If you enjoyed our last story about the KETO unveiling and the blunders of the nights mishaps, this story will delve into a part briefly mentioned previously through a tale with far more depth and intrigue than scribbled down in the last chapter. 

This story is about the unique perspective and approach by an individual who prefers to remain in the shadows, who consistently hits a home run with every project and opportunity that is presented to him, delivering substance beyond imagination.

With decades in the advertising industry as a creative director and studio owner, he’s developed a unique approach in formulating concepts of integrated culture.  Using his time-proven talent for conjuring up novel ideas that bridges the gap of the “in-between” dilemmas of real world problems.

Welcome to FV..

His latest concept FV (Fruits and Vegetables, in case you hadn’t figured it out yet), highlights the true underlying purpose to redress the displaced perceptions people have with their relationship with food. Presented through a mischievously playful and minimal architectural masterpiece of a space, located in the heart of the hippest location in Bangkok’s Yaowarat District.

(China Town)

The idea was to use his many expertise in branding, architecture, and lighting to create ground zero that would act as a catalyst for changing his neighbours outlook.  To start to remedy the waste problems as a result of generations of mass and systematic conditioning that has paved and poured the concrete way of our modern city and life.

The modern systems and practices that had been introduced in the first place to better the well-being of mankind; instead have created a warp in our timeline that has indeed temporarily solved many problems. 

However, as it snowballs alongside the growth of the population, the excessiveness of those solutions keeps expanding and reaches the point where it is simply no longer sustainable. Moreover, is on it’s way to becoming obsolete, but what can we do? 

The majority of us are already used to these “modern ways of life” and partially oblivious to what’s really happening…

Starting from the grass-roots (in this local community), he wanted to tackle the idea of what modern convenience means, how it has shaped our daily lives and as a bi-product our negligence to the destruction it has actually caused for the environment and our severance to spirituality itself. 

As a Thai Native, seeing how things used to be to what they are now, he decided to focus on the simplicity that Thailand offers unconditionally.

Being situated awfully close to the equator, the rich and fertile lands and the farmers producing its crop as tradition has it, is central to the FV approach and ethos identified by family and community.

Opening up what essentially is a traditional tea house found in the local communities in the not-so-distant past, the similarities in the concept ends there.  

The mix of what was the original materials and scuffed finishes of this 100 year old Chinese shop-house, to what has been premeditatively zapped in; is an approach and contrast that inspires and drives us to live and design by and a great means to make some noise for some positive change in our ever displaced community and world.

As you enter this repurposed shop house nestled amongst third and fourth generation spice traders, you immediately notice the fade of the period correct painted floors, which proudly grounds a traditional north eastern wood house in “salak” style (nail-less, joint-worked).  A building within a building, a male and a female living together, protecting and providing for each other the basic needs of life. 

The marriage is unique and the parents of these Half Caste off-springs, littered throughout the spaces enhance the mystery that makes you grasp the enormity of the concept and the realisation that there’s something truly unique going on here, both architecturally and symbolically.

This brings us back to the concept of changing people’s perceptions and the idea of the “UNWANTED” things in this life. 

“UNWANTED” a little side story:  The carpenter who built the Thai North Eastern house came from a lineage of house builders, passing down knowledge by mouth on the “how to”.  Sadly the lineage of traditional house builders abruptly ends with this last remaining craftsman, just because too few are interested in pursuing the craft the way it use to be done and partially because the last house owner’s descendants would much rather forget this type of living and move into the city to live in a concrete condominium and work an office job.  To modernize one self and adhere to a certain prefabricated and preordained lifestyle that is constantly being supplied consciously and subconsciously by the vast amount of information in which the internet has in a way “enlightened” us to progress and live the “modern way”.

Who’s to blame?  Certainly not those who strive for better living conditions but definitely those who introduced the idea that this type of lifestyle isn’t actual nor relevant anymore. 

We believe more than ever in the Half Caste approach as well as in the FV institution that this sort of lifestyle relic and near past should be honed in and emphasised or at the very least be preserved and injected back into the rigid world of capitalism. As the constant over borrowing from mother nature such as the eroded beaches continually and surely keep receding as its sand is brought to the city and mixed with concrete to keep growing and growing.  

