By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
Riding high on the success of its inaugural edition which drew more than 400,000 visitors, both local and international, Bangkok Design Week returns to Charoen Krung Road on January 26 for its 2019 showcase.
“It’s one of the biggest design events in Thailand and indeed in Southeast Asia and this year will feature works and ideas from more than 1,000 designers,” Pichit Virankabutra, acting managing director of the Creative Economy Agency (CEA), told the recent press conference at the Thailand Creative & Design Centre.
The Holy Rosary Church is an ancient Roman Catholic church in Samphanthawong District.
“It will encourage everyone to find inspiration and unleash their creativity.”
CEA is collaborating with the public and private sectors in holding this second creative and design festival on the concept “Fusing Forward”. The aim is to reflect the Thai capital’s potential as the hub for creators and entrepreneurs who are able to combine ingredients from various bodies, both local and international, from the old generation to the new generation, to create artworks and commercial products while also improving the quality of life.
The festival, which will run until February 3, features such highlights as a large factory-style pavilion made of used plastics, installation artworks from more than 1,000 artists and a market offering products as well as food and beverages.
The large recycled plastic pavilion by PTT Global Chemical will simulate the recycling process and present content and experiences related to ecofriendly plastic management by designing products, manufacturing processes and using plastic to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic.
Knotthing Studio is showcasing its products at this second creative and design festival.
“Bangkok Design Week is an important outlet to encourage ideas about what can be done with recycled plastic waste. In addition to our beautiful recycled plastic pavilion, visitors will learn about the waste separation process,” says Warawan Tippawanich, senior vice president of corporate affairs and corporate secretary of PTT Global Chemical, which manufactures petrochemicals and plastic pellets.
“First of all, plastic is not the villain and we don’t produce bad things but necessities used in daily life. Plastic is useful. We would like people to use it and to reuse it.”
Plastic has received a lot of bad press in recent months with Thailand named the world’s sixth biggest contributor of ocean waste and China the largest. Little wonder then that every country is paying attention to reducing, reusing and recycling plastic. In addition to the pavilion, PTTGC has transformed used plastic bottles into recycled textile fibre, which is then transformed into fabric to produce t-shirts and even backpacks as part of its “Upcycling Plastic Waste” project.
Fashion brand Inthai can be found at the Creative Market.
“We have collaborated with the Ecoalf Foundation from Spain, a fashion brand that uses the highest quality fabrics made from recycled waste found in oceans and rivers to create a new generation of sustainable products, as well as with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. We started raising awareness on how to recycle plastic waste and put it back into use. In the beginning, we went to Koh Samui and collected more than 10 tonnes of used plastic bottles and plastic bags, which were used to produce T-shirts and polo shirts. The production process was a little more difficult than for clothes in general. We looked for a factory and garment maker to work with us. We then stamped a statement of how many plastic bottles were used and where they were collected on the sleeve of the T-shirt.
“The first batch of 3,000 recycled T-shirts sold out within one day. It isn’t about making profit but about raising awareness. One T-shirt is upcycled from 14 used plastic bottles from Rayong. The product varies depending on how many plastic bottles are used and mixed with cotton or polyester. We don’t mind what the product is, but we would like people to wear or use it to send a good message towards others,” states Warawan.
Bangkok Design Week 2019 will be held in Bang Rak District, which has been dubbed a creative district and covers the Central Post Building and Charoen Krung Road. It will be loosely divided into five main activities. “Showcase & Exhibition” will feature more than 500 prototypes and products reflecting the potential of designers and creative businesses in Bangkok and other cities around the world. “Talk & Workshop” will be organised to enhance knowledge and inspiration and provide updates on the latest trends from Thai and international creative minds. “Creative District” will serve as a prototype for creative area development leading to practical use. “Event & Programme” will support creative practitioners in demonstrating their potential in various ways such as through music performances, film screenings, artistic performances, as well as an open house, while “Creative Market” will offer new and veteran entrepreneurs a space to build business opportunities, networks, and market channels.
A bag by Chansuda
“Bang Rak is a creative district linked to the economy. It’s centred on Charoen Krung Road, the first road to be built in Thailand, and encourages commercial prosperity and international business as well as diplomatic prosperity. Many tourists come to Charoen Krung Road to experience the culture and architecture,” says Phakaporn Sanguansak, the District’s director.
“Today, Charoen Krung Road is a very popular spot for local and international tourists. It is home to several cultural spots such as the Bangkok Folk Museum, Haroon Mosque and Wat Muang Khae. The area that lines the Chao Phraya River is expected to become more popular and livelier because of the opening of new shopping mall, Iconsiam, itself inspired by cultural values and beliefs tied to the Chao Phraya River.
“We have joined with the Silom community and Thailand Creative & Design Centre in building cultural tourism on this road that runs from Samphanthawong District to Pom Prap Sattru Phai District and which is home to traditional Thai houses built during the reign of King Rama V. We are trying to develop our identity and make it appear more interesting.”
“This year, the festival’s street furniture such as benches and the leisure pavilion will be left in place after the nine days of this event so they can be used by both the residents and those who come to visit. We are confident that this event will help reinforce the economy of the communities,” says Sombat Kanoktipwan, director of Samphanthawong District.
A date with design
- Bangkok Design Week 2019 takes place at the Grand Postal Building and other areas along Charoen Krung Road from January 26 to February 3.
- For more information, call the Thailand Creative & Design Centre at (02) 105 7441 or visit www.BangkokDesignWeek.com and Facebook.com/BangkokDesignWeek.