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Nov 14. 2012
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The Bangkok Design Festival is full of ideas |for better urban living

Huge balloons made of recycled plastic, cardboard boxes transformed into a playground, flower pots made of old tyres and an abandoned warehouse that’s now an art space are among the highlights of the Sixth Bangkok Design Festival, which opened yesterday.

Held in several venues, the month-long festival is hosted by Art 4d magazine and aims to turn waste into functional material.

Believe it or not, Bangkokians use more than 600,000 plastic bags a day – usually for no more than 20 minutes – before they’re discarded. The bags take 15 to 1,000 years to naturally decompose. In the meantime we spend Bt650 million a year “managing” the plastic trash.

Spain’s Basurama architect group suggests building structures with the bags, and demonstrates how with “Plasticbang!kok”, a huge installation in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

Recycled plastic is also used in “The Rice Field” by Thai designer Singh Intrachooto and SCG Chemicals. The installation includes a “Life Shield” shelter for disaster victims.

Thai designer Anon Pairot and his volunteers are refurbishing sidewalks, making parking spaces for bicycles, painting garbage bins and decorating bus stations in the “Better Citizen” project. They’ve installed hidden cameras to observe users’ reactions, and the footage will be uploaded to YouTube and Facebook.

The Association of Siamese Architects and Taiwanese artists have commandeered construction sites in Siam Square, Samyan and Thonglor for a community project called “Blending of Art”.

There’s also the Creative Move Bangkok Bicycle Campaign which has joined with graphic-design ThaiGa to ask “Why Ride?” Their posters are displayed at Siam Discovery and dozens of bike shops.


- “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” screens at 7pm on November 28 with director Alison Klayman on hand to discuss the subject.

- Get tickets by calling Art4d at (02) 260 2606-8, Zerobooks at (080) 817 6050 or the Happening Shop at BACC, (02) 214 3040.

- For more details, check out www.BangkokDesignFestival.com.

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