DEmark to present lessons for a post-pandemic future at Milan Design Week 2022
The Slow Hands Design Exhibition from Thailand returns to Milan to present this year’s winners with an opportunity to show how their perspectives have been transformed by the pandemic.
The DEmark Awards is back, and this year Thailand’s most prestigious awards program is celebrating the work of designers whose work reflects a post-pandemic world.
Since 2008, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce of Thailand give out the Design Excellence Award (DEmark) as an acknowledgement and recognition of outstanding products by Thai designers across the country.
It recognises individuals across seven categories:
Gifts, decorative and household items
Industrial and craft based furniture
- Creative and Innovative Fashion
Apparel, jewelry and textiles
- Industrial Products
Home appliances, equipment and facilities for offices etc.
- Packaging Design
- Graphic Design
Font design, graphic on surfaces, digital media and Identity Design, illustration, character design, digital art
- Interior Design
Hotels, restaurants, cafes, retail shops, and co-working spaces
as an acknowledgement of the outstanding achievements of Thai designers and manufacturers.
Seeking to increase the presence of Thailand’s creative products in the international market, the Design Excellence Award not only grants recognition but also gives winners the DEmark logo for outstanding design which encourages product development and innovation amongst Thai entrepreneurs, supporting the creation of a better quality of life for both domestic and international consumers.
In 2021, the list of DEmark winners included furniture, fashion, decorative objects, product design and innovative ideas for interiors, which can all be viewed here.
Click here to see the list of Design Excellence Award winners 2021.
A major component includes the Slow Hand Design Exhibition at the prestigious Superstudio space during Milan Design Week, which acts as an international showcase of recipients of the award.
The exhibition made its first debut in 2012 and returns this year with a diverse collection of optimistic projects that promote sustainable textiles, eco-mobility and green manufacturing techniques.
Titled Uncertainty=Certainty, the exhibition is a response to the outbreak scenarios that caused intermittent lockdowns since the coronavirus pandemic’s onset in 2019.
The impact the last few years has had on public behaviours and the designer’s response to those changes are two major themes within the show.
Once again, the exhibition has been curated by a Bangkok-based interior designer and longtime collaborator of the awards program, Eggarat Wongcharit, with the exhibition design by Dots Design Studio.
Every year, he aims to develop themes according to trends in global consumption that are currently influencing the manufacturing and design process of Thailand’s export products.
In particular, the awards program and the Slow Hands Exhibition work together to highlight Thailand’s forward-thinking approach when it comes to waste materials.
As part of the exhibition, Thai lifestyle brand Qualy will present a sustainable game in the style of Jenga.
It follows the same idea of players taking turns to remove one block at a time from a tower constructed of 57 blocks, except each block in this case has been made using old fishing nets.
Meanwhile, local textile studios such as Thai Num Choke are showcasing the latest in natural yarns and sustainable textiles.
Its yarns are made from natural fibres extracted from the leaves of pineapples, which it has blended with industrial and other natural fibres.
The resulting textiles are suitable for making bags, clothes, and home textiles.
Another example includes The Yarn Story, a young and emerging studio based in Bangkok who has implemented sustainable textiles within large-scale, decorative wall art characterised by bright and beautiful colours.
This year, DITP has chosen 45 products to showcase a “new normal” in Thailand’s manufacturing capabilities, including a personal hygiene concept featuring balls of charcoal balls that work to neutralise odours, to a range of decorative tableware made using rice husks and coconut fibres.
The aim is to promote the region’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model, an initiative conforming with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to achieve a sustainable future.
The new model, which builds on Thailand’s access to an abundance of natural and renewable resources, is also intended to align with the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), the country’s development approach which favours the “natural principle” wherein companies employ natural resources readily available in each locality.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as DesignWanted takes a closer look at some of the projects going on display during Milan Design Week including exclusive interviews with some of Thailand’s best designers.
The exhibition will take place at MY OWN GALLERY Superstudio Più, Via Tortona 27, Milan.
It is open from 6 – 12 June 2022.
It is organised by the Office of Innovation and Value Creation and Thai Trade Center Milan, Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government.