Writer : Editor Team
Translator : Suchanart Jarupaiboon
Aterlier2+, a new design studio born out of the ideas of a designer couple, Worapong Manupipatpong and Ada Jiragran, is fast becoming one of the top studios in Thailand. Its expertise lies in the incorporation of handicrafts into architectural structures and furniture items. Their works stem from the way of thinking characterized by openness, compromise, and cooperation, as indicated in the “2+” part of the studio’s name.
“2+ means we’re always ready to collaborate with anyone – it doesn’t matter who they are, a designer, a creative director, or an artisan.” That is how Worapong and Ada define the kind of work their studio does.
At the same time, 2+ also means working across disciplines: art, design, craft, and space. This is why each of their works is fascinating, charming, and contemporary. Whether architectural design, interior design, art compositions, furniture items, or home accessories, the style of Atelier 2+ that says “enjoy thinking” and “enjoy doing” stands out.
Their idea of creating a work of art is similar to creating space or new experience in various forms, giving users more freedom to choose how they want to handle that space. For example, when designing a piece of furniture, sometimes what is achieved cannot be clearly or rigidly defined as a chair, a table, or an anything. What they do is take down the walls categorizing design works, blurring the lines between them, and inviting users to reinterpret what they see, which in turn introduces freshness and difference for viewers and users. This is exactly what happened when Ada took part in the Good to Walk exhibition hosted by Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC). Her work was a collaboration with designers from five other fields, presenting new experiences of walking in exhibitions in BACC. Craftwork and jute ropes were used to create space and new “walking” experiences, the results of which were unusual and absolutely fabulous. Visitors to the exhibition were sure convinced what a good walk it was.
The studio’s outstanding furniture designs are mostly collaborations with other designers – Thai and foreign – resulting in furniture pieces inspired by creative local craftsmanship. These include chairs and shelves partly made of ceramic, cabinets with handles designed as heads of various animals, and other household items that feature woven rattan, reinventing the image of craftwork and creating new “values.” In a way, their works bridge the gap between craftwork and the industrial sector, maintaining the traditional patterns with an added contemporary and modern touch, so that they respond to the needs of a wider audience.
In the 2018 Architect Expo, Atelier 2+ was selected to set up a pavilion in Mor Baan zone, where visitors could seek advice on building design and construction. The requirement was “wood.” Although appearing simple, the pavilion was no ordinary design. They had to combine the use of “wood” with the concept of “community,” focusing interest on ignored or undervalued woodwork which often is the backbone of architectural design but hardly ever the main thing. Their pavilion was praised as “ordinary yet extraordinary.” We can safely say the studio’s past works all have an interesting character, and that they are creative makers that can always create freshness and continue to amaze us.