Chiang Mai’s Hottest Innovative Designs

 |  January 30, 2012

Are you Lanna-ed out? Had your fill of teak kalare, painted brollies, tuk tuk
t-shirts and chopstick sets? There is only so much of the old culture we can adopt, adapt, nab and sell, right? What do we have to offer NOW and in the future? Well, under the auspices of the Chiang Mai Creative City initiative, Chiang Mai’s first Innovative Design Awards (IDA 2012) is opening up to the public to ask YOU to vote on some of the city and the province’s most exciting and innovative designs. The Innovative Design Awards (IDA) exists to recognise, celebrate and promote good, innovative, and creative designs, highlight uncovered and emerging talent, as well as show Chiang Mai to the outside world in a new and exciting light.

A panel of judges – designers, exporters, business owners, academics, architects, members of the media and representatives from design and crafts organisations – have spent the past three months scouring the city and nominating hundreds of designs that will be cut down to a shortlist for the public vote, which will be loosely based on the following categories: public spaces, furniture and decorative items, fashion and accessories, handicrafts, printed media, new media, architecture and interior design, packaging and product design.

The Innovative Design Awards is non-profit and runs on a voluntary basis and designers who are selected for the award will receive recognition and Chiang Mai Creative City’s commitment to support their development.

The public will also be able to cast their votes online by mid-February 2012 by visiting with the final results to be announced in late March 2012.

As media partner to this wonderful award, Citylife has therefore brought to you a teaser of just some of the nominations being considered for the award. What do you think? Have your say by joining us in giving recognition to some very deserving designers.

Hohh – Alien Stool

Hohh is an eco friendly brand that specialises in recycling metal to create functional art pieces. Hohh isn’t your usual furniture brand, their products are unique in their structure and materials. The Hohh ‘Alien Stool’ is quirky, cool and versatile in its unconventional shape. It can be used as a stool, plant stand, side table, and corner table or even as a piece of art. The design of this piece was inspired by the shape, texture and dimensions of scrap iron. Chaiwat Pipopronchai designed the alien stool as the first of a set of pieces for the ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme. Among other pieces in the collection are the Dok Jok console, and the Stick Stool. The Hohh products range from clean, modern designs to nature inspired pieces. Ninety percent of the material used in Hohh products is production waste and scrap metal. This saves costs and also allows the company to recycle and provide customers with eco-friendly pieces of furniture.

Hohh Display Corner in Nice Piece Showroom
297/1 Mahidol Rd., T. Padad
053 904 211

Cuisine de Garden – Snail Prawn

Cuisine de Garden is a recently opened restaurant in Chiang Mai that serves nature inspired food. Their approach to food is led by the belief that meals should be creative and entertaining as well as delicious. One of their most interesting products is their Snail Prawn, a prawn cocktail with honey-mustard sauce. Made with fresh prawn nestled in snail shells, this dish is unique in its colour combination and its artistic presentation. This dish is part of Cuisine de Garden’s appetiser menu, ‘Amusement in de Garden’. Chef Joseph Lee began his career as a furniture designer and has only recently devoted himself to cooking. His Asian fusion dishes are designed for more than their taste. True to Lee’s furniture making background, they are delightful edible constructions. Even the dinnerware is unique, instead of plates the food is placed on stone slabs that beautifully offset the cuisine. Try the ‘Snail Prawn’ and a host of other innovative dishes at Cuisine de Garden.

Cuisine de Garden
99 Moo 11, Nonkway Rd.
A. Hang Dong, Chiang Mai
081 774 1479

MBA Lighting and Accessories – Star Bowl

MBA Lighting and Accessories is a home decorations manufacturer that designs fresh, unusual, nature-inspired pieces. The brand espouses natural living and is committed to using recycled wood as a means of preserving earth’s resources. The inspiration for their products comes from the shape and the character of a particular piece of wood, from the simplicity of a curve to the unique qualities of a knot. Their Star Bowl is a spectacular chandelier adorned with wooden discs, each disc revealing the texture of the Euca wood. This modern lighting fixture retains an organic quality that grounds its sleek, modern sensibility. The wood elements will add warmth to any living area. The Star Bowl chandelier is available in two sizes. MBA Lighting and Accessories is keen on to developing new, interesting products and sends its designers to Europe and the USA for inspiration. All products remain linked to Thai culture, however, and are handmade by local craftsmen.

MBA Export Product Co., Ltd.
(Chiang Mai Office and Factory)
129/1 Moo 11, T. Baanwaen A. Hang Dong
053 336546, 086 9109009

Panyaden School

Designed in early 2010, the designers of Panyaden School believe that there is more to life than working in order to consume. Panyaden School is built from sustainable materials-earth, stone, bamboo-which have been chosen for their ready availability in the local area and the low carbon footprint created using them. The design was influenced by nature, Buddhist principles and ‘common sense’, with a goal to educate children to be mindful, to take care of themselves and others; to have a connection to nature and to not only be unafraid of the elements, but intrigued and inspired by them. Contradicting typical designs by using natural materials, the building is constructed using modern architecture, with clean surfaces, a free-flowing organic form, and light, bright areas. Shelves, doors and windows are made of recycled local hardwood. Glass bottles and washing machine windows help bring natural light into the classrooms. Rooms have been designed to stay cool, only rooms with computers in are air-conditioned as the school aims to use a minimum amount of electricity.

Panyaden School
218 Moo 2, T. Namprae, A. Hang Dong
053 426 618, 080 078 5115

Digitalzoo- @Bangkok

Digitalzoo is a multimedia design agency that specialises in web development and design. Their work ranges from branding, for large corporations such as Corona Beer as well as small-scale personal projects, to website design and layout. One of Digitalzoo’s most recent and remarkable projects has been the development of a new and fully customisable website template system that uses the latest design and coding techniques. This content management system is highly functional and easy to use. It allows any user, no matter how computer-savvy they are, to customise a website with just a few clicks. This template system was inspired by the need and demand for cutting edge websites with a user-friendly and up to date backend system. This new template system is part of a design for one of Digitalzoo’s current customers, @Bangkok, a restaurant based in Sydney, Australia. Per the customer’s request, Digitalzoo created a sleek, full screen, modern website that showcases the @Bangkok brand and restaurant. The website is polished and features beautiful images of the restaurant as well as an elegant layout and sidebar.

No.14, Soi 17 Nimmanhemin Road,