Designed for Art4D’s Minimart’09 at Architect Expo at Chalenger hall, Bangkok, “No red No Yellow” is a functional bottle openner. It is around 10cm by 6 cm and made of 6mm. thick laser cut metal in the shape of geo-political “Thailand.” There are 4 provinces that you can use to open the bottle caps, precisely Taak, Nongkaai, Ubonratchathani and Phuket. (No hidden meaning why we choose those 4 to function)
In one of the most messy social conflict in Thailand’s history, we think, as a designer, that our designed product can become the protesting tool. What can we designer do, but design? So the beer bottle openner is the protest to the protesters of all kinds out there that what they have been doing for the last 2 years is against our right to live in freedom.
It is our tradition to reveal the process and different reasons why we choose to do this. In this case, it’s very personal; dated back in 2005 while we doing Cheeze Studio, a photography studio in downtown Bangkok, we design a perforated steel railing using the similar pattern. The main intention was actually to question the identity of the 2D symbol in Thailand.
Taking the Union Jack as an example, I think it has different identity in the pass than what it does today. Thai people seem to think about such symbol differently (in a more sacred way) You can argue that the East and the West are living by such different backgrounds. From our fundamental education, we were taught to be proud of the shape of our country as the profile looks like a golden axe which used to be a bit bigger here and there back a hundred years ago. A lot of the people percieve “nation” as something can’t be smaller than this shape. We ,as Thai people, have to do whatever we can to maintain such a shape. Thus on another level , the geometry represent the ideology of the nation which can not be touched.
It is a challenge and fun for us to relate the design with our society’s taboo in which I think people are more and more open about it. This should be the roll of architects or designers we believe.
The small detail of our project was to question that kind of thinking. We call the pattern “LAAY THAI” (translated; Thai pattern).