick wheel, it’s an ancient manufacturing technique that has been passed on in the local community. To prevent leaks, the roof is covered by two layers of shingles. The weathered concrete look is beautiful. That’s not all. Ahsa Farmstay is also decorated with items of handicraft and furniture sourced directly from the community.

Modern Vernacular Homes Modern Vernacular Homes Modern Vernacular Homes

All things considered, the atmosphere is warm and inviting. It gives other families in the neighborhood some idea of how they can offer a form of hospitality and lodging where guests can stay overnight at the home of locals and learn about their culture. It’s an opportunity to play host, cook food and share their lifestyle and culture. Like so, Ahsa Farmstay is planning on providing more guest rooms as demand for cultural tourism increases. And it works both ways. New lodgings will be built by local carpenters, which in turn generates supplemental incomes for the local community. In the big picture, it amounts to promoting a kind of tourism intended to support the conservation of cultural heritage, skill and knowledge in the community.

The designer wraps it up nicely. “It’s important that visitors refrain from causing changes in the community’s way of life. More than anything else, the farmstay provides the opportunity of learning something new about rural culture. Visitors are welcome to join in daily activities of locals. Architecture has a role to play for the betterment of society. The homes built by locals not only promote cultural tourism, but also contribute to efforts at sustainable development in the area.”

By looking at old Lanna architecture from a new perspective, a design team is able to create a home that’s up to date in style and functions. This is achieved by reducing design detail and embracing the traditional principles of form and layout. The result is a home that combines privacy, comfort and convenience.

Modern Vernacular Homes
The second floor unit has a bed at the center. The room is enclosed by wood paneling that slides open to get a view of the natural landscape and slides shut for privacy.

Modern Vernacular Homes

This story is from Modern Vernacular Homes Special Issue: Happiness Matters. (Available here in Thai and English)

 

Modern Vernacular Homes
Ahsa Farmstay is one of the 13 Special Homes from the Modern Vernacular Homes: Happiness Matters Issue, Thai and English version by the Baan Lae Suan Team. The issue is available now! If you are interested, please contact us. >> www.facebook.com/messages/t/Baanlaesuanbooks

Ahsa Farmstay is located on Soi Wat Mae Salong,
Soi 1, Mae Salong Village, Tambon Pa-sang,
Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province.
Tel: 09-7248-4674
www.ahsafarmstay.com
www.facebook.com/ahsafarmstay

 

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SACICT CRAFT TREND TALK  Four experts touch upon what’s trending in handicraft in the Digital Age

SACICT CRAFT TREND TALK Four experts touch upon what’s trending in handicraft in the Digital Age

SACICT Craft Trend Talk // Here’s a glimpse of art and craft ideas coming to you online. In these video clips, four experts, creatives and designers closely connected to Thai craft industries touch upon topics pertaining to the environment, culture, and technology. Plus, hear their views on what’s trending for 2021. Hosted by the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre (Public Organization), the discussion offers advice to craft makers in search of the right design and product in sync with global trends. The three thought-provoking topics to watch are:

CRAFT CIRCULARITY

Handicrafts from Reusable Resources

 

Environmental issues touch the lives of people across the globe. They are problems even for experienced craft makers. To achieve a contemporary aesthetic, preserving of the natural processes and handiwork is extremely important going forward.

In this video clip, Markus Roselieb, an expert in bamboo architecture and founder of Chiang Mai Life Construction (CLC), touches upon sustainable architecture built with the use of earth and bamboo. Plus, he talks about the concept of Craft Circularity that’s aimed at reducing waste and using natural resources in craft making.

He also gives a tour around Panyaden International School, where buildings are made out of bamboo to increase an appreciation of nature among schoolchildren. They are the hope and future of the world, and ambassador of the Environment.

CRAFT CITIZENS

Handicraft Knows No Bounds

 

Technology has transcended geographic borders, giving rise to a blend of cultures and enabling us to tap almost limitless knowledge. Here, two distinguished designers explain why craft still matters in a digital world. Let’s hear their views on the latest trends in craft design and the benefits that technology brings.

Suwan Kongkhuntian is a celebrated designer and founder of the modern furniture brand Yothaka. He touches upon some of the factors that have earned Thai products global recognition, plus the roles of designers in product development going forward.

Teerapoj Teeropas is a highly motivated, young designer and director of the Kitttakhon brand. He also wears another hat as researcher at Sao+D Social Cultural Innovation Lab at KMIT Thonburi, and collaborates with Asst. Prof. Nanthana Boonla-or on a Karen handicraft development project. He talks about traditional knowledge revival in the Digital Age.

