生花席谈 | Inspired Talk
本期 hhlloo/景观邦 专题子分类 生花席谈 板块有幸邀请来自泰国 Shma景观事务所 联合创始人/设计总监 Prapan Napawongdee、Yossapon Boonsom、Namchai Saensupha，近期Shma迎来了16周年庆，作为景观自媒体以及相识已久的老朋友，景观邦创始合伙人邓妃才与Shma三位创始合伙人展开了一场别开生面的访谈。在这次访谈中，Shma三位创始人分享了公司的成长历程和创立契机、独特的工作环境和核心价值观、以及他们为创造美好地球付出的一系列实践故事。
Shma是一家拥有多学科团队、以研究为基础的景观设计公司，包括Shma、Shma Soen、Shma Lab和Shma Media 四大板块。在过去的16年里，Shma已经超越了仅作为一家景观设计公司的使命，一直致力于建立可持续发展事业，优先从全球视角出发，着重考虑三大原则：城市、环境和人，坚信好的设计是共建世界可持续未来的起点。
△Shma 四大板块：Shma、Shma Soen、Shma Lab、Shma Media
In what circumstances did your three co-found Shma?
The right circumstances. I think we start our career during the time of economic crisis. So, all three of us really start practicing professionally, I can say it in Singapore.So, after a couple of years, you seven?5 years and half/seven/four and half in Singapore and we missed home, and we want to come back.And we think that Thailand and also Bangkok like really in like badly needed landscape architects to do the right job so we started at Shma at that time.I think we want to bring some refreshing idea, and bring the experience that we have, and contribute back to Thailand, but not only Thailand, but I think it’s time that we would like to use our experienceand use it for the whole world, that's how we gonna make the use of it to make the world better and the earth better.I think why three of us is because we think that it’s better than one erson(exactly!).I think maybe because we thinkthe same way (absolutely), so we want to share the good time and the bad time together, and build the company together.We complement together,And we will always have someone watching our backs.It is good to have three of us, without one of us, it won’t happen.
△Shma三位创始人：Namchai Saensupha、Prapan Napawongdee、Yossapon Boonsom
The garden-style office environment of Shma is quite special. Do you think your working environment has any inspiration on the design process?
So when we started the Shma and looking for the place for our office, we know from the start that we don’t want to be in the office buildings, but we try to find a place where is like a home that has garden itself.So luckily, we have found this place, which it was just a house before, then we just converted it into an office place, And we retained a lot of garden spaces, and also improve the garden around the house as well.The garden that you see behind me, actually, it was a swimming pool before.But we think that we didn’t need to use a swimming pool , so we turn it to be a garden to try out many plants that we want to use in our projects as well.And it become a nice variety of plants, and provide a place for our people to come out to enjoy the lunch and enjoy chit-chatting with each other.I think, in a way, working environment is not only focus on your work exclusively ,but actually the activities in between are very important.And those are times that people can discuss and then perhaps some new ideas could happen from there.So, I think our garden is very special for us.
△Shma办公场地花园前貌的泳池，Swimming pool in front of the garden of Shma office
△Shma将泳池改为植物种植实验的花园，Shma turned the pool into a garden for experimental plant growing
Can you tell us about the Shma team and their expertise?
I think it comes back to our goal, to create the better Earth through the landscape design.So, our goal is to create a sustainable landscape design.So that means we have to have a lot of expertise in order to realize them.I think the expertise start from the process in thinking. How we gonna use the design thinking, the way we can brainstorm and come out with a refreshing idea.Not only among ourselves, but also sometime we workshop with our client, with the stakeholder in order to getting the very unique idea.Secondly, we also look into how we gonna turn those ideas into reality through the design of the landscape architecture,working closely, actively with the client and all stakeholders. And also works with horticulturist team, not only to design the planting, but also design the habitant or some kind of ecology for the place.And we need to also understand not only the planting, we also need to understand the people. How we gonna understand people’s behavior? We have the participatory design team in order to analysis and talking to people, finding the idea from the people to make the design even richer or sensitive to the people.And then comes to the retaliation of the construction part, I think this is very important. Because once you have the good vision, you have the good idea, you have to implement it well,so, we have the construction management team to make sure that the drawings are well documented with the very accurate program.And then looking at the site, working with the contractor to make sure that the details are well constructed.And then after the site is completed, we also have a team to monitoring it, to make sure and analysis whether what would be the feedback after it completed. To make sure that we can collect the data, and improve our work later, in next project we will make it even better.And lastly, I think it’s also important we gonna communicate all the work that we have done, all the knowledge that we found. Not only keep it as comments to ourselves, and also sharing to the society.Because I think to have a sustainable landscape design, or sustainable earth, everyone needs to be aware and aware of the landscape design can be the tool to create a better society.I think this is all the ecosystem that we try to create fromthinking/retaliation/communicate/sharing and also about the knowledge. we also have a team to find in depth, and make sure that all of these can be the powerful tools to intertwine and change the world to fundamentals.
