01 March 2010

50 Materials from Nature Exhibition of Materials Connexion Bangkok

Last month , we have set up our 2nd exhibition at TCDC, "Materials from Nature", with our beloved clients, Materials Connexion BKK. The exhibition will be running until the beginning of April 2010 at TCDC, then will be traveling around the country to miniTCDC.

This time, although we got the same team from "Green Packaging": Wuttinan the curator, Chatnarong & Piyapong the graphic, Purich the supporter as well as Tanakul the contractor, the process of designing and building was quite challenging.. we have learned a lot about our country & society from a rather anthropological viewpoint! Being an architect / a designer is always a great fun!

The idea began with using local natural materials as a main part of the exhibition, to emphasize also on the possibilities of the materials around us.

We made a search and found this small group of farmers in Bang Pahan, Ayuthaya, who work on weaving crafts. So we went there to see what they can do. The proudest item of them is this fan, which they can weave into patterns of alphabets. :O

Another place we went (later) and found an incredible thing is Panasnikom, Chonburi, where the have the biggest woven baskets in the world -_-"

We started with this idea to make a hexagon module which could be assembled in several forms.

But they could not make it strong. So we found some examples of what could be our next exploration -- this flat basket or กระด้ง which is very strong structurally because they rim is made out of thick bamboo. Moreover, they can make it exactly the same size because they use a plastic bucket as a mold. The other interesting piece is this small basket with hexagon pattern which we usually use it for steaming food. The combination of the two began.

This is our first trial. We actually did try several patterns, size and colors.

Also we did explored several ways to assemble these rings together in a strong and proper shapes to exhibit our cool materials. This is the final module.

The final model of 1:25 scale.

Since the module is rather complex in the geometry, we had to assemble them ourselves at all(zone)'s headquarters.

After a complex setup test at all(zone), we moved the almost completed exhibition to TCDC. The setup there took only few hours! a big step forward from our previous exhibition.

The graphic is mainly done by our graphic Chatnarong (net) he explained about the graphic of this exhibition in his blog.

There are several types of Materials from Nature in this exhibition. They are catagorized by colors.

It has been a great fun and energy-taking exhibition in trying to work with local craftsmen/farmers. We learned that in Ayuthaya where agriculture is somehow still very strong, basket woven business is not very market-oriented established. They are still doing it more like a hobby that makes money in their spare time. Standard is a very difficult concept for them. While in Chonburi where people are more commercial oriented, they can work upon a business logic better. Although the latter one does not sound so romantic, in the global competitive market, we have to go with the standard. This is perhaps the only way to value add our local natural materials into 'product'.

At the end, thanks to Materials Connexion BKK and TCDC in trying to understand our 'a bit strange approach' of working. I think we share the same goal of making OTOP products more enhancing and more standard. :)

In the postscript of the exhibition it is written:
The bamboo structure of the exhibition “Materials from Nature” was made by villagers in the district of Bang Pahan in Ayutthaya and the district of Panatnikhom in Chonburi. It demonstrates a strong dedication of TCDC and Material Connexion® Bangkok to encourage Thai people to tap into limitless potential of materials and local crafts, which are part of the rich intellectual capital of the country. ----> Yes, We share!

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