Building Community through Contemporary Architecture and Design

Speaker: Savinee Buranasilapin (Architect/Co-Founder, thingsmatter) & Sarah Sze-Wa Mui (Architect/Designer Director, One Bite Design Studio)
Moderator: Mary Kay Judy (ACC 2005, Architectural Conservator/Cultural Heritage Consultant)
Release Date: March 17, 2022

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Savinee Buranasilapin

Savinee Buranasilapin (ACC 2017) studied architecture at the University of Wisconsin (1996, Alpha Rho Chi) and at Princeton University (2001), and is a co-founder of the Bangkok-based design studio thingsmatter. The practice is committed to architecture as both a critical discipline and a fine art, as an instrument for cultural enlightenment rather than narrow economic gain. 

The studio’s early work in Bangkok includes a series of temporary interventions in commercial spaces which criticized the consumer culture that hosted them, while celebrating the opportunity for communication to a diverse audience, and the material extravagance that only shopping malls can realistically provide. Recent work extends the working methods, tactility, and human scale of thingsmatter’s event architecture to more conventional building programs, including private residences that offer public statements on the nature of the contemporary city.

Together with her partner, Tom Dannecker, she has worked with numerous academic institutions. In Bangkok, they have taught, lectured, and conducted workshops at Chulalongkorn, Kasetsart, Rangsit, Silpakorn, and Bangkok Universities.  They’ve also lectured about their work abroad, including at the graduate architecture programs of Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, and the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum in Brisbane, Australia. 

Savinee Buranasilapin received an ACC Fellowship in 2017 to explore land art in the American West and New York to enhance her architectural studio practice in Thailand.    


Sarah Sze-Wa Mui

Sarah Sze-Wa Mui (ACC 2016) is a catalytic architect. As the co-founder & Design Director of One Bite Design Studio, she brings collaborative creations that are grounded in human-design thinking to connect people to the space in their community and strengthen the social fabric. She focuses on public space, social design and cross-disciplinary creative strategy.

Leading the first B Corp in Hong Kong from the architectural industry, she and her team at onebite bridge the commercial & public sector with community through their creative ideas. From the Kai Yip Play Space in Kowloon Bay to the latest intergenerational play space in Tuen Mun Siu Hei Couty, onebite has been leading in innovative public space design in the city. Recently, onebite opened the first women-priority sportsground at Ming Tak Estate in Tseung Kwan O. On the other hand, during the COVID, the team has rolled out two initiatives with community groups to provide good food with dignity, serving over 2000 meals, and to produce eco-mask holders, selling over 5000 pieces. 

Sarah Sze-Wa Mui received an ACC Fellowship in 2016 to research design in the United States.



Mary Kay Judy

Mary Kay Judy (ACC 2002, 2005) is an award-winning architectural conservator and cultural heritage consultant. As Principal of Mary Kay Judy - Architectural & Cultural Heritage Conservation, she has served as conservation consultant on National Historic Landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She has lectured internationally on her practice's case studies, the politics of preservation and the contributions of contemporary artists on emerging preservation narratives. Her writing on these subjects has appeared in a variety of publications including the National Trust Preservation Forum Journal and the Journal of Architectural Conservation.  Mary Kay Judy has an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a B.A. in Architectural History from the University of Cincinnati.  

Mary Kay Judy received ACC Fellowships in 2002 and 2005 to lead conservation seminars in Indian architecture schools focusing on the documentation of the Islamic heritage of the Awadh, the urban aftermath of the First War of Independence in 1857 and the evolution of the vernacular Modern Movement post-Independence.