△项目施工环节配合跟进，Follow up with the project construction link
△项目调研和沟通，Project research and communication
What kind of landscape Shma prefer? And what kind of landscape experience Shma want to bring to Thailand?
The back bone of Shma landscape would be sustainability.Indeed, because we are dealing with living things: first is human, and then trees, and ecology which involves other species, including microorganism in the soil.So, how to combine all these things, and make it livable in a long-term?And at the same time, it serves the purpose of users.So meaning that, even though the background is sustainability, but the appearance of the final product of landscape it can be something very unique, sometimes it is fun, sometime is functional, sometime is very refreshing and memorable.To answer the second part of the first question, the land and the open spaces are the most precious things, and there are fewer and fewer possibilities that we can add the landscape into our environment.So our landscapes that we want to bring to Thailand, is the landscape that is multifunctional and multipurpose, one area that serves many purposes, not only sole purposes.For example, giving this private landscape, we try to make the private landscape can be enjoyed, can be shared to public as well.For example, the space in front of the commercial areas (and) office buildings, that have no fences, and some part of it can be accessed and used by public in some certain times. Or even the landscape that can produce foods and provide the habitats for other species, and small animals, not just for beauty, not just for decorations, not just for the marketing purposes,but the landscape itself, as I said, that is more and more valuable and scarce,So we are trying our best to achieve most out of that limited resources that we are provided.
△空间的多样性 | Shma作品：FYI Center & Modena
What do you think the impact of landscape on the environment and the urban city?
Recently, Shma has been doing quite a lot of public projects in Bangkok and other cities around the regions.We always keep mind that the lack of open public spaces in the dense urban areas, so all the design, we have this in mind, and we know that sharing of the urban open spaces is important.And smaller and smaller parts, when combine, we can create a much better environment and make a bigger impact into the surrounding and the quality of life in the urban.
△通过连接城市公共空间创造城市美好生活环境，Create a better living environment by connecting urban public Spaces
So, I think all the projects we are doing, we try to make it more open and accessible by public.Even though some of the projects are not possible to access by physics, you cannot really go in there, but at least, we can share through visual, though openness.People maybe can look through the fence and into the good landscape in private areas.So the perception of urban green spaces is obvious, is more to combine and make the better and bigger impacts in overall.So the perception of urban green spaces is obvious, is more to combine and make the better and bigger impacts in overall.
△Shma城市绿网空间理念，Shma urban green network space concept
So with this, the detail we are putting inside the landscape that combines the much diversity of species.We are thinking about the plants, give chances, giving flowers, and have the fruits and nectar for other small species, like birds and insects.You know, they can come and utilize, or even live in the landscape newly designed.So that the environment in the urban areas can be more of rich and more friendly .So that the new landscape projects that we are doing in the urban contexts, not only increase the green areas and openness by sharing to physical, visual, or mental , but it also increases habitats for other species in the ecology as well.
△空间的多样性 | Shma作品：One City Centre
Thailand is a country with multiple river systems. Could you share Shma’s experience in water management?
So, actually, most of Thailand, the middle part of Thailand, is actually, the Chao Phraya floodplain , which is the main river system, starts from the northern part of Thailand, coming down to the middle part of Thailand, and then goes out to the ocean.So in the old days, our ancestors already known how we do the settlements that go with the flow of waters.We(ancestors) tried to avoid the places that would have impacts of water rises from the rivers, our settlement is not kind of the fixed system but is something that can be adaptable to those when the waters try to come down to the sea.So, I think, nowadays, when we develop into the urbanization and countries, we are kind of lacking the ideas of how to deal with the water.So I think, being a landscape architect, it is very important that we can propose our ideas of how to deal with, how to design the lands that is appropriate for this water condition that we have.So we have done a project in the outer side of Bangkok called Jin Wellbeing County.From the start, we design a masterplan of it that based on green and blue infrastructure concepts.So we start to lay out the pattern of the water that essentially becomes the main core of the design.So we have the main little quiz that go cross the project, and use that as the water mitigation places.
