Jenchieh Hung & Kulthida Songkittipakdee
HAS Design and Research
Some 12 years ago, Jenchieh Hung and Kulthida Songkittipakdee had the opportunity to study outside their country. Hung was awarded a scholarship to Prague, Czech Republic and afterwards worked with Kengo Kuma, while Songkittipakde was selected as the first Asian architect, among a thousand global applicants, to be awarded a scholarship by the Renzo Piano Foundation to work at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in Paris, France.
It was after this that Hung and Songkittipakde began to realise a way of shaping architecture in their country and discovered that “Architecture is all about roots”. Now the pair research the local context in Bangkok, Thailand through HAS Design and Research and deeply explore Asia’s architectural language through a “design and research” parallel approach. This approach emphasises the analogy between nature and man-made nature, looking for another kind of new natural architecture in order to improve society and their region.
In every project, the duo record all stages of process, documenting and analysing the design approach that reflects their society. Currently they are launching their new book called “THE improvised” Phetkasem Artist Studio. Each architect is also a visiting professor and design critic at Tongji University, China, and Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
The work of the practice stands out in terms of synthesis of form, pattern, material, and technology into singular, irreducible constructions. The studio creates new stereotypes of each building type, such as the Museum of Modern Aluminum (MoMA), a museum that exhibits itself on the building façade, the Phetkasem Artist Studio: the remodelling of typical housing to be the working and living place for this century and Intangible Sound, a manifesto and an experiment that changes the short-term life cycle of installations.
The design outcome of every project has become a new way of seeing architecture, together with a way of using architectural elements that has integrated man-made nature from the pair’s research into the city. This design method provides another way of thinking about Asian architecture, pushing the boundaries of the future.
Photography: Headshot by iameverything; MoMA by W Workspace; Intangible Sound by Yu Bai; The Glade Bookstore by Yu Bai.