Julia Rayne Rondinone

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 1) BA(Hons)


The Dai ethnic group and their artistic expression - specifically their narrative poems, legends, and colourful festivals – are the focus of the museum and its journey.

The building emulates the essence of the Xishuangbanna prefecture in which the Dai people live and a key traditional song celebrating family and gathering, the tale of Creation, the abundant environment, and the evolution of life until the very moment a new house becomes a home. It mentions the tale of the Rabbit and the Moon, precious flowers, and prized animals like the elephant and buffalo, and the auspicious number eight is referenced several times as the eight gods of virtue and the eight phases of the moon.

Through the use of four gallery types – tradition, scripture, auditory, and virtual experience – and a curated eight-part journey, visitors are immersed in a colourful expedition by means of literature and involvement. Within each of the eight sectors of the building, a new theme is adopted that challenges the idea of openness to different types of expression. In order of encounter, the sectors are as follows; acceptance, communication, appreciation, passion, community, reflection, empathy, and vision.