Magic Circle 2020

Bangkok - Sa Kao


Baan Wang Ree and Baan Nong Kae are schools located in rural Sa Kaeo. Although both are struggling financially, they strive to provide quality education for mostly unprivileged children. The schools expand organically following growing local demand. Each school is a vital part of its community, which engages directly in their physical development. Villagers not only donate funds but also get personally involved in schools expansions, lending their hands and expertise to erect new buildings. The workshop aim is to foster schools efforts in creating optimal teaching environment by providing pupils with physically, intellectually and mentally stimulating playgrounds.


Magic circle is a term used in psychology to describe an imaginary space where a game takes place. Not necessarily physically defined it “appears” the moment a game starts.
A playground ought to provide space capable of accommodating a number of various activities and interactions not constrained but opened by its physicality, a magic circle of sorts metaphysically assuming different shapes and forms with each new undertaking of a game.

Play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing.
– Johan Huizinga

Workshop aim it to design two playgrounds, one for each schools. Playgrounds will be planned and prefabricated in Bangkok. In the end they will be assembled on sites in Sa Kaeo. Each project performance is of more importance than its appearance. Not shapes but games will be designed.

Magic Circle is co-mentored by Takahiro Kume and Wtanya Chanvitan from BT Architecture co., ltd. and Ponwit Rattanatanatevilai and Harisadhi Leelayuwapan from PHTAA living design co., ltd.