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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
/// Thailand ///
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
We can say that for now, ‘being green’ is not new anymore. For the new generation, global warming, along with other environmental and natural resource issues have led them to realize that the ‘living green’ philosophy is more like a necessity than a choice.
But, ‘living green’ is more than saving energy or using recycled straws. With the theme “Living Green”, the Architect’19, organized by The Association of Siamese Architects under the Royal Patronage (ASA), aims to encourage architects and the general public to embrace every facet of sustainability through the ‘Green Experiences’ and innovative building material exhibitions from leading brands on over 75,000 square metres of area.
Apart from the latest innovations from exhibitors, this fair also features thematic exhibitions and activities designed for both architects and general public, including the ASA International Design Competition 2019 [under the design concept: Uncanny Sustainability], ASA Forum 2019 [the seminar speakers are architects from Thai and worldwide companies], along with sustainable design exhibitions [such as Smart Cities, Zero Waste or Innovative Green Products].
To date, this Expo is probably the first regional eco-friendly architectural innovation Expo in ASEAN, and will take place between 30th April – 5th May 2019 at IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
The highlights that are not to be missed!
–ASA FORUM: Inspiring talks by architects of leading firms in Thailand and abroad, namely MVRDV, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Foster + Partners, Atelier Ten, Stu/D/O Architects and Eco Architect, etc.
–Green Building Tour: The special tour is a part of Green Building Showcase exhibition, featuring guided tours of five iconic green buildings in Bangkok.
– ASA Seminar: This edition of ASA Seminar comes with the theme of “The 4+1 Elements” which discuss the interactions between human beings and four natural elements.
The Bangkok Design Week that ended February 3 was a confluence of many great ideas, among them products of a collaboration between two homegrown designer groups, Thinkk Studio, and Studio 150. Their waste recycling ideas shone with excitement at a show called “City Materials”.
/// Thailand ///
The seat of government of Thailand, Bangkok is renowned for being a regional trade and economic hub, as well as home to many established and up-and-coming designers. Much of the large, densely populated city is not covered with forest. Nor does it have a wonderful richness of industrial materials. But, do you know this?
Every fifteen days, the number of lottery tickets and packaging material printed in Bangkok is enough to cover 173 football fields. Of that amount, a whopping 98.6% accounted for the tickets that didn’t win. Not only that, lottery tickets are printed on special grade, water-repellent paper that doesn’t break down easily. All things considered, that’s a whale of a job for paper recyclability.
Where most would see useless waste materials, the two designer groups see endless possibilities. Thinkk Studio creatives, in association with their design peers at Studio 150, have researched and experimented with lottery paper waste for some time. They succeeded in recycling it in ways that could answer specific design, art and craft and industrial needs in future.
“City Materials” showcased five materials the joint team has recycled from wood chips, plastic bags, incense sticks and ashes, coffee grounds, and discarded building supplies sold for scrap. For a glimpse into their design ideas.
The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) announced on August 22, 2018 that the Duangrit Bunnag Group, aka the DBALP Consortium, has won the Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 Project design contest.
AOT had previously invited the private sector to make bids for designing the new 35-billion-baht Terminal 2 project. As a result, the first runner-up Duangrit Bunnag Group was declared winner for its design proposal worth an estimated 329 million baht.
DBALP was able to achieve an important triumph after the winning bidder SA Group was disqualified for failing to submit an important document, namely, the original quotation for the cost of work as stipulated in the contract.
The SA Group stood firm that it had never received the original quotation document from AOT, and called for a reconsideration of bid results. It made reference to winning on points for its technical proposal, and that the cost of work it entered for the contest was lower than that stipulated by AOT. Furthermore, the purpose of the original quotation document was only to prevent the competition process being compromised.
Four private sector groups responded to the AOT invitation to compete for design work by means of sealed bids. The first is a consortium of legal persons consisting of DBALP, Nikken Sekkei, EMS, MHPM, and MSA, collectively known as the Duangrit Bunnag Group for short.
