Furniture, Interiors, Exhibition Design & Curatorship

Slow Hand Design : Thai-a-spice
Support by: Thailand Institute of Design and Innovation Promotion, Department of International Trade Promotion of the Royal Thai Government, Thai Trade Center, Milan and Design and Object Association 
Exhibition curator: Eggarat  Wongcharit

The rich and spicy taste of Thai food has always been reputed among restaurateurs and food lovers around the globe. Whether it is a mouthwatering Tom Yam Koong soup or the rich tamarind taste of Pad Thai noodles, the variety of Thai noodles, the variety of Thai food are well-liked by foreign travelers who have visited Thailand. 
At present, Thai food is gaining popularity and has become quite common in many big cities. But to consider the success Thai food, it is important to overview the whole food process right from the beginning as the wisdom also lies in the cooking utensils that invented the food creation and the serving utilities that complete the essence of Thai food as well. 
The showcase of “Thai-a-spice” exhibition intends to reflect the idea of utensils and objects designed and manufactured to facilitate Thai food cooking and serving rituals of the 4 regions in Thailand. The content focuses on how contemporary Thai design cooking objects have nurtured Thai cooking on a global scope. At the same time, traditional cooking utensils are displayed together to reflect how the vernacular wisdoms are developed to meet with practicality. 
Eggarat  Wongcharit 

Understanding South East Asian and Thai culture 
Dating back in time where no land or countries were established as in present time, Thailand was considered only one part of South East Asian civilization. The cultural development within the region of South East Asia stemmed from one another. Through the years of wars, migration, settlement and trade, the cultures of all civilizations are blended in many aspects. Similar cultures in terms of manners, courtesy, hospitality and mentality has been crossed and certain things are further developed in its own character until it became more expressive and created a strong identity that belonged to each one region. All in all, the two original influences that created the transformation of cultural movements in South East Asia were India and China. Through beliefs, religions, migration and trade, the overlapped cultural context has created a certain expression and identity that belonged each one’s region. 
Prosperous land of fertility 
The descriptive expression “In water, there is fish; In the field, there is rice” engraved on King Ram Khamheang’s stone inscription (ca. 1237/1247-1298) is one of the typical expressions that reflected fertility in Thailand since the period of Sukhothai dynasty’s first establishment. The expression became a Thai proverb used among Thais to reflect the wellness of living in Thailand ever since. To date, Thailand still retains its reputation for exporting food products. The market segmentation of food exportation still occupies the main global market channel when comparing to other trade partners. 

Eclectically Thai  
No one denies the fact that Thai food is now very popular. It is rich in taste and people from around the globe love it. Thai food menus are served in fine restaurants and hotels. Many spices are used in Thai food cooking to harmonize the taste of various food ingredients while conducting fragrances as smell, texture and all counted as part of the ritual eating. A person who understands the idea of how the combinations of ingredients are infused with spices, will also understand the multi-cultural exposure and the lifestyle of people in Thailand. 
To appreciate the taste of Thai food, one must understand the foundation of Thai food cooking concept and that is to bridge the taste and texture of different ingredients with mixed herbs and spices. No matter what may influences Thai food cooking either Indian curry or Chinese Chop Suey, both can blend in so well over hot steamed Jasmine rice when the two tastes were adapted via Thai cooking recipe. Such topped-up methodology is what always ordinarily is reflected in arts, architecture and design from past to present. 

The way we eat and design that serves 
Thai food is becoming compatible with France, Italian, Chinese and Japanese foods although, the products that serves Thai cooking and eating functions are rare to find in the market. During the past year of being an original equipment manufacturing base of production, the brand names of Thai food cooking utensils are anonymous. 
However, the gradual development of modern lifestyle in Thailand at present has shifted and evolved Thai consumers’ need up to a level of international standard. There are many local household product manufacturers who have exported their own designed products to fine chain restaurant and hotels Food serving and eatery product designed by local Thai designers are exported to many countries and served both for domestic use and in fine restaurants. 
Nowadays, design that collaborates modern lifestyles becomes quite important in people’s living routine. The exhibition “Thai-a-spice” attempts to portray the context of living by using cultures in the 4 different regions of Thailand to motivate creativity in Thai food cooking, eating and serving. The dining scenarios of tableware design and other collaborative design objects will also reflect the potential of how Thai hospitality industry that collaborates with good design can better serve world class hotels and restaurants with its own benefits of hospitality and service mind culture.