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Design & Research
Lao-Tai Carpentry in Mueang Van, Sam Nuea, Lao PDR
Principal investigators:
Suchon Mallikamarl, Ph.D. Lecturer at Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University; and
Klaus Zwerger, Professor at Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Vienna University of Technology

The research investigates a unique carpentry in Huaphan province Lao PDR. Along Nam Sam River, the lowland valley is inhabited by Laotian people whom cultivate irrigated rice. Their elements of building culture consist of house, rice granary, watchhouse, waterwheel, bridge, irrigated dam, etc. The study begins from documentation work, interview with experienced carpenters, and oral history. On one hand, the result from preliminary data gathering distinguishes the carpentry in this region from well established Laotian schools, according to Charpentier and Clément’s research: the Luang Phrabang and the Vientiane group. On the other hand, it gives clue to a certain degree of cultural exchange or connection to old Tai regions located in nowadays Northwestern Vietnam.