CRAFT CLOUD

Bodies of Knowledge Made Easily Accessible

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s health, causing a devastating blow to world economy. It also led to high growth in online learning through various platforms. Julian Huang, a university lecturer and cofounder of the Weave Artisan Society, recently opened a craft space in Chiang Mai, paving the way for idea sharing in design and craft making in the Digital Age.

To hear his views on what’s trending in arts and crafts, get yourself a free copy of “SACICT Craft Trend 2021”. Contact by Product Development and Potential Enhancement. Tel. 0-3536-7054-9 Ext. 1385. Or read the e-book version online at https://www.sacict.or.th/th/detail/2020-09-09-11-30-23

#SACICTCraftTrend2021 #SACICTTheValueOfBeingThai

SACICT Concept 2020 Showcase

SACICT Concept 2020 Showcase

An exhibition of 40 masterpieces presents new perspectives on Thai arts and crafts and updates on global business trends.

The epitome of beauty and perfection under the SACICT Concept 2020

26-30 August at Samyarn Mitrtown

///Thailand///

If you think Thai arts and crafts are a thing of the past, think again! Here’s a glimpse into a landmark exhibition showcasing 40 collections by master craftsmen from across the country. It’s a perfect example of creativity and innovation under SACICT Concept 2020, a project undertaken by the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre (Public Organization).

The collaborative enterprise is aimed at promoting the creation of prototype models capable of meeting the demands of modern consumer both at home and abroad. At the same time, it’s part of a wider effort to generate a sustainable income for the people in the long term.

Under this project, 40 craftsmen were handpicked by SACICT to participate in making articles of handicraft that could be further developed into products for everyday use. They represented a wide range of categories, among them, textile, bamboo and wicker weaving, woodworking, ceramic, and metal work. In the process, the craft makers collaborated with distinguished designer groups, including Mobella Design Team, Ease Studio, Salt and Pepper Design Studio, PHTAA Living Design, and Atelier 2+ .

The exhibition code-named “SACICT Concept Showcase” took place at Level G, Samyan Mitrtown from 26 to 30 August 2020. It assembled a panel of experts to investigate “New Perspectives on Thai Arts and Crafts and Updates on Global Business Trends.”

During the show, an “Eco Chic Bag” workshop, among other things, was given on-site for those interested in handbag decorations. The event offered intensive group discussions on how to make the handbag stylishly fashionable using fabrics from the Arts and Crafts Centre renowned for their original and unique designs.

Plus, it provided a platform for discussion of popular topics from clothing and accessories to household goods and business décor ideas. In a nutshell, it was about empowering the craft makers to perform to their full potential, culminating in a product that people wanted to buy, creating an income for the community, and keeping Thailand’s art and craft heritage alive for the next generation.

The show was part of the SACICT Concept 2020 Project undertaken by the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (Public Organization).

Precisely, it sends a strong message that the richness of Thailand’s handicraft culture deserves protection and further development into a new product that’s right for today’s consumer.

Here are eight collections from the show just to give you an idea. Anyone interested to learn more can download the entire e-book about the 40 collections here.

The Maliwan collection by Krajood Maliwan / The love of making tassels was imbedded in Maliwan Kongkua character. This tiny bit of charm-an ordinary and simple expression of joy-grew into primary decoration of Maliwan’s distinctive handbags.

 

The Thoong Cushions Collection by PrimPraewa / Here’s a collection that represents the coming together of two cultures; the Praewa silk tradition of the Phu Thai people and the six-cornered hanging mobiles known as “Thoong” unique to Kalasin Province. Made by involving locals working together in partnership, the colorful pillows set can be arranged in any shape or form to fit any room and add a touch of the exotic to home décor.

 

