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sacit Craft Power: A Push for International Renown Gains Momentum

sacit Craft Power: A Push for International Renown Gains Momentum

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Lily J., Kangsadan K. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Kranchanok Boonbamrung /

A brainstorming session took place on May 8, 2024 in what was described as a determined effort to take Thailand’s art and craft industry to the next level, ultimately accessing new markets and expanding their reach globally.

Organized by the Sustainable Arts and Crafts Institute of Thailand, SACIT, led by Ms. Naruedee Phurattanarak, director of research and development for artistic products at SACIT, the conference brought together nine experts from a wide range of disciplines to discuss three hot topics; “Unseen Craft”, “Thainess” or the key attributes of being Thai, and “Craft Power”. The panel speakers included luminaries in the art and craft world, namely Mr. Viboon Leesuwan, Mr. Meechai Taesujariya, Mr. Pairoj Pittayamatee, Mr. Asa Piwkhum, Mr. Phitirat Wongsutinwattana, Dr. Sirikorn Maneerin, Ms. Pawinee Santisiri, Ms. Supavee Sirinkraporn and Ms. Cholada  Siddhivarn.

Naruedee Phurattanarak, director of research and development for artistic products at the Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand (SACIT).

The discussion on the theme of “SACIT Craft Power – The Future of Crafts: Guru Panel” represented a massive drive to assist and inspire craft makers, retailers and brands to go global and unlock the next level of growth for their business. Very briefly, it’s about challenging many popular perceptions that “craft products cannot be used in everyday life”. That being said, it makes perfect sense to try and change the way people think about arts and crafts on the global market by presenting quality craft goods that can be used every day and in so many different ways. Here’s a summary of the spontaneous discussion, one topic at a time.

Unseen Craft:

The first topic of discussion, named “Unseen Craft”, is mainly concerned with the moments of inspiration that go into creating art and craft products. Panel speaker Viboon Leesuwan, a member of the Royal Society of Thailand specialized in visual arts, talked about the enduring allure of Thailand’s traditional crafts. Viboon is an avid art collector with authoritative knowledge of crafts made from locally sourced materials. For many people, these are products that give great aesthetic pleasure and are valued for their usefulness.

Viboon said that for heritage craft skills to continue for a long time to come, it’s imperative that we foster good practice and general knowledge of art and craft among young people. As he put it, the key to success lies in the dissemination of ideas, values and learning to a wide audience.

He said that mentoring and educating young adults in art and craft must go hand in hand with developing awareness about local wisdom, or customs and practices recognized and followed by local communities for many generations. According to Viboon, each craft product bears a geographic indication, or essential qualities and ingredients that tell the story of its origin and the process that goes into making it. Take for example “Pha Gab Bua”, which is a kind of handwoven fabrics made by Meechai Taesujariya, national artist for visual arts (handwoven fabrics category) and winner of a 2016 Master Artisans of Thailand Award.

Pha Gab Bua fabric is made using weaving patterns indigenous to Ubon Ratchathani Province that’s widely acclaimed for its unique design, original material, and the power of storytelling about the weaving technique and area or neighborhood from which it is made. More than anything else, it’s a heritage craft skill that people rely on as a means of securing a livelihood and, at the same time, stimulating the local economy.

Thainess:

The second topic deals with promoting “Thainess”, or qualities that are the key attributes of Thailand’s cultural traditions. From a different perspective, there’s a feeling of accomplishment in the product, something that gives a sense of history and heritage that makes people purchase Thai-made goods. With this knowledge, a craft maker can maximize his business potential, creating products that are trendy, tailoring them to meet the specific needs of young people and, at the same time, incorporating storytelling techniques in craft goods.

Panel speaker Pawinee Santisiri said that art and craft itself is a language that expresses creativity and imagination. And the power of storytelling comes handy as an important tool to communicate the values and usefulness of a product to potential buyers on the global market. To take it to the next level, the craft maker relies on a universal language to present designs and ideas that are easy to understand. The universal language is one of many strategies used to connect buyers and sellers, eventually giving a product the renown of a famous trademark, not to mention enhancing sales and expanding into new markets.

Essentially, art and craft is about conveying an idea, impression and feeling through a physical concrete form. For a product to be successful, it must answer the specific needs of a target group, for example by placing great emphasis on the pride and joy of being Thai and, at the same time, promoting a good understanding about cultural heritage and the craft skills that go into making the product. It’s a series of actions that starts at the early stage of education.

At the risk of stating the obvious, art and craft instructors as well as master artisans, students and designers all have an important role to play in furthering the progress of handicraft skills, ultimately continuing to strengthen and take pride of place in modern society.

Craft Power:

The third and most important topic of discussion has to do with “Craft Power”, which refers to the ability of art and craft to influence public opinion and the behavior of target audiences on the global market. About this subject, the experts concur that for the art and craft industry to prosper, the only way forward is to advocate for sustainability every step of the way.

Interestingly, the tourism industry helps a great deal in raising awareness about art and craft products, resulting in good customer experiences. This eventually translates into higher incomes from craft making, thereby allowing communities to improve conditions of life. Plus, by making design in an integral part of the art and craft industry, the possibilities are endless. Well-thought-out design gives rise to an exciting array of new products. And they can be anything from a variegated color ice-cream to building supplies needed to create beautiful works of architecture.

Technically speaking, the power of craft can come in many different shapes or forms, even starting from scratch. It’s a good place to start where nothing has ever been done before. Take for example creating a work of handicraft using raw materials from agriculture. Done right, it’s a way to help protect the environment by promoting good practices at both the upstream and downstream stretches of the manufacturing process. In the end, the economy, culture and society stand to benefit from it, thanks in part to enduring efforts at making knowledge available to a wide audience. Online platforms are one way of reaching out and connecting with consumers.

The three topics illustrated above lay the groundwork for the development of a generation direction in which Thailand’s art and craft industry is developing in the near future. The ideas generated from this discussion provide the framework for the preparation of a new book titled, “SACIT the Future of Craft, Trend Forecast 2025.” Taken as a whole, they symbolize a vigorous effort for the advancement of all facets of Thailand’s art and craft industry and, at the same time, advocate for sustainability every step of the way.


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SACICT Concept 2020 Showcase

FLASHBACKS TO THE ROOM x LIVING ASEAN DESIGN TALK 2023

FLASHBACKS TO THE ROOM x LIVING ASEAN DESIGN TALK 2023

/ Bangkok, Thaialmd /

/ Story: room Books and Living Asean Editorial Staff /

/ English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Baan Lae Suan Fair Press Room /

A collection of inspiring quotes and flashbacks to the room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023,
at the Baan Lae Suan Fair Midyear, BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

The latest architecture event “room X Living Asean Design Talk 2023” took place last Sunday 6 August. Convening a group of well-known experts from three countries, the annual conversation was on the theme of “URBAN FUSION / RURAL FLOURISH: Interweaving Urban and Rural Designs.”

It’s the star of the show at this year’s Baan Lae Suan (home and garden) Fair Midyear.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

The panel included M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects Ltd., Bangkok; Supawut Boonmahathanakorn of JaiBaan Studio, Chiang Mai; Japanese architect practicing in Vietnam Shunri Nishizawa of Nishizawa Architects, Ho Chi Minh City; and Antonius Richard of the design atelier RAD+ar, Jakarta, Indonesia, with Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon as special guest speaker.

Chana Sampalang, President of ASA (The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage), officiated at the opening of the room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023 on Sunday 6 August at BITEC Bang Na, Bangkok.

The Design Talk centered around the shared interest in design that’s friendly to the environment and conducive to social development in both urban and rural areas.

And the Deputy Governor of Bangkok came in handy to touch upon the subject of official policy tools and collaborations with various efforts at developing public spaces and improving the quality of life for people in Bangkok.

Essentially, the conversation is about building strong networks that will enable us to stay tuned to things happening in the city and communities across the country.

