As much as we like to think that design is purely a "problem solving" professional, it still involves a lot of egos. Not to say that is a bad thing, but ego sometimes might get in the way of committing to a transformative collaboration or experimentation. Which is why Thinkk Studio's exhibition THINKK TOGETHER, held at Warehouse 30 during last month's Bangkok Design Week, was so enlightening.
Not only did it show that designers from the different fields of craftsmen, community, engineers, entrepreneurs and manufacturers could work together, but it also tried to inspire the business sector to understand and appreciate the importance of creativity and collaboration. Being the scene setter and the curator in this exhibition, we asked Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai of Thinkk Studio about how and why every designer should THINKK TOGETHER in the future. But first, a little background for context.
Shade Side Table (L) and TebachiTray with handle (R) made with Foam Glass, a recycled material made from crushed scrap glass and cullet.
Decha: We met each other at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), where we studied interior architecture.
Ploypan: We found that we had the same interest in furniture and product design and it was the starting point to lead us to set up THINKK studio together.
Decha: I loved to draw when I was a kid but didn't know much about design. My parents suggested me to study design, and I totally love it.
Ploypan: When I was a child, I like to follow my dad, he was a designer as well, to check construction sites. Somehow it influenced me to be a designer.
Stack Vase (T) and Thai Chess table (B) made from terrazzo, a material traditionally associated with architectural surfaces or stocky, solid-looking furniture. Here the results are softer, curvier and rounder.
We always start a project together till we have a direction then the project will be run by the one who matches best with the project. We also have assistant designers supporting us.
We believe that any disagreement will end up with the best solution and great work. So we respect each other's reason and end up with the affirmative conclusion.
We think it is a good name to refer to the way we work. We value the first thinking stage to have a great result. More K means that we think more or think different.
Collaborating with local glass company Etna, Thinkk Studio created (From Left) Windows Vase, Vase Lamp and Hoops Lamp.
We actually don't care much about the style. We try to give the right form and materials in order to make things good and timeless.
We have many ways to start each project such as starting with a question, problem, material research, history, experience, etc.
Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) organised the first Bangkok Design Week in Thailand. We thought it is an important event for Bankok-based designers like us to participate. The venue which is the old warehouse was supported by TCDC and WAREHOUSE30.
The R Chair, a reinterpretation of the wood chair with curved armrest. Now it's more practical, comfortable, stackable and durable in different environments.
The projects mostly designed for this exhibition which took 3 and a half months developing from idea to prototype.
We are very happy with the result of the project we work with a glass sheet manufacture, BSG Glass. We developed new material made of glass scrap to be used with furniture and decoration items.
Some of them will be developed with a producer, and some will be produced by ourselves. For example, some experimental projects by our staff, we would like to develop them further.
Thinkk Studio also supported, advised, and guided six designers from the studio to create designs of their own. Here is the Joint series by Siriluk Muangngam, an exploration into new pairing possibilities.
In Thailand, the young generation of designers is very active. They support each other, exhibit together, but they need support from the government and organisations in order to encourage them to grow up progressively.
We are proud to be Thai designers and always bring Thainess in our designs, but the important thing for us is to create things for the world, not only for Thai people. That is the reason why our designs are different.
We know that is not easy for Thai designers to work internationally but we already have that chance and will do it better and better every day. We hope to support young Thai designers to be better than us too.
THINKK Studio is a Bangkok-based design studio established in 2008 by Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai. Their projects range from small desk accessories and furniture to hotel projects. Apart from their studio works, they help local craft communities to develop products, consult design brands, curate an exhibition, lecture at university and write article sometime.
For more about THINKK TOGETHER, visit here.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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