20-day celebration of art and design at F3

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The unique canopy being prepared for the event. DANA LANGLOIS

The Creative Generation, in collaboration with Friends International, plans to hold exhibitions and discussions on architecture through a project called “Under the Canopy” for twenty days in December. The project aims to support the creativity of young Cambodians and give them the opportunity to study and develop skills in the fields of design and art.

Under the Canopy is an exciting new project from Creative Generation that showcases the sustainable design of young architect Nuon Songty, who under the direction of David Cole, oversaw the design and installation of a magnificent canopy in the courtyard of F3 (Friends Futures Factory) in Phnom Penh.

According to a press release, the event will open on December 10 with a group discussion on “Small Ideas: Big Impacts”. Under the Canopy will include a series of programmes, including a workshop on First Recycled Seed Paper and talks with architect Songty, and will run until December 30.

“Songty was asked to design the canopy using sustainable and natural materials. To fulfill this requirement, Songty was inspired by Cambodia’s rich and ancient basketry. He chose the humble bamboo chicken coop and will put together almost 500 baskets to form a new and contemporary shape,” it said.

Dana Langlois, co-founder and director of the Creative Generation, told The Post on November 20 that Under the Canopy is part of the project’s goal of supporting young Cambodian creatives and providing them with opportunities to learn and develop their skills in design and art.

She said that the exhibition was produced in partnership with Friends-International and their community space F3 to highlight the attractive architectural work of a young Cambodian.

“The canopy will be displayed from December 2022 until Khmer New Year 2023. When it is disassembled all usable baskets will be donated to farming communities through the Friends-International program. The canopy will provide a temporary space in the courtyard inviting the public to enjoy events and community gatherings under its dappled shade and innovative design,” she said.

Dana said the First Recycled Seed Paper workshop is open for school groups, families and people of all ages to learn how to take used paper and turn it into seed paper that can be planted to grow flowers, fruits and vegetables.

“The panel discussion on Small Ideas: Big Impacts will feature experts in various fields who will offer ideas that can help us build a more sustainable future. The event also features green markets and other community events,” she said.

Songty began his career in architecture as a college intern at COLE, where he later worked as a junior architect. He was involved in schematic and conceptual designs of projects such as resorts, office spaces and especially urban planning.

After that experience, Songty obtained his Bachelors of Architectural Design and Urbanism from the Norton University. He has a strong interest in architecture that pays attention to the environment, culture and local community.

He is particularly interested in minimal linear design that uses its form to celebrate place as well as successfully blend into its surrounding context.

Dana said the project was introduced by David Cole, director of Cole and Partners design firm and founder of the built environment non-profit Building Trust.

“In both roles David runs a multi-disciplinary team of designers, thinkers, makers and creators in delivering designs that are both unique and aim to have wide reaching social and environmental benefits. Working on projects internationally David first came to Cambodia to deliver flood resistant housing in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to communities affected by severe flooding in 2013,” she added.

Creative Generation is a platform to launch Cambodia’s new artistic talents by celebrating, mentoring and inspiring young creatives to cultivate a strong artistic vision and professional skills. Friends-International is a leading social enterprise saving lives and building futures of the most marginalised children and youth, their families and their communities in South East Asia and across the world.