It’s seen as a confluence of ideas between architects and people from different disciplines inspired to create a sustainable future together.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023


The conversation event started with Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon, who spoke on “Urban Development Policy: Thoughts on response from and interactions with residents from different backgrounds.”

He shared a great deal of careful thoughts and his vision of a “livable city,” which he defined as one capable of accommodating people from all walks of life.

It’s the place where residents live together in harmony. In other words, it’s the type of surroundings where people participate in creating sufficient open spaces that lead to improved quality of life.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Sanon plays a part in furthering policy objectives and collaborating with multiple agencies working towards common goals. Front and center are projects aimed at improving the public spaces deemed crucial to the quality life of people in the city.

Apart from providing all the conveniences, a good city must offer the opportunity for people to live together happily. A “Livable City” can be defined as one that’s open for everyone to participate in the development process.

When people feels a sense of involvement and affiliation to a place that’s suitable for them, they have high hopes of making it better both for themselves and for others.


The next speaker, M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects, Thailand, touched on the subject of “Public Architecture and solutions to the problems brought on by the gap between people in society.”

He emphasized that architects had an important role to play in helping to reduce social inequality. They had the knowledge and skills in the art and technique of designing and building and they could use them in the best interests of the people.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

M.L. Varudh and Vin Varavarn Architects have won acclaim serving clients across a wide range of industries. Lately his focus has shifted towards designs that help solve problems in the society.

They ranged from schoolhouse planning thoughtfully devised to deal with earthquake risks, to low-cost housing opportunities for overcrowded city neighborhoods.

All of them speak volumes for the principles governing Vin Varavarn Architects’ ideas and design strategies.

Essentially, it’s about creating the right design that’s capable of bringing about a change for the better for the people and the society as a whole.


And then Shunri Nishizawa, of Nishizawa Architects, Vietnam, talked about “Residential Design in Response to the Prevailing Climate and Limitations in Different Contexts.”

He sent a strong message about the need to create living spaces that harmonize with the circumstances that form the setting of a place. Upon reflection, the relationship between man and nature is impossible to disentangle.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Shunri Nishizawa has practiced in Vietnam for over 15 years. He believes that an architect is duty bound to have a complete understanding of the context surrounding a project being developed.

This can be anything from humans and animals, to plants and the natural environment, plus the cultural context and so forth.

All of them must be treated with equal respect if we are to create a piece of architecture that adds a good complement to the surroundings.

Nishizawa Architects’ finest works to date have made living with nature front and center.

Besides harmony with the natural surroundings, the designer group attaches special importance to choosing only materials that are right for the context of a place. That’s the role of an architect the way he sees it.


Sharing similar opinions was Supawut Boonmahathanakorn, architect and founder of Jai Baan Studio, Chiang Mai, who touched upon “Rewilding the built environment: Interweaving urban and rural designs through non-human life.”

He laid greater emphasis on biophilic design that called for rewilding the built environment and the restoration of all aspects of the physical world.

At the very center, the health of the natural environment is as important as that of humans, perhaps even more so.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Supawut and Jai Baan Studio are renowned for their nature-inspired design, effort at environmental conservation and ability to connect with a sizeable proportion of the rural population.

Through multiple collaborations with property owners, Supawut is able to promote a good understanding of the connectedness between man and nature.

He gets his message across to the public that “time” is of the essence when it comes to restoring the natural environment to health.

His outstanding works include a project that transforms unused land into a green oasis in the city. It’s achieved by rewilding, a process of reintroducing native trees and plants, thereby creating natural habitats for birds and other organisms native to the Northern Region.

As “ambassador” speaking on behalf of nature, he proves the point that the relationships between humans, animals, and ecosystems are inextricable.


Last but not least, architect Antonius Richard of RAD+ar, Indonesia, spoke on the topic of Different aspects of design in response to the environment and surrounding circumstances.”

He shared many useful techniques to incorporate natural elements in contemporary design. Plus, it’s a discussion alive with insights into design features unique to Tropical regions.

