First presented at the TCDC in Bangkok in 2010, Thai Materials tells the story of contemporary Thai design as a driver of economic growth in Thailand through a look at some of the most intriguing Thai materials inducted into Material ConneXion's global library in recent years.
The exhibition's debut in the United States was made possible with support from the Thai-US Creative Partnership, an organization that promotes the exchange of cultural, business and educational resources between Thailand and the United States.
"With its abundance of natural resources, rich heritage of craft and thriving design community, Thailand offers a fertile environment for the development of new materials," said Apisit Laistrooglai, Managing Director of the TCDC. "The creative possibilities emerging from this country are really exciting˜whether they're traditional materials with novel uses or the latest technological advancements."
The Thai people have a long history of utilizing and adapting indigenous materials to give physical expression to creative ideas. Wood, plant fibers, marine organisms and minerals have been used for generations to create exotic and exquisite handicrafts that are a hallmark of Thai culture.
Over the past several years, the Thai government has focused on expanding and strengthening this practice through its design-driven program for economic revitalization. This nation-wide initiative has centered on transforming the country into a creative economy in which knowledge, skills, local traditions and technology are used to develop cultural assets into new products and services.
Organizations such as the TCDC and Material ConneXion Bangkok are playing a pivotal role in this endeavor by helping to make design and manufacturing stronger.