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Spring 2023 HKU Public Lecture Series: 'Non-Human Centered Architecture' by Boonserm Premthada

Speaker: Boonserm Premthada, founder of Bangkok Project Studio
Lecture Title:  Non-Human Centered Architecture
Date: 22 March, 2023 (Wednesday) 
Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm
Venue: KB419, Knowles Building 
Contact Person: Ms. JoJo Chan  (3917 8992/ )

Lecture abstract:  

Moving away from the traditional architectural solar system that continues to place human beings as the sun at the centre of design, Boonserm Premthada and his practice Bangkok Project Studio lean into Thai cultural practices where elephants live alongside humans. In his own words, his work aims to "amplify humanity by showing empathy for the elephants". This sensitivity shines through in all his projects, for which he credits 50% of his design as being left to nature, allowing unexpected moments of interaction between humans and animals; these works invite their visitors to slow down and connect with nature.


Boonserm Premthada, architect and artist, his recent projects by Bangkok Project Studio include the Elephant Theater Pavilion in Île-de-France Biennale of Architecture and Landscape 2022 Versailles, France; an installation composed of elephant dung bricks designed as part of the 254th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2022); Artisans Ayutthaya: The Woman Restaurant in Ban Run, Thailand (2021); and the Elephant Study Center in Surin Province, Thailand (2015-2020). His pavilion, comprising a house for humans and a house for elephants, represented Thailand at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Recent accolades include the Royal Academy Dorfman Award (2019), Best Sanctuary: Wallpaper* Design Awards (2021), and the golden Madonnina statue of Milan’s THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021|22 in the category ‘Social Impact.’

Premthada’s work has won many international awards, including the ar+d Award for Emerging Architecture in 2011. He has also been shortlisted for the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture 2013, the Grand Prize International Brick Architecture 2014, Overall Winner The Plan Awards 2017, Acknowledgement Prize, Regional LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 Asia Pacific, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2018. and the Royal Academy Dorfman Awards 2019.

He has lectured and exhibited at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine (Paris), the Venice Biennale 2018 (Hong Kong), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), University of Tokyo, University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, The Bartlett School of Architecture – UCL and several other international universities. He is currently teaching a graduate-level design studio at the Columbia GSAPP and the University of Hong Kong.

No pre-registration is required. An attendance record sheet will be provided at the venue for members to submit their name and HKIA member no. to the organizer.