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

Mr. Richard spoke on the topic of integrating elements of nature in architectural design with respect to circumstances unique to Indonesia.

For the most part, his works deal with experiments undertaken to test the performance of new design in real life situations.

His experience encompasses a wide range of designs, from small projects such as cafés and restaurants, to homes and offices, to big projects such as commercial spaces and mosques that are designed to accommodate a large number of people.

Regardless of size, they share one common feature – a strict adherence to sustainable living ideas and design that’s compatible with the environment. It’s the quality that has served as the signature of Mr. Richard and his group of architects, designers and thinkers from day one.


More about architecture and design for better living, plus ideas for a sustainable society and conserving the environment, known collectively as the “Betterism” concept, are waiting to be discovered. Follow us and room Books for more!

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023

room x Living Asean Design Talk 2023


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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

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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.

 

Furniture Ideas for Spa and Health Resorts

Furniture Ideas for Spa and Health Resorts

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.
Round tables with complementing lounge chair and antique armoire present a relaxing provincial ensemble in the parlor designed for receiving guests.
Creative New Products from Recycled Ocean Debris

Creative New Products from Recycled Ocean Debris

Looking for a new pair of shoes? You’ve come to the right place. Tlejourn, an ocean-friendly brand of footwear, has unveiled creative new products made from waste recycled from the ocean.

 

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Story: Samutcha Viraporn / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

Before and after. Nattapong shows his work, an old rubber flip-flop he found at a beach, left; and a new sandal after a complete makeover, right.

Tlejourn is the brainchild of Dr. Nattapong Nithi-Uthai of the Rubber Tech and Polymer Science Department, Faculty of Science and Technology, Prince of Songkhla University at Pattani. He’s co-founder of Trash Hero Pattani, an active environmental group in southern Thailand.

Trash Hero Pattani is the spearhead of a program that collects waste materials washing onto beaches every Wednesday. A lot happens from there. First, marine trash is separated into two categories. Then, non-recyclable items are put through the proper channels, while rubber parts from old shoes, boat fenders and side protectors are converted into reusable raw materials. The recycling process includes reducing them to fine particles and putting them through a heated press to make rubber mats. They become the raw material from which Tlejourne sandals and other products are made.

Dr. Nattapong Nithi-Uthai (left) and Dr. Singh Intrachooto (right) collect pieces of waste on a beach. Photo: Facebook Singh Intrachooto
Pieces of ocean waste are pulverized, mixed, and put through a heated press to make rubber mats, the first step in the recycling process.
Recycled rubber mats from a heated press on their way to the assembly line.
Recycled rubber mats are cut using die cutting tools, a step in the manufacturing process that’s passed on to cottage industries in the local community of Pattani.

Besides its in-house footwear industry, Tlejourn also supplies reusable raw materials to leading manufacturers, among them the Thai-American designer Pring Paris. Tlejourn footwear products are available at Soda, one of Thailand’s well-known fashion houses.

The brand also offers women’s shoes by means of co-branding with the designer group Muzina of Japan. Known as Muzina x Tlejourn, their joint products recently made its world debut in a fashion show that was part of the annual Tokyo Fashion Week. Tlejourn is collaborating with the shoe manufacturer Nanyang to offer the Khya brand of sandals made from recycled ocean waste and materials left over from the industry.

Ladies slippers with recycled rubber sole and fluffy hair from the Thai-American designer Pring Paris. Photo: Press
A Muzina x Tlejourn joint product makes it world debut at the Tokyo Fashion Week. Photo: Press
Colorful Khya flip-flops, a joint product from Tlejourn and the leading footwear manufacturer Nanyang. The sole is a mix of recycled rubber and materials left over from the industry.
Designed for everyday wear, Tlejourn casuals are made by co-branding with local footwear manufacturers.

On the future of the natural environment, Dr. Nattapong said: “We know that in the next three decades, ocean trash could be more numerous than marine life. In three months, Trash Hero Thailand volunteers collect more than 80 tons of trash washing onto beaches, of which about 8 tons are old shoes and other footwear that people have discarded.

