Bangkok – When it comes to materials, younger practices don’t have the advantage of more established studios with centralized offices, which have spent decades assembling samples for their libraries. And that’s assuming these fledgling firms even have a home base. Although architects and engineers within the construction industry have been late adopters of the gig economy, the assumption is that freelancing will eventually take hold in the design scene, too. For example, Ramzi Jreidini – the CEO of Handiss, a freelancing platform for the architecture and engineering industry – predicts that the gig economy will open up ‘new talent pools and international workforces into construction for the first time . . . serving an industry that desperately needs new workers on the ground’.
Since freelancers often operate from co-working spaces, it was only time before a supplier in the design-project chain would see a gap in the market in need of filling. Boonthavorn, one of the best-known building-material retailers in Thailand, has created a material library-cum-co-working space in Bangkok to ‘assist young designers who cannot access material libraries in an office’.