Design for a Better World by SCIL at Baan Lae Suan Fair 2020

The Social and Cultural Innovation Lab (SCIL), handled by multi-disciplinary team of researchers and design practitioners, is one of the lab-based collaborative learning units of the School of Architecture and Design (SoA+D), King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). It nurtures the new generation of social designers to fulfill their potentials and goals, and encourage them to understand social and cultural challenges in a community.

The following works were exhibited during the exhibition, “Betterism: Good Design for a Better World” at Baan Lae Suan Fair held on 30 October – 8 November 2020 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Thailand:

1. Floor lamp made from woven bamboo
Made by SoA+D students, the floor lamp is a design work out of the collaboration with the bamboo basketry community in Pho Thong District, Ang Thong Province. After the students had visited the community to learn bamboo weaving process, they came up with a contemporary innovative design by extending the basic techniques of traditional local handicrafts.

2. Woven bamboo trays
The woven bamboo trays in fine and transparent patterns are molded into shapes. They are the results of students’ experimental study in collaboration with the bamboo basketry community in Pho Thong District, Ang Thong Province. Moreso, the students have helped the elderly to get involved in the production process.

3. A set of decorative basket
The spinning top that can be hung and put on the table for decoration is made from smoked and non-smoked bamboos to emit different colors. Working with artisans in the bamboo weaving community in Pho Thong District, Ang Thong Province, the students could learn more techniques in weaving and apply them to the spinning top, thus, making it different from the traditional products of the community. It introduces a new perspective and opportunity to further enhance basketry industry.

4. Handheld grass broom
It marks a transformation of the traditional grass broom into a modern way of life. This is designed for easiness of sweeping, and colored through a dye technique to make it more interesting. The handheld grass broom is designed by Singaporean students (when they attended the Thai handicrafts workshop) in collaboration with Baan Nang Noi Community Enterprise, Sakon Nakhon Province.

5. Bamboo stool
In collaboration with the handicrafts experts at Gerard Collection in Chiang Mai, the students’ product (bamboo tool) is made from bamboo and leather. It also uses a steel structure to create a contemporary furniture.

6. Handwoven cotton of Karen community
Karen’s woven textiles always have a unique characteristic –  patterns that tell of their traditional stories. The students have visited a particular Karen community in Ratchaburi. They have experimented on developing contemporary and interesting weaving patterns to match with the lifestyles of people nowadays. They have designed simple patterns accentuated with modern graphic elements and integrated the symbols to tell traditional stories.

7. Table lamp set
This table lamp set is designed by SoA+D alumni as a result of experimenting with designing structures for holding bamboo, threaded into its designated slots for twisting and creating new geometric shapes. This conceptual design can be fully integrated by an artisan who may not have an expertise in weaving but can split bamboo into strip, including being able to create jobs for the community constituents who have no weaving skills but able to make bamboo strips by using simple machines.  

Thanks to Room Magazine!


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