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AR_EA Los Angeles: wHY

‘We work in a universal world where a tiny yet profound idea or action could trigger global impact’

Who are you?
Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of wHY.

Where are you based?
LA, and occasionally New York, with studios in LA, New York and Louisville.

Where do you come from?
Bangkok.

Why did you become an architect?
Because I love life and food; architecture glues all together, it is the medium that holds things: art, memories or lives. It connects or disconnects society, by becoming an architect I could find a unique way to be involved and give back.

What kind of work do you do?
Work that has social and cultural relevance. Recently we worked on an exhibition at LACMA, and in 2016, the Speed Art Museum re-opens. We are also working on a major park in Chicago, with Yoko Ono, a student centre for a California art school and two houses in Thailand.

What is it like being an architect where you are?
Open, crazy and political at times. I hardly identify my practice with a fixed place, but a larger sense of connected people and cultures.

What is the context (social, political, architectural) in which you are working?
We work in a universal world where a tiny yet profound idea or action could trigger global impact. So the context I work in is tiny yet limitless. Tiny, so you can focus on the clearest messages through design; limitless as the power of tiny only ignites on communicating without borders.

Pomona

Pomona College Studio Art Hall

What project are you most proud of and why?
Our studio and its people.

What is unique about your work?
wHY is an ecology of workshops focusing on ideas, buildings, grounds, objects.

What is your favourite building material or technique?
Light, perhaps with a touch of concrete.

How do you get ideas?
Conversation, reading and arguing well.

What are your favourite design tools?
Dialogue, good conversation and argument with interesting people.

What would be your ideal project?
Any that would inspire people to love and live, deeply.

Where do you hope to go from here?
This is a good and fun trajectory - just keep going!

What do you want to be remembered for?
For surviving this deep questionnaire with dignity, and living life to the full.

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