Glong / The Art of Consumption

Since the Enlightenment, travel has been an integral part of the journey to become an architect. Simply put, if buildings don’t come to you, you have to go to them. In the summer of 2010, twenty-four students from Chulalongkorn University’s INDA program traveled to Berlin to embark on six weeks of such a conditioning. As the first time in Berlin for many of the students, the Design Build course — initiated and organized jointly with PROGRAM e.V — was both an opportunity to introduce strategies for understanding new places through architectural analysis, as well as an object lesson in design, construction, and its eventual implementation for local visitors.

The course coincided with the 6th Berlin Biennial, and as Berlin emerged in the past decade as the world’s foremost contemporary art center, the event allowed for an investigation into the notion of consumption (ie. of art) as both intellectual and aesthetic pursuit, as well as commercial activity. Students began mapping the Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood through its various habits of consumption, continuing these studies for a week in Paris, where designs were developed for an empty unit in Passage Vivienne.

For their final project, the students were asked to design, build and run a pop-up restaurant for two days. From marketing of the event, reservations, food preparation and hospitality, the students met each challenge with enthusiasm and commitment. The restaurant, Glong, was a success, receiving more than 500 guests and garnering approving reviews from journals and newspapers.

After the project ended, we produced a publication that both documents and celebrates the process and outcomes of the students.

Collaborators: Carson Chan, Will PateraINDA Students