△基于绿地和水系基础概念分析 | Shma作品：Jin Wellbeing
So in this project, we don’t have the concretes drain at all, but actually we use the natural drain as the main way to deal with the water.We can avoid the flooding, at the same time, we can use the access water that come to be part of the water that helps to watering the plants, maintaining our green to be sustainable in the long future as well.And it also becomes nice landscape features for people to enjoy as well.so the green become one of the nice landscape features for the project as well.It is a place where the forest can grow easily without much maintenance.And this is a place where people can come to enjoy where the water flows, where the fish can enjoy, where the animal life can enjoy as well.We think that by integrating the water into the design, its impacts not just human, but is actually impact for the greater nature as well.
△将水融入设计 | Shma作品：Jin Wellbeing
Shma's design concept is well acheived in oversea country as well. what kind of efforts did you do to achieve this?
So actually, my first job in landscape architecture is in Singapore.So when I worked there, I gained a lot of experiences not only in Singapore but also international projects as well.Because in Singapore, they service kind of the worldwide projects.So when came out (and) we come back to Bangkok and opened Shma by ourself, we think we wanted to extend our service to the international standard as well.So, I think to do the international projects, the important thing for landscape architects is to really know and understand the actual condition of each country and each specific place that we are dealing with.So we start to do lots of research about the site location that we are dealing with, and of course the type of project that requires site analysis as well.For example, the project in Singapore, it is called Mapletree Business City.In this project, there are not much spaces left for the landscape, but actually, they have a lot of spaces on top of the car park podium.So we proposed our client that we wanted to turn the entire roof of podium into green landscape, with the forest concept.The site is actually adjacent to one of the most important natural reserves in Singapore.So we thought that by introducing the forest concept, we can connect the ecological value from the forest into our site.So, in Singapore, they are quite advanced in a way that they do green roof design.So it opens up our opportunity to do with activities with this concept.So we deal with soil depth to ensure that all the trees and plants on this podium can be survived and also can grow as close as possible into the way they grow on the ground.We have done this project for almost 8 years already. We have gone back and see that the trees directly grow to a very big size comparing to when they grow on the ground.So we are very happy to see this result.
△Shma作品：Mapletree Business City II
The other example is our project in India, it is located in Pune, it’s around 3 hour’s drive from Mumbai city.And the location that we work with exactly in a hilly environment, and it has quite unique, kind of seasons.In the dry season, there is no rain at all, everything on the mountain becomes yellow, but in the monsoon season, the green start to come back, because there is a lot of rains that comes in the monsoon season.So with this contrast in the seasonal conditions, we wanted to create the landscape that reflects this contrast.So what we proposed is the landscape that provide space to store the rainwater underneath the ground, so that we can keep the moisture on the ground during the monsoon season,But when the dry season comes, these water that connected on the ground level will help nurturing all the tree surrounding this area.So this becomes our main idea to deal with this space, and this help a lot with the developers doesn’t have to deal with a lot of maintenance on the plantings.when we understand the nature of the places , we can use that as our advantages, and use that to help to maintain our greenery in a long run.
△Shma作品：Lupin Research Park
Shma is also getting much attention in public space design. What do you think of the huge renewal issues cities facing now? How does Shma guide and leverage the role of the public and the community in the landscape design process?
I think now people are more living in the urban environment like Bangkok and I believe so in other cities.And one of the problems of people living in the city environment is we are lacking of green spaces and public spaces.It is normal that the way we develop the city the more city grow the public spaces and green spaces are getting smaller and get demolished in the urban environment.I think it becomes our role as a landscape architects, how to be able to find and create a better city by creating more public spaces and green spaces for the public.I think this is one of the Shma’s interest and our role to contribute to the city scale by creating a better process.I think create a good public space is not all about designing with a beautiful form, but it’s about understanding the people, the behavior of the people, understanding the nature that surrounding that area.So one of our expertise and our knowledges that we have it’s about participate in design, finding the stakeholders, getting them together, and come out with ideas, a very unique idea in order to make sure that the space we create together becomes a long-lasting thing that people belongs to the space, and love to use it, and want to be there. It becomes the place not just a space.We have been working through this revitalizing the abandon area in the city to become the public space in varies scales from small scale in the community, the spaces underneath the express way, the big parks and small parks, or the place along railway.There are so many possibilities that we think we can create a better city. The more we work on that, the more we realize that, it’s good to.... it requires a platform or someone who become the mediator to collect all the resources and pull the resources together.So the past three years, we also funded WePark as a platform, not only to ask as designer, but also ask as a mediator to invite the stakeholders in the city in order to find the abandon area that left in the cities and bring the resources that everybody have.Some might have the money the budget, some might have the knowledges, some might have the opinions. And put them together and slowly we can change the grey city to become green city by turning those abandon land that has some much potential to become green infrastructure.
