Design Ain't Rocket Science is a cross-cultural project using art, design & science as tools to explore rich Thai heritage of Boon Bangfai (Rocket Festival). The month long project will be taking place from the middle of May until middle of June 2017, during which period European and Thai designers, engineers and craftsmen will be working on a rocket, planned to be launched at Roi Et province, Thailand.

The project will shine light on a cultural phenomena, bringing the 3,000 years old traditions into contemporary settings. In doing so the project bridges between citizens of various backgrounds and creates a context for better understanding of our common beliefs and expectations about human foundations.

A project by Lucas Muñoz, Nanu Youttananukorn, Sami Sabik, Tauras Stalnionis. Technical consultant: dr. Marek Otevrel. Film by Gabriele Mariotti.

More information coming soon.


The Design - Exotic Rocketry

One major factor that plays key role in the Boon Bangfai that has captured the people's imagination is the fact that the rockets are homemade. Built with materials like bamboo, PVC pipes and a personal recipe of gunpowder, it is a testament of rural resourcefulness.

As a respectful outsider artists will attempt to relive the same spirit. The concept design and knowledge maybe from another world, but the materials and aesthetic will carry very much the characteristics of the local spirit.

The Engine - Rice as fuel

If we were to ask what is Bun Bang Fai all about one can say quite accurately that it is about rice, and the hope for the fruitful and abundant harvest. Rice as food is a constant staple but other byproduct of rice is alcohol.

A rocket engine that is fueled by rice alcohol would be the first of its kind specific to this ceremony. Taking the concept of rice full circle and also touching upon rice alcohol as an always present summoner of festivities, creativity and also dreams.


The Story - 21st century folklore

The original story may have been told for thousands of years, needless to say that a lot has changed since. The plot doesn't need to be rewritten, but its charm could be adapted in minor details for the contemporary audience: running in parallel to the original story the new details will include modern technologies and people of different race still asking the god for the rain.

A film directed by Gabriele Mariotti.