“DESIGN THINKING” refers to designs that meet the customers’ demands, and it can be the inspiration for property developers to create different functions to serve different needs.
Four university students who topped the class of AP Academy open house 2018, held by AP (Thailand) Plc, explained the concept on a recent visit to the Muji house and construction sites in Osaka, Japan.
“In the two months of training from the beginning of June, I have learned the various ways of residential designs that cater to the needs and lifestyles of different groups of occupants - including singles, families and the elderly, said Thikhamporn Samretsil, a junior student at the Faculty of Engineering’s department of Civil Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and one of the four participants of the training programme awarded with the visit to Osaka.
Pimpisa Klinkajone, a junior at the Faculty of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering, Srinakharinwirot University said the site visits served as an inspiration on how to apply her training at the academy in her future career. I also learned new technology in construction, especially the prefabrication system and the construction process under Japanese standard.
Bhatralapa Vachekrilas, a senior at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Architecture, said the visits have familiarised her with the design thinking concept, such as the functional designs of various residential buildings and the importance of collaboration with all company units through each stage of a project.
“The visit also taught me the effective way of presenting a product, such as through the use of technology as witnessed on a visit to a sale office of a residential project in Osaka,” Bhatralapa said.
The two-month training in Thailand and Japan has advanced my goal to become a marketer, I will share my learning with other students at the university, said Noppawat Putthacha, a junior at the Faculty of Management Science’s Department of Business Management, Mae Fah Luang University.
On the visit to Muji House in Takarazuka, a representative said the company focuses on designing residential projects under the energy-saving concept and the future requirements of residents as the number of family members rise as well as the ageing issue.
“We launched our first residential design, Wood House, in 2004. It was followed by Window House in 2007 and Vertical House in 2014. All of our designs took into considerations the changing needs and requirements of occupants at each stage of living: from being young and single to becoming grandparents. Our flexible designs allow changes to the functions of the interior space, such as creating an area for family activities and adding or reducing the number of rooms in the house,” he said.
Since 2004, the company has designed at least 300 units of single-detached houses a year. It is now looking to expand overseas, he said.
Green and Energy-Saving Design
The Parkhouse Oikos Mikunigaoka in Osaka, designed by Mitsubishi Jisho Residence, exemplifies the latest concept, BIO NET Initiative, for condominium developments with its focus on green environment and energy-efficiency. The company is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Group which is a partner of AP (Thailand) Plc.
Embracing the new model, a study of the ecosystem in and around the site was conducted prior to the design of a green area with suitable trees and plants.
“We also observed the birds and animals in the area with the intention of incorporating a natural habitat in the design of the green area, said Yuki Hikasa of the company’s international business planning department.
He added that the project has also installed an “ENE Farm” for the heating of all 182 units in the property. The system generated energy from natural sources. It helps reduce the cost of electricity by up to 80,000 yen a year from 120,000 yen for a residential unit of 80 square metres.
Flexible design of the units allows residents adjustment to the interior arrangement when required.
Up to 50 per cent of the 182 units have been sold, he added.
Vittakarn Chandavimol, chief of AP (Thailand) Plc’s corporate strategy and creation unit, said the company has learned from its strategic partner the latest technology and process in the development of residential projects. The company also encourages its staff to operate under the motto of “AP Way and AP Standard” to best serve homebuyers.
“For example, we plan to launch residential projects for the elderly in 2020. As a preparation, we have visited properties built for the same purpose in Tokyo by the Mitsubishi Estate Group to learn from its experience,” he said.
The AP Academy programme offers an opportunity for its staff and others to deepen their understanding of the property sector towards the goal of better quality and higher standard for sustainable growth,Vittakarn concluded.