The Chatra Collection by Angsa / Tambon Ban Kat, Chiang Mai is famed for its silver filigree jewelry, an art form made by looping thin silver or gold wires back and forth to create design for an ornamental object. Inspired by the multitier royal umbrella, the Chatra Collection is made by weaving metal filaments into delicate branching patterns, culminating in a complete luminaire. Light passing through the multitier design creates a distinctive ambience.
The Art of Edge collection by AWA Decor / This collection deals with the problem of wood waste in production by first selecting out surplus sapwood that has beauty in its natural shape and is also strong enough for furniture.
The Backyard Story  Collection by Kiree / The Backyard Story originates from traditional tie-dyed techniques native to Khiriwong District. The weaver experimented with a variety of natural dyes; among them, mangosteen rinds, bitter bean pods, and jackfruit stalks, on materials harvested locally. This gave rise to a collection of daily-use products in soothing shades known as “Backyard Story”.
The UPULA Series Collection by Chom Hand Craft / The “UPULA Series” is a collection of purses made out of water hyacinth fiber dyed vibrant colors before weaving. It’s made by adapting exciting new forms that best answer the lifestyle needs at present. Inspired by uncut opals and all the colors of the rainbow, the bag is made by first dyeing spun threads gradient colors, then, the strands of natural fiber are twisted and circled to form a 3-dimensional shape.
The Layer Collection by Silathip / A family enterprise famed for making stone mortars at Ang Sila has found a way to upcycle factory waste into new products suitable for new purposes. Chiefly among them are desktop pencil holders, kitchen utensil containers, and vases. They are made by integrating new techniques and materials in the process, thereby expanding its customer base.
The Zodiac Signs Collection by Bualueng Pugthai / Here’s a set of brooches adorned with silk embroidery that’s an art form widely used to decorate fine apparels since former times. Gradually the intricate silk needlework has advanced to incorporate modern design and take pride of place in everyday life. This brooches and pins jewelry collection offers star signs for every unique personality.

 

For more information, please visit www.sacict.or.th

Download the E-Book containing all 40 collections.

 

The Secrets of Jade

The Secrets of Jade

Jade has been cherished over many centuries. There is something about it to hold dear. The green ornamental stone is considered a lucky charm by the Chinese people. It symbolizes purity, kindness and virtue of moral good.

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Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul

Design Nation Market, a retail business area that’s part of the Siam Discovery Center.
Jade beads mat on show now at “Design Nation”, second floor, Siam Paragon.

A part of people’s lives from time immemorial, jade has evolved into an artistic tradition. In China it has a specific connection with folk medicine and long-established cultural expressions.

Aficionados of jade shouldn’t miss a handicraft exhibition that’s taking place now at Siam Paragon. The focal point of the show is a beautifully handcrafted jade mat made of about 27,000 green stone beads. The exhibition known as “Design Nation” is happening until November 17.

The jade mat on display is designed by Panitsara Hongthanadecho and made by a team of highly skilled craftswomen from Myawaddi, Myanmar. The green stone is believed to have the power of giving delight and arousing admiration. It’s in demand for its spiritual and healing properties relating to traditional Chinese art and culture.

The 67-year-old designer is a Thai of Chinese descent, who grows sentimentally attached to everything jade. It’s easy to perceive the meaning of the green stone when she included a jade mat similar to the one on display among funeral objects for her mother recently.

She said that the green ornamental stone was believed to have positive energy. In ancient times, emperors and members of the Chinese nobility aspired to sleep in a bed filled with green stone beads threaded together to perfectly fit the bedstead, on which the mattress was placed.

Panitsara could still recall promising her Mom a jade beads mat ten years back. She searched and found a big block of jade, bought it in an auction, and had it cut to size. She received about 27,000 stone cubes, each measuring 10 millimeters.

She had them machined continuously for two days to achieve perfectly polished round stone beads. After that, they were threaded together. And the final outcome is beautiful beyond words, thanks to a team of highly skilled craftswomen she hired from Myawaddi, Myanmar, which is located across the river from Mae Sod District in Tak. As promised, she included the jade mat among other funeral objects for her Mom after she passed.

That’s just one of many interesting items on show now at Design Nation, on the second floor of Siam Paragon. The event is rich in exhibits from several countries including the Philippines, Italy, and those created right here in Thailand.

A display booth by Artisanal Philippines. Here, Philippine-style cocoa drinks are made fresh the old fashioned way every day.
Design Nation exhibition at Siam Paragon
A soap crafted to resemble a marble by Vilacini, available at Design Nation Market

Whilst there, drop by the design market and attend workshops and seminars hosted by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Lido Connect, Siam Center, Siam Discovery Center, and Siam Paragon.

The show goes on until November 17. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/designnationbangkok/

 

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Furniture Ideas for Spa and Health Resorts

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Inspiring design creates meaningful first impressions. It adds value to a brand, and make the product and service memorable. That’s reason enough for a team of Thai designers and business owners to put their heads together and create furniture that gives a further boost to the spa, wellness, and health resort industry.

 

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The team also get the help they need from the Institute for Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ISMED), a division of the Ministry of Industry; and the Creative Economy Agency (CEA), a public organization.

To introduce new design into their business, they work jointly with a select team of craftsmen from the Handicraft Retailers Group of Baan Tawai in Chiang Mai, the Furniture Carpenters Group of Sukhothai, and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP).