“In the last four years we sold more than a hundred thousand shoes. As a result of that, a half of ocean trash have disappeared from local area beaches. but heaps of refuse remained. It’s an almost incredible tale of a waste crisis. Everything is on a grand scale. By making Tlejourn footwear out of recycled ocean waste, we join other environmental groups in a wider effort to rid the ocean of discarded materials. It’s a formidable challenge. Everyone can chip in to make the problem go away, and we are campaigning to turn those heaps of ocean waste into creative products, not just shoes.”

Tlejourn founder, Dr. Nattapong Nithi-Uthai of the Rubber Tech and Polymer Science Department, Faculty of Science and Technology, Prince of Songkhla University at Pattani.
Flip-flops and keychains in lively colors are made from recycled ocean debris.

Needless to say Tlejourn has turned crisis into opportunity. As countries in the ASEAN membership struggle to cut down waterborne debris, each and every one of us must do our share of the joint campaign. Let’s make the sea beautiful again.

A pair of Tlejourn sandals with recycled rubber sole. Photo: Press
Trash Hero Thailand volunteers gather for a good cause. Photo: Trash Hero Thailand

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“PATTANI DECODED” PATTANI DESIGN WEEK

 

LOTTERY RECYCLING IDEAS / NOTHING GOES TO WASTE

 

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“Pattani Decoded” Pattani Design Week

“Pattani Decoded” Pattani Design Week

Once you get to know it better, you will find Pattani is really quite interesting. A design week aptly named “Pattani Decoded” took place from 29 August to 1 September 2019. Living ASEAN is on location to file this report.

 

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Story: Samutcha Viraporn / Photo: Sitthisak Namkham, Samutcha Viraporn

“Pattani Decoded” is the perfect example of an esprit de corps among the city’s handpicked architects, designers and people in the community. It celebrates the richness of diverse cultural heritage and history that gives this southern town its character.

The show transforms the streets of Pattani into an outdoor gallery featuring design and architectural masterpieces. They rekindle old memories from the time of King Rama III to the Japanese invasion of Thailand during World War II and important events in recent history. The cool places to visit are on Pattanipirom, Anoaru, and Ruedi raods in Pattani Old Town, a melting pot where peoples of Thai, Chinese, and Malay descent are mixed together.

The Old Town that’s the historic heart of Pattani is alive and well today. People use their artistic abilities and creativity to liven up buildings and improve their neighborhoods. They give locals and tourists hope for the future. Favorite things to do include a journey on foot through the Old Town, a boat ride on the Pattani River, and a visit to the official residence of the first governor of Pattani.

The highlight event is an exhibition by a group called “Pattani Art Space”. Meantime, art enthusiasts have the opportunity of meeting up with luminaries such as Dr. Singh Intrachooto, Boonserm Premthada, and Saran Yen Panya. More fun events include an architectural design competition, Chef Table demos by famous restaurants, retail businesses, live music as well as workshops on shoemaking from waste materials by Tlejourn, Lepus fabric making by Benjametha, and discussions on great works of literature.

Why called it “Pattani Decoded”? Rachit Radenahmad, leader of the organizer group “Melayu Living”, replied: “We want locals to know that design is something close at hand, something within their reach. Meantime, this land abounds with good things. Going forward, people need to mix design with their beautiful cultural heritage. In so doing, they convert coded messages into intelligible language.

“We manage to get locals to participate in showcasing their homes or other places of residence. People are energized by the idea, and the show draws the biggest response both in Pattani and nearby provinces. We have so many good things here that people sometimes take for granted. The region may be known for violence, but art is always in the heart of everyone. That’s the message we are sending to the world outside.”

By all accounts it’s a well-thought-out design festival despite certain limitations. The show is giving talented architects, designers and students a chance to showcase the beauty, charm and adventure of Pattani to the world outside. At the end of the day, it’s about getting people to change their point of view, visit the historic southern town, and come away impressed.

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