top of page

Sum Rap Thai

In FUTURE CRAFT Japan+Thailand, the 11th annual Pacific Rim collaboration between ArtCenter College of Design in California and Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, students and faculty from both schools collaborate to envision new opportunities for design to create social impact with artisans in Northern Thailand, in partnership with the Lanna Culture & Crafts Association and the Thai Ministry of Industry.




Sponsored by Lana Craft & Culture Association.

Fall 2017

TAMA Art University Tokyo, Japan

LCCA Chiang Mai, Thailand

Design Matters

Material Innovation

Japanese Paper Making

Block Printing & Embossing


Water Hyacinth

Material Innovation Treeless Paper Alternative

Compostable paper ware made from pollutant plants. Using the power of design to bring more economic value to the Bo Sang Paper making Village.

International Collaboration

We embarked on a two week research trip in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we collaborated with 10 craft villages. Trip was funded by LCCA and documented by the Thai Government.


Using design to bridge communities.

Thai, Japanese and American students worked together to research and understand the needs of the thai artisans.

Research Notebook

Observational, market, experiment research documentation.

Key Insights

Thai artisans have a connection to nature.

Thai people give back to natures cycle and use nature in their crafts. Not only do they source local materials, but they also give back by composting and making sure to breed and sustain the plants in their environment.


Packaging for togo food is very wasteful in Thailand.

Thailand is known for its street food which is absolutely delicious but it is all wrapped in environmentally hazardous containers made from styrofoam and plastic. I saw this as an opportunity to create food packaging from local readily available materials.


Water Hyacinth is a pollutant plant.

The plant pollutes the waterways in Thailand by growing in thick mats across the top of the water. It lowers the oxygen levels of the water causing species to die and makes it impossible for people to travel across the water. The only way the villagers can dispose of the weed is by burning it, but that creates giant clouds of smog throughout the countryside that in return sends people to the hospital. Water hyacinth is essentially a free material that can be used by the locals to make things with.


Utilizing the pollutant plant.

We innovated a new material by using its fibers with traditional Japanese paper making techniques taught to us by two master paper makers in Japan.

Material Innovation

Through varying the different ratios of fibers and processing time, we were able to make the paper water resistant without the need for a plastic coating.

Material driven design

We ideated on the possible products a waterproof paper could benefit. We found that we would make the most impact byproducing paper plates that could be flat packaged and folded at their final destination before use.