boonserm premthada receives THE DESIGN AWARD for its social impact at the DAAily bar


Boonserm Premthada, who directs Bangkok Project Studioreceives the golden statue of the Madonnina of Milan THE DESIGN AWARD 2021|22 in the “Social Impact” category. conservative designboom the city’s annual awards program since 2017, and this year, at our DAAily Bar during Milan Design Week 2022THE DESIGN PRIZE has announced the famous Thai architect as one of its recipients.

Boonserm Premthada opens the discussion with a thoughtful presentation, guiding us through the making of the studio’s recent works. During the ceremony, designboom, in collaboration with Annibale D’Elia of the Municipality of Milan, Director of Urban Economy, Fashion and Design, awarded Premthada THE DESIGN AWARD, applauding his dedication to the empowerment of the local community. As part of his practice, the architect involves unqualified locals, who turn into knowledgeable craftsmen and participate vigorously in his projects.

Throughout her talk, Premthada highlighted her creative process: “My architecture fulfills three functions: it preserves culture, revives the forest and builds a self-sustaining community.” He also spoke of a future that does not just focus on humanity, but where human beings coexist harmoniously with nature and animals, fostering respect and humility. At the end of the presentation, he underlined his motto, “Local is future”, closing his story with the hope of giving new perspectives and know-how that will inspire people around the world.

Artisans Ayutthaya: the women’s restaurant

image courtesy Boonserm Premthada

architecture x elephants by Boonserm Premthada

In his practice, THE DESIGN PRIZE 2022 social impact winner is known for prioritizing the use of low-cost, durable materials and low-tech construction methods. Through his projects, the public is invited to review the roles between the human and the environment, the natural and the artificial, to achieve a balanced way of life based on complementarity and conformity.

His studio has done a number of projects in his home country, including ‘Elephant Museum’, a complex of clay brick buildings that hopes to educate visitors about the close bond the animal has with the people of northeast Thailand. “Humans live under the same roof as elephants who are considered children rather than pets,” said the architect. “This legacy of tradition, culture and wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation in a rural village that has the highest number of domesticated elephants in Thailand.”

“Elephant Theater” is another project that proves how animal waste can be recycled into building materials, maximizing the benefits of the natural resource and revealing new potential in the field of architecture and art. For this project, the design team created the prototype bricks in partnership with “Mahouts”, elephant trainers or guardians and local workers. By following the proper procedure, handcrafted elephant dung bricks are ready to contribute to the world of architecture. At the end of their lifespan, they naturally decompose in the soil.

boonserm premthada receives THE DESIGN AWARD for its social impact
when architecture meets the emancipation of women

image courtesy Boonserm Premthada

Boonserm Premthada’s interest in supporting local communities is also evident in its community-focused work ‘Artisans Ayutthaya: the woman’s restaurant’. The structure took shape in a village outside the ancient city of Ayutthaya, where most residents are single or widowed women between the ages of 55 and 94. Their daily business is to prepare food to sell in an attempt to finance the repair of a nearby temple. . To complete this restaurant, the architect used forgotten and reused materials. This restaurant promotes sustainable architecture, community values ​​and local traditions. This is proof of the women’s determination to preserve Ayutthaya’s cuisine and crafts.

boonserm premthada receives THE DESIGN AWARD for its social impact
example of industrial craftsmanship where glass block construction is done without mortar

image courtesy Boonserm Premthada

Abdul J. Gaspar