△Shma 致力于将城市中各种尺度的荒废的空间改造成不同规模的公共空间，Shma is committed to transforming the abandoned Spaces of various scales in the city into public Spaces of different scales
So, we have been working on these as a platform for the past three years. And now this platform is becoming aware and grown, and recognize by the local government and the private sector.So, we also would like to extend this platform to other cities, and exchange these with other expertise and cities to find a way that this knowledge can be useful, to turn other grey city to a green city as well.So, this is what SHMA try to contribute to the urban environment through design but not only through physical design, but to create the inclusive process and also become the platform that can create collaboration to create a better city.Through this platform, at the beginning there is one abandon area right next to the Chao Phraya River which is the main river in Bangkok. And then it used to be a garbage dump site, nobody uses it, and then we found that together with the local government, and then we slowly turn it into the community park by the help of community and private sector, and all the partners.so now this park has become like a node for the community, and also become a green space for the community for the kid, and became like a urban farm.So this can be one of the examples, that this area has potential, and has so much thing to be done.We are also working in many areas in the city. Some of the area can be found at street canal some is next to the express way. So we slowly fix the city to be more livable. And I believe through this platform, through the Shma work we slowly be able to turn the city to found it better.
△Shma 将位于湄南河畔的一个垃圾场改造成一个受人欢迎的社区公园，Shma transformed a garbage dump on the banks of the Chao Phraya River into a popular community park
The situation in China is that if you want to reactivate some spaces, you need to get permission from the government or the community. So how do you this issue in Thailand?
I think we need to go through the government authority as well, the permission and all the regulations. I think the important strategy it’s about working with stakeholder\working with government, because it’s part of government’s goal, and it’s a part of the mission to create a better city, a greener city.So, I think the government also looking at us as a profession who can help them to realize their goals.I think it also makes our mission as a company, to create a better city, to make it realizable, make it possible. Because when we work with the government, we can use theirs resource, ask them for help, and probably we can suggest them to change the policy to make these kind of corporation getting more supportive.So, I think the key idea is about working together with the government, with the private sector, with all the stakeholders. So this is what we try to do.
△Shma 与政府及相关利益关联者合作，以获得更多的支持，Shma works with the government and relevant stakeholders to gain more support
On the 16th anniversary, do you have any story to share?
Very fast, 16 years past already.I think it started from a 5 persons company at my house actually, at second floor of my house. And then we found this place, and startto grow a bit to be I think 10 persons, right? And then twenty, forty.Before we realized it, it’s 80 people now.We never imaged that it can grow such this big.I think maybe we open shma at right time as well, where the market of the landscape is like growing in Thailand,residential Market was booming at that time.So, at first, we didn’t intend to have so much even what we thought about around 40 maximums, but becauseof the market that was demanding so we can expand our size.at thebeginning we try to introduce new ideas, try to become very proactive in working with clients and with architects and consultants,I think it is full of energy and a passion to contribute something to the market to the client.something different for the market as well.I still remember the first day and the first job that we tried to very eagerness to propose something, we keep that energy.And we are still happy and having fun doing it at the moment.Just to be clear, it never gets earlier,it's not easier, but we just like I think we still keep more or less the same energy like when we started.I think the more we grow, the challenge keep (getting) bigger. Because the size of the project, the complexity,of course, you try to keep the same spirit and energy in tackle those complexity with niceenergy with positivity and we come up with some very interesting solutions.I think it’ssomething that we really want our people to reflect that as well. Those are the energies everything, the Shma energy is that if people who's been in touch with Shma will know what kind of energy we talk about.
△Shma 16周年团队合影，Shma 16th anniversary team photo
And the complexity that you talk about I think it's involved theboundaries, our boundary is expanding.at the Earlytimes the only like focusing on the designing and building landscape. but now it's like our roles is growing,it involves social movement, youknow? ideas sharing, networking and collaboration with like other people other organization and bigger Networks, politics everything, policies.so, the terms complication complexity is just notlike the physical things of landscape is just like involve everything else,I think it's becomeremind me of at the beginning of the firm that as a landscape architect we didn't recognize it that is a person who designed things or Hospitality,we never limit our role, our role is about proposing solutions for the better environment and Society.So whatever challenge we have, whatever challenge we face, we tackled it with some solution, no matter how big or how small the challenge is.Of course, we are not success it all,Hardly fifty percent.I think from the start we think that landscape design is not only limited to the projects,or some individualsproject only, but we think it should impact for overall for everybody, for everything, for earth as well,so that's why if you think of it like thatit’s kind of boundaryless, everything we do it will impact our Earth in a better way.I remember our first project is a playground, right? It’s a very small playground,but we propose something refreshing forthe playground playground that doesn't have playequipment,But right now, we're doing likea city scale, from playground to city scale. So, I mean it's growled in terms of experience and challenges that we have as well.And the joy of getting more knowledge and insights, as the times like passing that we do more and morework and you know expanding our involvement .I think like we know more and more and it's morelike accurate in doing the job in execution in implementing.And you know as we grow older, I think hopefully we get wiser and that'sbrings the joy.
