24 May 2008

34 The Four Salvaged Boxes of wHY Architecture

This year for the annual exposition of architecture of The Association of Siamese Architects (ASA), Architect'08, I helped to organized International Forum, inviting many architects from aboard to give a lecture. One of the architects I invited is Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture from LA.

Kulapat is a very good friend of mine and my 'Sempai' (in Japanese means a senior): we went to the same schools both Chulalongkorn Universtiy and The University of Tokyo, although we never exactly crossed each other in both places. We got to worked together in 1996 when we did a lot of academic events together, Bangkok in Two Weeks workshop and the series of Toyo Ito events.

After finishing his Ph.D. from The University of Tokyo, he worked for Tadao Ando for several years. He was responsible for all the works of Ando outside Japan, including the art museum in Fortworth, Texas and Armani Theater in Milan. Four years ago, he set up his own office in Los Angeles called wHY Architecture, with his partner, Yo Hakomori. Last year, wHY Architecture just completed a major work, Grand Rapid Art Museum in Michigan, which is the first art museum in the world to receive LEED certificate.

This is the Grand Rapid Art Museum.

This is another work of Kulapat as a solo architect, a small house in Osaka.

Apart from giving a lecture, Kulapat proposed an exhibition to come along with him to be at Architect'08 Exposition. The exhibition 4 Salaged Boxes is about the works of wHY Architecture, and mainly the Grand Rapid Museum. It is composed of 4 boxes that could be closed, sent, and opened as a travelling exhibition. In each box, it contains a lot of information, models, medias and so on. Very rich and exciting. You can find more details about the exhibition at its website.

We, allzone, helped to cooridinate the installation, led by our Sorawit who went for two weeks to the US. to packed the exhibition from the first preview at Grand Rapid Art Museum. Also we got a (physically) strong team of 7 students of mine, helping to install very complex and delicate exhibition. Thanks a lot guys!

Here Kulapat is giving a brief on the preparation day at allzone headquater before the installation at Architect'08 venue at Challenger Hall, Muangthong Thani.

At the venue, the first box arrives...

Opening one of the boxes..

At the site, Sorawit was in chagred all along with Megan Lin from wHY Architecture. Kulapat was also with us.

Sorawit and Megan were fixing one of millions details..

There were also many small study models.... The kids were also good at fixing them.

Namkhang was in charge of our well being, F&B. :-) We also had very good time, a little party here and there during the installation.

You might have thought that they (Sorawit, Namkhang and Megan) were seriously discussing some details of the exhibition, in fact, NINTENDO DS was the case.. it was during our short break moment.

There we go.. The exhibition was very successful. A lot of people visited. We were very happy for Kulapat :-) indeed.

The exhibition remained at Architect'08 event during 29 April - 4 May. Then it was moved to TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Center). Thanks to TCDC for the support, especially Khun Kittirattana and all his team - you were great!

Again, our team installed everything at TCDC. This time was much quicker since we have learned. :-) Pan and Namkhang (and I) mostly just watched, while our 7 strong men were working hard.

This is how it looks at TCDC. It is much better because of a very nice lighting system they have there.

Also we have to give the whole credit for the lighting to my beloved Kohai (junior) Kris Manopimok of LD49, who helped setting up the whole lighting at TCDC. He is very professional indeed.

At TCDC Kulapat also gave a lecture, more or less similar to the one he did at Architect'08 International Forum. Apart from showing his works with wHY Architecture, another interesting issue he raised is the idea of being Thai. He uses an anlogy of architecture and food, wondering that how come Thai food is well-known all over the world, but not Thai architecture. Aslo he pointed out that Thai food is such a cross breeding of Indian and Chinese ones.

To follow his points about architecture in Thailand, after the lecture, Kulapat proposed a discuss / Q/A session, which he was acting as a moderator. Along with Noppadon from Design Lab and Kittiratana of TCDC, I was invited to be one of Kulapat's interviewees. It was fun..I hope we have shared some views on design and architecture situation in Thailand so far.

It was another successful event, a lot of people were there. I really hope Kulapat would be a very good example and inspiration for our kids in design schools here. The exhibition at TCDC is during 8 May - 8 June. So if you have not yet seen it, you still have some time left. Be hurry before it will be shipped to India next month. :-)


urbanomania said...

I read his interview and article about that museum in art4d when I went back home this time round. I think he is a very good designer and when he talks about architecture you can feel his 120% passion. It's so cool to have chances of getting so many art-related projects like his...

I still remember when I was young, some of our teachers were quite sarcastic about kids doing museum for thesis and the super slim chance of getting such project in our lifetime. Now at least khun Kulapat is a living proof that it's possible as long as we live our dream and never give up.

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