Why Bangkok Design Week is a highlight in the global creative calendar
The cofounders of local creative agency GroundControl, Pahparn Sirima and Chrissie Lankulsen, share their standout moments
Saturday 18 February 2023 By Soho House
Ahead of Soho House Bangkok – our first outpost in Southeast Asia – opening later this month, we hosted a series of pops-up during Bangkok Design Week. This included two takeovers: one at local vinyl record shop, Entertainment Project, followed by another at gallery space ATT 19 where guests enjoyed custom design ice-cream sandwiches inspired by the new House’s colour palette.
Running from 4 to 12 February in nine districts, the art and design festival in Thailand’s capital showcases various creative ideas from experimental pieces to works with social and business impacts. With more than 500 events and exhibitions on show, there’s a lot to see. So, we asked Soho House Bangkok Founder member Pahparn Sirima and her business partner Chrissie Lankulsen who co-founded local creative agency GroundControl, to share their highlights.
What makes it stand out from other global design weeks?
‘It’s Bangkok – the city stands out for itself. The vibrancy, the heat, the variety, and so much more.’
With more than 500 events and exhibitions on offer, how do you plan your days?
‘It’s a pity we didn’t have time to visit all of the sites this year. We started off at Charoenkrung first, then made our way to Yaowarat, and finally to Phra Nakhon. We walked mostly, but when hopping between districts I’d recommend you use public transport – it’s much easier and faster than driving.’
Did you discover anything new?
‘For us, it would be all the secret locations that are hidden or used to be closed to the public, such as the Sculpture Museum and Metropolitan Waterworks Authority Maen Si.
‘We also like to discover new talents and all sorts of possibilities where design can really integrate with Bangkok – for example, the People Pavilion by Bangkok Tokyo Architecture and Duck Unit situated at Lan Khon Mueang Town Square.’
What was your standout exhibition from the week?
‘The exhibitions at Metropolitan Waterworks Authority Maen Si were great. It’s the first time this location has been opened to the public. We pass by it all the time, but never really understood the construction of the area. There are quite a few works exhibited there as well. Of course, the lighting by Fos Design Studio and DecideKit were spectacular, but you just can’t miss the photo exhibition by Foto_momo, offering an exclusive view of the water tanks. Also, the immersive experience “A Garden Too Secret” was magical – it was great to see what it would be like if we could have more greenery all around town.’
What were the music highlights?
‘The performances from Jamegolotus, The Photo Sticker Machine, Suthep Band and Tanakrit Talks Jazz were all amazing.’
Which Bangkok-based Instagram accounts should Soho House art enthusiasts follow?
‘If you are a memes fan and want to know more about what’s happening in Bangkok’s art scene (from a different viewpoint), check out @Memeseumofcontemporaryartbkk – but be warned, it’s only memes.’
What are you most excited about when Soho House opens in Bangkok?
‘We are enthusiastic about the creation of a new creative community in Thailand. In addition to having a beautiful space filled with works of art, we’re also excited about the line-up of activities happening throughout the year. It’s going to be great to meet the creative people and talented artists who will congregate at Soho House.’