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Bangkok Faces: Goustan Bodin from Hyper-Tree

Your Name: Goustan Bodin, but everybody calls me Dan

Job Title: Changemaker, Hyper-Tree

What is your nationality and background?

Born and raised in France, I lived in the US, Ireland and China before settling for good in Thailand 12 years ago.

What is your profession?

I’m a renegade Landscape Architect, and have left regular desktop garden design for a much more adventurous and rewarding lifestyle, I became a Changemaker! I now follow my passion which is creating a positive impact for our planet. I lead the Hyper-Tree project which connects like-minded people, and connects a large number of small trees into a bigger one, a Hyper-Tree! The goal is to grow architectural structures in our urban ecosystem, such as shading canopies above markets and public spaces, tree-skins around houses and buildings, smart trees…

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

Compassion, communication, passion. I share the same responsibilities as any other human being: to leave the planet behind me in a better condition than when I was born.

How did you get involved in your profession?

When the profession you want to practice doesn’t exist, just create it! Wonderment over the beauty of our world, and the necessity we humans have to live in a symbiotic relationship with our planet, and trees in particular, have brought me step by step to the idea of building with living trees.

How does your role enhance the well-being or experience of children?

I train teachers to educate school children about growing and using plants sustainably and their importance in our lives. Urban children of today live in a much harder and more dangerous world than ever before, unknown to our ancestors. We must make urban environment safer, and that means good air-quality, more bio-diversity, healthier buildings, milder climate. Trees provide all that, let’s live under their protection!

What challenges do you face in this role?

Let me mention only the #1: I must find co-founders ready for an unpredictable lifelong adventure! Where are you?

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

Everybody talks about living and building more sustainably, but so far we mostly just tweak existing techniques and solutions. This change is not fast enough, not effective enough, we must jump a step further. Hyper-tree will provide the means to reach next step.

Who or what inspires you?

Trees, Amon Tobin’s music, riding a bicycle, permaculture, and so many people who are transitioning or have already transitioned away from mainstream lifestyles.

Only a Bangkok local would know…

Ghost Shopping Mall [“Mansion 7”] is still accessible…

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