Bangkok aspires to be design capital of Asia

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The Independent Online

In its quest to earn renown as an Asian design hub, the Thai Lifestyle Product Federation and the Department of Export Promotion has created various synergies with Asian nations (ASEAN countries plus China, India, Japan, Korea) to make Bangkok a mecca for cutting-edge products in both design and quality.

For the past 15 years, Bangkok has hosted Southeast Asia's largest gift and houseware biannual tradeshow Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG+BIH).

The next edition of BIG+BIH takes place October 19-24 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) with a focus on the "Soul and Style of the Orient."

This event will showcase over 600 member companies and designers (1600+booths) representing one of seven Thai lifestyle associations including Gifts Premiums & Decorative, Toy Industry, Housewares Trade, Northern Handicrafts, Stationeries and Office Supplies, Design & Objects, and Home Decorative Design Association and Exporters Association (NOHMEX).

For the design portion of the show, the exhibitors are selected by the Thai Design & Objects Association and must meet the strict criteria of innovative design, quality and adhere to international safety and green standards.

The Thai designers have also been recognized with the Japanese honor of the "Design Excellent Award" (DEmark) or the "Good Design Award" (G-mark) in August.

To encourage innovation, career designers are also invited to take part in workshops hosted by the Thai Lifestyle Product Federation and led by European, Japanese and American designers.

Supat Sriwannavit, the president of the Thai Lifestyle Product Federation told Relaxnews on October 11 that "what sets BIG+BIH apart from similar shows in China and Hong Kong is the products are not mass-produced."

There is great attention to detail, buyers can "customize purchases and select smaller quantities."

Think a smaller, Asian version of Paris's Masion+Objet that attracts 3,000 buyers from around the world with those from America, Europe and Japan selecting the most new products.

In the past many products have ended up on the shelves of Target and Macy stores, according to Sarnit Karunyavanji, the business development director of BITEC.

The last two days of the show are open to the public for free and over 100,000 participants are expected during the entire event.

For more information on BIG+BIH, go to: