wHY is an interdisciplinary design practice dedicated to serving the arts, communities, culture and the environment.
The firm’s 25-person team, led by founder and creative director Kulapat Yantrasast and managing principal Misa Lund, encompasses architects, landscape designers, makers and strategic thinkers, who work as four independent yet interconnected workshops — 1) ideas, 2) buildings, 3) grounds and 4) objects. With offices in Los Angeles and New York, wHY’s team members and network of experts share a commitment to collaboration and approaching projects from many different angles to deliver holistic, sustainable solutions across scales. The firm’s projects convey clarity of thought and attention to detail with an openness and flexibility for the making of a dynamic experience.
The Ideas Workshop is wHY‘s think tank of new beginnings, leading investigations that generate fresh design programs, branding & identity strategies, and solutions at a variety of scales.
The Ideas Workshop digs deep, articulating what shapes our clients’ endeavors while identifying new opportunities for success.
The Buildings Workshop makes fresh, creative and intelligent buildings that are game-changers for clients and their communities. Through a combination of craft and craftiness, wHY delivers buildings with value that far exceeds cost.
wHY eschews iconic form-making in favor of solving functional problems and representing multiple identities without compromising the whole.
Equal parts making and learning, wHY‘s Objects Workshop is our test kitchen for ideas. From material investigations and whimsical art objects to furniture and casework, the products of the Objects Workshop are just as likely to hatch from an intriguing conversation as from an experiment gone wrong.
The scale of the work allows us to cycle rapidly through more experiments with a wider range of materials and methods than larger projects would otherwise afford.
The Grounds Workshop is an imaginative landscape and urban design studio that collaborates with architects, urban planners, and artists worldwide to cultivate and program future ecologies and open space.
wHY‘s goal is to connect people and lifestyles to a vision of healthy and resilient cities and environments. Through the seamless integration of building, landscape and urban environments, the workshop enables art, function, nature and structure to beautifully coexist.
Founding Partner and Creative Director
Born in Bangkok, Thailand, where he graduated with honors from Chulalongkorn University (1990), Kulapat received both his M.Arch. and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture from the University of Tokyo (1993/1996), under a Japanese Government scholarship. Upon graduating, Kulapat worked as Tadao Ando’s close associate for eight years in Japan. In 2012, he was named one of the art world’s 100 Most Powerful People; in 2009, Kulapat was the first architect to receive the Silpathorn Award for Design from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture. He is a frequent public speaker at leading institutions and has served on the Artists’ Committee of the Americans for the Arts (the United States’ oldest organization for support of the arts in the society) since 2005. In 2015, he was appointed a board member of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and he is an active member of the Design Council for Collective Design.
Design Director, NY
Design Director, LA
Design Director, Grounds
Objects Workshop Leader