Solar Roasted Chicken

Chanaporn Mahayosanun
Education degree
School of Design
Study programme
Spatial Design

Sunlight, Food production, Neo-vernacular in Thailand

The project started with Sila Sutharat who has been using the pixelated-concave-mirror panels to gathered and reflected sunlight to cook food for over 20 years. Looking into Thai neo-vernacular space which appear in his vendor restaurant.Then applied the adaptive mechanism of objects and architecture and their relation with sunlight into design

Sila, a 60 years old vendor restaurant owner, grilled chicken, and pork using solely Sunlight power. With 4th-grade education background, he invented this sun reflective panels made out of 1000 small mirror planes. Before he came up with this idea, he used charcoal to cook his food like others. Having his restaurant next to the road, one day in 1997, he got flashes of heat from the passing-by buses’ sunlight reflection. This happened because his vendor situated next to the road intersection with the railway embankment. Every car will pass this bump and generated flash of light to him. Sila, then, raised the question of whether these heat can transform into energy.


Sila's arrangement of this food preparation space looks somehow chaotic and messy, filled with many objects which seem unorganized. However, space has been adapted through the user experience. It has been undergoing rearrangement. Since all furniture are light, it’s easier for the owner to do trial and error readjusting the space.

 Space has its own rhythm and workflow that the user would feel comfortable following this working station.

It’s kitchen combined with washing space, even a garage. A motorcycle parked here belongs to Sila. He couldn’t park it outside because there's no shade for his motorcycle and this space seems to be empty. 

Even though, they feel very comfortable in this working space

I still think there’s a way to organize this space. 
First, I need to understand the organization of the space by using "Frankfurt Kitchen Motion Mapping" Looking into the sequence adding small implementation then re-align the space.


From the color scheme study of townhouse facade. The color coding reflecting back into this food production space.

For the user to learn or memorize where to place food or plate. If there’s a new worker, the user can just simply say

“put that box on the orange table”
“place that dish on the blue table"
"you can sit on the yellow bench"

Site A proposal on re-alight the vendor space

I study the sun allocation throughout yearly and daily by looking into how the existing building shadow. By doing this, I will learn direction and route for the panel and the receiver, where to place the building that will not block the sun. This route reflected on the pavement which will make the panels and the receivers move around easier. 

Workshop building Elevation
Entrance door detail
Counter Elevation
Relation between Sunlight - Object - Architecture diagram
  • Time is the changing of sunlight throughout the day.
  • Objects are the panels and the receivers.
  • Architecture is the awning, where the building situated and the pavement.


This diagram shows the changing of this space throughout the day. How the panels and the receivers react to sun allocation. How the pavement guides their movement, how the awning facade trying to cast a shadow for people inside the building.

View from the back of the workshop overlooking peaceful paddy field
The workshop model


  • KADK UN PRIZE  :  "  Chanaporn Mahayosanun is very careful and sensitive designer. In her thesis project she is working with food production in Thailand - the solar grilled chicken. The project is complex in its programming, working with two sites in tandem, but simple and coherent in the design of interventions to an existing food vendor and a new workshop and restaurant pavilion. A main focus for the project has been working with the many aspects of daylight  " - Jury Citation
In 2017-2019, KADK is working with the UN sustainable development goals
This is reflected in our research, teaching and the students’ projects. This project relates to the following UN goal(-s):
Affordable and clean energy (7)
Industry, innovation and infrastructure (9)
Sustainable cities and communities (11)

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