Bangkok is emerging as a vibrant creative hub in Asia. What insiders have known for a long time, is now being shared with the public. The new Thailand Cultural Design Center (TCDC) was inaugurated just a few months ago and is located in the old post office on Charoen Krung Road. It was the first paved road in Bangkok, heavily inhabited by foreigners. The road and neighborhood sparked innovation and developments throughout the city and created a colossal shift from transport on waterways to road transportation.The TCDC creative space for Thai and international designers includes a museum, exhibition hall, meeting rooms, coffee shop, and a fabulous library with books and another with materials – yes, materials! – it is amazing! Just so much fun…but we get diverted.It also is the home of the dependence of the famed FabCafe.FabCafe Bangkok is the 5th worldwide. It is the place where curious designers, students and a few of our associates flocked on Saturday 5 August. In collaboration with FabCafe, we held the first hackathon to explore new and exciting product ideas in relation to senses, water and the bathroom.Together with co-founder Kalaya Kovidvisith and her team, we developed a design competition for young local designers between the ages of 18 and 30 to rethink the bathroom experience integrating Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality, new technologies and techniques e.g. 3D printing, 3D scanning.Hackathons and make-a-thons are a growing trend for co-creative innovations using open hardware. The FabCafe offers creative talents from design and technology fields a place and platform to realize their ideas.In a day-long creative process, the participants and teams created new, sensory and sensual add-ons and product ideas for the bathroom and the living space. The exercise was to expand on the imagination of the bathroom fixtures’ use. The many project ideas were funneled down to ten ideas that were further developed in teams and at the end of the day five were selected for the final round.Peter Oesch, our director of global Marketing Communications K&B, Worapong Manupipatpong and Ada Chirakranont from Atelier 2+ and Jett Pisate Virangkabutra, G-lab director and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand, gave inspiring presentations to warm up the participants’ imagination. Throughout the day three mentors Peter, Worapong and Ada supported the teams and gave valuable input and guidance.The final five ideas will be further developed and produced by FabLab. The three mentors continue to support the teams during the month of August until the teams will present their final projects to a select group of international architects and designers at the first Kohler Design Escape in Bangkok.At this mesmerizing event, top designers and architects from Asia Pacific and the Middle East will select the best project and winner.
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