40 Venice Biennale of Architecture 2008

40 Venice Biennale of Architecture 2008

After I run a workshop at NABA, the next day we headed Venice for Venice Biennale: the 11th International Architecture Exhibition. This year the director is Aaron Betsky who gave a very interesting theme to the exhibition, “Out There: Architecture Beyond Building”. Actually the exhibition ran during Sept 14 – Nov 23, already finished last weekend.

For those who are not familiar with the Biennale, the biennale exhibition (both art and architecture) could be divided roughly into 3 parts, upon the location. The first part is called Arsenale, the old buildings of rope factory of the Italian Navy are transformed into a super long exhibition space. The second part is called Giradini, or the garden, where pavilions of different countries are located. The last section is those exhibitions and national pavilions scattering around the city. Usually it would take at least 2-3 days to complete the show. But I have never spent more than 2 days (basically 2 afternoons) browsing through it, because after some hours, I would get overdosed of either art or architecture. -_-”

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39 NABA Design Workshop: Fragile Wall

39 NABA Design Workshop: Fragile Wall

During 20-24 October, 2008 (basically last week), I was invited to run a workshop for NABA Design Program. (Actually I wrote once about NABA last year when I was invited to give a lecture there, here is the LINK). This time was the workshop week for the whole NABA Design Program from the 1st year to the 3rd year, therefore 10 workshops were run at the same time. Super chaotic, super fun. Thanks to Stefano Mirti & Rachel Ficken for making all happen.  Also thanks to my TA, Valeria Portinari, without her, my communication in Italian would not go far.

My workshop is for the first year students, 23 of them together. The title of the workshop is “Fragile Wall”. The brief is very simple: the students have to build ‘a wall’ that can define space out of A3/A4 sheets of ordinary office paper without extra structure. Basically the wall has to stand itself, with little help of glue and steple only.

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38 all(zone) in Specchio

38 all(zone) in Specchio

Last week of August, Specchio, a monthly Friday supplement on design, creativity & innovation of La Stampa – one of the most influential newspapers in Italy – was on The Newest Asian Architecture and City. Here is the cover of the magazine.

Among 16 architects from 4 cities (Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Bangkok), one page each, all(zone) is selected to be one of them.  Here is our page. Of course, we are very happy.

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37 Cyprus on PhiPhi ( an Island on an Island)

37 Cyprus on PhiPhi ( an Island on an Island)

Last July we were back again to Phi Phi Island. This time was to work on the construction site with my students. (If you want to follow our progress on the project, HERE it is.)

On the last day of the trip, the free day for all, instead of swimming in the deep blue sea on the extra white sand beach, we, architects, were working on a competition!

Well, don’t think that we are that serious or nerdy kind of people.. in fact it is rather the opposite. There was a super strong reason why we were doing this competition in such a seaside paradise of Phi Phi island. The competition is organized by Cyprus Architecture Associtation, in occassion of Cyprus’ participation to Venice Biennale of Architecture this year. (For those who are not familiar with Cyprus, it is an island in Mediteranean Sea, between Greece and Turkey –> more info HERE). A part of Cyprus’ participation to Venice Biennale of Architecture this year is this competition, asking for a architectural idea for Cyprus as a touristic island of the mediteranean under the theme “In Cyprus–relax as Architects – Reinterpret”

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36 Hong Kong: the super surface

36 Hong Kong: the super surface

Last month, I had a chance to be in Hong Kong for a few days with my family – purely fat (a lot of superb Chinese foods) & fun (a lot of shoppings), well nowhere else can offer you the two as much as Hong Kong does? :-O

Although this is not my first time in Hong Kong, I just noticed some cute aspects of the city. The cutest one to me is the all-over-cover-with-tiles surface. Starting from my first glance at a subway station here. Look at the super surface cover with red mosaic. A deep bow.

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35 allzone goes Bangkok Post

35 allzone goes Bangkok Post

The project of Baan Leam Tong International Community Resource Center at the northest tip of Phi Phi Island in the south of Thailand is just published the whole page in Bangkok Post two days ago (10 June, 2008)! It is the project that we have been working with my students in Chulalongkorn University since last year. Of course, we all are very happy!

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34 The Four Salvaged Boxes of wHY Architecture

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.

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33 Bird’s Condo (คอนโดนกนางแอ่น)

33 Bird’s Condo (คอนโดนกนางแอ่น)

Last February, because of a family matter, I had to go down south of Thailand, Nakorn Sri Thammarat where the hometown of my father is. Every year, my family goes to make a small ceremony for our grand parents at the main temple of the city – Wat Prasrirattana Mahatat. But originally my father is from a small town, 20 km.s from the city, called Pak Phanang. It used to be one of the most prosperous places in Thailand, because of rice cultivation.

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32 The Valentine’s Day @ all(zone)

32 The Valentine’s Day @ all(zone)

For the Valentine’s Season this week, we allzoners, celebrated the week of love by setting up a small installation at our storefront – next to one of the world most renown traffic jam spots of Bangkok.

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