The second group is an association of consulting firms made up of the Beaumont Partners Co Ltd, the Index International Group Co Ltd, the Egis-Rail (Thailand) Co Ltd, the CEL Engineers Co Ltd, the CEL Architects and Environments Co Ltd, the Alana Engineering Co Ltd, Egis Avia, and Egis Rail S.A.
The third group is a number of consulting firms composed of the Varda Associates Co Ltd, the Wise Project Consulting Co Ltd, and the Chong Lim Architecture Co Ltd.
Last is the SA Group, a consortium of consulting firms made up of the Span Consultants Co Ltd, the Sign-Tech Engineering Consultants Co Ltd, the Azusa Sekkei Co Ltd, and the Sky Party Co Ltd.
As per the August 22, 2018 announcement, the DBALP Consortium is obligated to complete its forest-inspired design on the Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 project in 10 months’ time. Coming up next is an AOT invitation to bid for the construction phase.
Designed to meet future demands, the new Terminal 2 at Suvarnabhumi Airport will have the ability to receive over 30 million passengers annually — 12 million via domestic flights, and 18 million on board international flights. The building will come complete with 14 airport aprons and parking spaces for 1,000 cars. Construction will take about 30 months to complete. The project is scheduled to be fully functional mid-2021 at the earliest.
A rendering of Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 by the DBALP Consortium
We have the results of this year’s official accolade of design excellence. Eight pieces of furniture have won the coveted DEmark Award for outstanding design for 2018. Among the winners: a water hyacinth chair beautifully crafted on a metal frame, a neatly packed kitchen cabinet, a chair inspired by tea tree topiaries, and a set of chairs that come together as table legs.
/// Thailand ///
Every year, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) gives out the Design Excellence Award, DEmark Award for short, as an acknowledgement of outstanding merit by Thai designers from across the country.
The ultimate official accolade seeks to increase direct presence of Thailand’s creative products in the world marketplace. Successful candidates will participate in international trade events, such as the Gmark Award competition in Japan, as well as DITP’s exhibition tours throughout Europe and Asia.
This year’s DEmark Awards were given to eight pieces of furniture for impressive achievements in blending craft skills with modern manufacturing techniques.
Every year, the DEmark Awards are given out in six categories — Furniture, Lifestyles, Fashion, Industry, Packaging and Graphic Design – as an acknowledgement of outstanding achievements by Thai designers and manufacturers. Not all of the winners are listed in this report.
The Singapore-based designer brand “ipse ipsa ipsum” has unveiled one of the finest collections of Peranakan-inspired home décor and accessories.
/// Singapore ///
Bold and beautiful, Peranakan design is the product of Chinese migration into the Malay archipelagos of centuries ago. Making its world debut at last year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, the new product line called “Straits Reflection” included a tabletop mirror and a floor-standing mirror that told stories of a fascinating amalgam of Chinese, Indian, and Malay craft traditions.
The designer brand was launched in 2016 as an initiative of “Sam & Sara”, an established Indian silverware business headquartered in Singapore. Combining ultramodern materials with traditional craftsmanship skills, the new brand aimed to create original designs under the slogan, “The extraordinary for the ordinary”.
“Straits Reflection” by Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul was the result of collaboration between the designer brand and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Peranakan Chinese, or Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese who migrated into the Malay archipelagos form the 15th to 17th centuries. Over time, their cultural heritage, architecture, design, and cuisine have become prominent landmarks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of southern Thailand.
“Straits Reflection” is evidence of an artistic ability that has evolved through on-going interactions among Chinese, Indian, and Malays. Its design aesthetics combine Indian floral patterns with traditional Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors.
A curious mix of the old and the new, “Straits Reflection” includes a tabletop mirror that displays temperatures and air quality values, and a matching floor-standing mirror that reflects on the Peranakan experience.