This endeavour reflects and preserves Thai culture as much as possible and we find at FV, emphasised examples of food, art, architecture, furniture, tools and tableware from Thailand and that’s the idea of the “UNWANTED”.

A pantheon of discovery or rather re-discovery as it highlights forgotten things, but also creates novelty based on hand-me-down knowledge and culture.

The furniture decorated in the space is a contrasting mix of MCM jewels and scrap wood salvaged from the rotting pieces of the house which has been nonchalantly hammered together to make for seats, tables and stools.  Rounding out the table to divert from a style that is “full on”, blog worthy or like Kirk Lazarus would say “never go full retard!”. A story for another day..

Reflecting and tricking the eye to see exactly what he wants you to see, cleverly having cladded mirrors on the lower grounds of the building and then covering the entire ceiling with a chromed out sky. 

A black infinity steel staircase (that reminds us of the symmetrical perfection of an obelisk erected by an extinct Silurian-style civilization, standing tall and glistening in the moonlight amongst the next version of ourselves, dancing, worshipping and learning to harness fire for the first time, again).

It leads from the ground floor up to the ceiling where an invisible and experimental air-conditioning unit keeps the scene breezy and cool but never cold, like a long awaited winter spent camping in the lush and mountainous regions of northern Thailand. 

The shop lighting features is so subtle that you wouldn’t even notice it unless someone physically pointed it out for you. 

He reminds us to always trust our eyes, “it’s the best camera lens they will ever make”.  He’s made a career by thoroughly understanding earth’s natural light and the specific requirement that dictate the perfect mood.  

The lighting mimics a specific and premeditated natural time of the day to elegantly light up his collection of contemporary and classical art works by the world’s best.  

Deliberately and mischievously pranking your senses to tingle whilst ensuring you will look your best if someone snaps a picture of you.  Questioning your insanity to what time it really is when you’ve been there all day and surely dusk must be arriving soon.  

It almost feels like you are caught in a simulation that’s been programmed with the laws of another planet that’s similar to ours but distinctly different enough for you to sip your seasonal fruit juice and enjoy the experimental sounds coming out from a speaker made from concrete and accept this to be your reality now.

As you transcend up to the second floor of the inner house this concept continues.  You notice that the internal walls are braided with a blackened bamboo (a method and technique that is dying along with the last artisan who fashioned this example) with hidden LEDs shining through the voids in the imperfections of the weave, replicating the natural shine of a sunny day as the artificial rays glistens inwards and softly lights up the room like a blanket of stars in the vast nothingness and everything of space it self.

In this controlled environment that you find yourself in, you don’t exactly realize that this place is essentially a Fruits and Vegetables joint, but are kindly reminded by the vibrant colours of the freshly pressed and mixed juices, grounding you to the simpler and slower things in life. 

The FV products and produce is an homage to tradition and the complexity in the traditional recipes found in the Royal Palaces in Thailand. The produce itself like many of the unwanted things is neatly paired in this gallery-esque, cultural institution that is supposed to symbolically and literally bring us back to nature.

As O puts it,

“Modern convenience does not allow us to appreciate fruit ripened on the tree, it separates us from the land itself.  The blemished is too often discarded in favour of controlled perfection. FV seeks to redress this balance by including naturally tasting produce that enhances the quality of their products.  Taste is about more than sugar or salt, taste is a complex arrangement understood perfectly by nature itself.”

Such a radical and progressive approach to try to make something good in a world filled with so many misunderstandings.  The time is now to collectively play our parts to not only prioritise modern convenience but to try to fix the problems that played a crucial part in getting us this far today.

By fastening something beautiful and aesthetically sound and presenting an avant-garde idea through a different chain of thought, the power and attention granted will elevate us, the plastic generation and take modern convenience to something that goes beyond our collective self. 

We hope that this article inspires you to live simply and reconnect to mother nature as she had intended. Abundant in her glory, it’s up to us as consumers to tether the severed connection and make use of her resources in a way that propels us forward as the big family that we are. 

Oh and if you haven’t checked out FV, enjoy discovering it, it’s on Thanon Song Wat, two doors down from a spice shop with an Evil Dragon Mascaron-style face marked above piles and piles of dry blood red chillies!

Happy hunting!