△Shma作品：Sky Forest Scape
△Shma作品：The Standard Hua Hin
And one thing I want to add is about our people. because I think now we have person who work with us I think more than 10 years yeah from the beginning,I think our people is part of the family part of our I mean the company.yes built a company together.so I think when someone come to join Shma, they join not only theidea but they join the community, how we gonna grow this vision together as a community, I think this is important.so now we have the very energetic community (younger generation), yeah I am very proud of them all to face the challenge of the whole sixteen years.Shma does not belong to three of us.We pass these ideas to the young generation.
How do you think of the prospect of the landscape industry? What the challenges Shma will face in the future?
I think the challenge for Shma, it's a challenge for our world right ？what the global warming issues that that challenge us.And then landscape architects are of course the one of the persons or one of the occupations that can really offer the ideas to help alleviate these issues quite a lot.So, I think if you think of it right I think we do have a lot of responsibility to dofor this world and at the same time you try to get other people who is not a landscape related to understand about these issues as well. Choose our work.So, what we do is I thinkit's very important. it's become example in itself and it also can show what can be done for us to survive globally.I think it’s a responsibility as a profession, and which I think is really challenging anddifficult to tackle those problems,so that meansit reflects to the client requirements and the project brief nowadays. I mean we learn from each other, we also try to convince and tell the client about the possibility that how impact the world can be created for the better environment which is really challenging.And we also need to empower our own people, to be able to, because I think this is a new kind of knowledge and special specialty that we need to also learn we need to keep learning to acquire the new knowledge in order to tackle and respond well with the bigger challenge.I think this is our own challenge as a company to grow our own people to have the certaincapability.So I think we need to improve our own work every day. we never beensatisfied what will the world that we've been doing but we need to keep monitoring checking and keep up with the challenges.
△Shma日常培训，Shma daily training
I think what is difficult is the all thesechallenges are not always given or not addressed by our clients,so that it’s the challenge that our professions are aware and it needs to be integratedinto the design and the work.sometimes it doesn’t like correspond directly to the client’s criteria, um you know requirements,so, what is thebalance between these two? as the Landscape Architects needs to inject this idea, these issues at the same time, is to have to satisfy the clients you know in terms of Financial and marketing and so on.sometimes we always think that the clientis not only someone who pays us. the client is the community, the clients is the environment. it is also our client that we need to think of them too.so, I think which make us work a littlebit harder. in order to satisfy not only the client who pay us the money but the rest of the the society we know it's about responsibility too.I think in order to deal with these environmental challenges we also you know changing slowly inthe way we approach our design as well,maybeyou should think more about the aesthetic side of the garden but nowadays we think more about the performance side of our garden.how doesit help with the temperature risings in the urban areas, how does it help with the water issues, how does it help with the PM 2.5 issues the quality of the air qualities.A lot of these can be addressed within our profession, so we think that landscape of the future it has to deal with theseissues.but at the end it looks very beautiful it looks very refreshing and fun, how we're gonna combine those with the people behaviorlifestyle to make it part of everyday life, I think this is what our work try to reflect.because we designspace for people, so the way you know that the way people using our space is also changing every day, because of the way we interact with each other with the social network and everything is changing by the day.So come up with the exciting spaces concept is very important.It needs to be instagramable at the same time and helpful, we can't chooseone of them, it need to be good at both.Because many of our clients who come to us right really lookingforward for some refreshing idea for theirs projects as well, to be competitive in the market. And we understood that, those are the bars that we have to raise every year as well.
And another challenge is that wenever limit our client or our world only in in Thailand or in this region,we try to open up to other markets.like in China, and now we have projects in US, I mean we always explore to add our other territory.in order to not only to gainmore experience but also to be able to contribute to as well.so I think this is going to be ourchallenge in the next 5 to 10 years, probably gonna become the global brand as a company to introduce specialty and contribution to others to the territory.I think we never know what will be the project for the landscape in the future,because we never limit our landscape definitions,So, the building itself thethe large the indoor the is all combined no boundaries. nowadays so we're looking forward to the next challenge that we're gonna face.