Good design matters to the spa and health resort industry. This “Crafted Journey” furniture set is a product of collaboration with the Handicraft Retailers Group of Baan Tawai in Chiang Mai and the Furniture Carpenters Group of Sukhothai.
Beautifully crafted of rain-tree wood, these duo planters are inspired by flower garland pendants. – From Rungnirand. Designed by Sarisa Viraporn.
“Dwelling of Satisfaction”, a lighted curio cabinet set with antique finish and handy hints about the Thai way. — From Nantiya Décor. Designed by Rush Pleansuk.

The collaborative project aptly named “Crafted Journey” has Siriwan Tempati as team leader. Distinguished members include Rush Pleansuk of the design studio “Sumphat Gallery”, Sarinya Limthongtip of the “Srinlim” brand, and Sarisa Viraporn of the furniture store “Brezza Dee”.

The project debuted its products recently during the “Style Bangkok” event, and will go on show at the Chiang Mai Design Week 2019, which will take place on 7-15 December. Plenty of inspiring designs. See for yourself if you are in town during this time.

Designed to blend in with a round lounge chair, this rope weave partition can be set up vertically or horizontally. — From Chakriya. Designed by Rush Pleansuk.
A two-piece celadon tea set portraying mountain scenery and geometric shape art. — From Chiang Mai Celadon. Designed by Sarinya Limthongtip.
A handcrafted mirror frame inspired by lotuses in full bloom. Lotuses are symbols of purity. — From Bamboosay Craft. Designed by Sarisa Viraporn.
A set of table and curio cabinet gets its inspiration from stupas and other Buddhist shrines around the ancient capital Sukhothai. – From the Wood Handicrafts Cooperative of Baan Ram Yai. Designed by Sarisa Viraporn.
“Pigoon Sri”, antique inspired lanterns with a bullet-wood floral pattern on stained glass casing — From Mai Goft. Designed by Sarisa Viraporn.
“Chabaprai”, a set of stackable accessory containers handcrafted the old-fashioned way, available in both wood stain and color paint. – From Chabaprai. Designed by Sarinya Limthongtip.
“Trayble” is a set of table and tray crafted of teak. The wood tray can detach from the tabletop when needed. — From Baurieo. Designed by Sarisa Viraporn.
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Upcycling Ideas …Turning Trash into Quality Products

Upcycling Ideas …Turning Trash into Quality Products

Who would have thought it! Discarded plastic bottles and jars could transform into cute whale-shaped napkin box covers. Not to mention water-saving glass drying trays for the kitchen. Plenty of fantastic ideas for modern home décor and accessories to make sure everything is organized and in place!

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Stoty: Samutcha Viraporn, Photo: Press

Disposable plastic bottles become trash after a single use. In the manufacturing process, some of them are discarded without seeing the light of day. The good news.  Designers have come up with ingenious ideas to turn waste into products of better quality and higher value than the original.  And the sky’s the limit.

Many transparent plastic bottles are made from a type of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. What we don’t see is the plastic packaging that doesn’t make it to the shelf. In the manufacturing process, bottle samples are taken out and evaluated. By law, the plastic packaging that fails quality control testing cannot be recycled into bottles and jars again. So they become raw materials to make different types of goods instead.

The Qualy manufacturer brand, in collaboration with the beverage company Ichitan, is able to breathe new life into unusable industrial waste, turning it into reusable raw materials. Its main forte lies in design capabilities that turn unwanted materials into upcycled products that meet the higher expectations of modern customers.

Its expert skill in recycling earns it a reputation for creative new products for a chic home update. One of them is the cute whale-shaped napkin box cover called “Moby” that takes 28 recycled plastic bottles to make. It takes pride of place in the bathroom, or serves as a reusable plastic bag holder for the kitchen. Anyway only biodegradable plastic bags are recommended. The design is stimulated by whales that have died from plastic waste in their stomach. It’s the tip of the iceberg that reminds us all to use less plastic to protect the environment.

Also worthy of attention is the aptly named “Oasis Tray”, a drinking glass drying rack made from 56 recycled plastic bottles. It doubles as an irrigation system that supplies small amounts of water to houseplants.

Other interesting products include a beautiful array of indoor planters, each made from about 8 to 10 recycled PET bottles. Not to mention greenhouse supplies and cute containers designed to encourage people to start growing for a better, healthier home environment.

Together, they convey a rich and subtle message. Reduce plastic waste now, or turn it into new materials for creative reuse. After all, we still have plenty of discarded PET plastic packaging to deal with.

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