Creative Thailand


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SRINLIM: Expressing Thai ways of life through designs

When you walk in a street, stroll in a crowded neighborhood, or enjoy local customs or cultural performances, have you ever stopped to appreciate that all around you is a “way of life”? Some are unique to a particular neighborhood, while others are part of city life. Oftentimes we will find that “ways of life” express Thainess that is more than just about the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, traditional Thai patterns, or traditional Thai costumes.

Reintroduction of the art of weaving by PATAPiAN

Weaving is one of the most common skills in Thai handicraft. The knowledge has been passed on from one generation to the next in each community, which has its own unique practices in terms of materials, patterns, colors, forms, and utilities. Woven products that most of us are familiar with include sticky rice containers, baskets, bags, and fish traps. These items are mainly used in the countryside. Needless to say, woven products in the world of fashion and home accessories are often regarded by city dwellers as outdated and incompatible with their lifestyles.

Sculpture : From seatbelts to woven furniture

Would you be surprised if I told you that the lime green chairs that appeared in one of the scenes in the Hunger Games (2012), an American science fiction-drama film, were named the “Sexy Chair” and created from scrap seatbelt strapping by Thai product designer Nuttapong Charoenkitivarakorn? Once strapped over someone’s waist, these former seatbelts have been repurposed into functional furniture, under the brand Sculpture.

T-Style: DEWA (DEsign from Waste of Agriculture) Craft designs from leftover materials

“In the kitchen, nothing is considered trash,” American world-famous chef Anthony Bourdain once mentioned while he was still alive in one of his last documentaries. Regarding managing food waste, he said, “I may be the old school type that was taught to never throw anything away. That means whether it is unprocessed meat or bits of fruits and vegetables, it can be made into menus and nothing should be trash.” This is not a trend that is only limited to the food industry, as there is a global effort in trying to create value out of leftovers in order to combat overconsumption and consumerism, which leads to depleting our natural resources.

The details and art of suit-making by Pinky Tailor

Pinky Tailor first opened its doors to provide specialized tailoring in 1980. Owned by Mr. Pinky, the gifted master tailor opened his first store in Udon Thani, which was the base of the American army at that time. Lots of Westerners and foreigners must report to that base, thus creating a large variety of tailoring customers. Once the American base has moved away, Mr. Pinky decided to continue his business in Bangkok, first at Daimaru Department Store, before moving to its current location at the Ploenchit area today. Writer : Editor Team Translator : Parisa Pichimarn Pinky Tailor first opened its doors to provide specialized tailoring in 1980. Owned by Mr. Pinky, the gifted master tailor opened his first store in Udon Thani, which was the base of the American army at that time. Lots of Westerners and foreigners must report to that base, thus creating a large variety of tailoring customers. Once the American base has moved away, Mr. Pinky decided to continue his business in Bangkok, first at Daimaru Department Store, before moving to its current location at the Ploenchit area today.

Pabpiabriabroy interprets the beauty of flowers through magnificent paper origami.

The voice from another end reflected how neat the speaker was. Her rhythm was slow, light and polite which matched with her brand “Pabpiabriabroy”. Wirin Shaowana unintentionally built a brand from her passion in papers. Wirin loved flowers. Ten years ago, she got inspiration from Sakul Intarakul, the famous Thai florist. His beautiful book of flower designs and patterns became her intellectual source. She created her flowers in monotone geometry shapes. Wirin wanted to present alternative Thai flowers; reduced delicacy yet increased strength and omitted colors yet preserved forms.

PiN: Enhance art value through steel debris.

Growing up in a family own steel factory in Suksawat area was not a pleasant experience. The noise of stamping, bending and welding machines were like a daily alarm clock for Pin, Saruta Kiatparkpoom. However, her negative opinion changed when she, as a sophomore student in university, started working with her dad. Pin created art piece by steel scraps for Art Environment class. Later on, she extended this project to an art thesis by screening life stories of her factory’s workers on steel sheet. This experience shifted her to positive perspective toward value of every lives in her steel factory and her Kiatparkpoom’s family business. Upon completion of her bachelor degree, Saruta participated in many seminars hosted by government and private sectors to build up her design and business skills. She then decided to create her brand, “PiN” where unique steel identity was created. Her business concept is simple and clear, “Do my best every day…the sound of working machines is the sound of my workers and family’s breaths. We will keep walking steadily.”

FolkCharm: A minimal fashion brand packed with folk charm

The name FolkCharm is most fitting for this minimal fashion brand—these simple cotton apparels which have been meticulously tailored exudes a local charm within every step of its production.

5ivesis: Luxury home décor brand made from pewter material “tin minerals”—for showpieces that are truly practical and show-stopping

From their family’s original business of producing pewter materials or crafting tin 10 years ago, five sisters who have returned from their studies to continue the business decided to build their own brand. The name 5ivesis came from that starting point, with designs forming out of things they loved. As women who loved to dress up, they decided to come up with home decorations—thus becoming 5ivesis Home Décor. As precious pewter pieces come from a mixture of silver and tin, it is also a premium gifting brand with handmade, delicate items that showcase Thai culture and beliefs.

The story from “COSMOS & HARMONY” soap.

If there is a Don’t Miss product list for foreigners especially Chinese tourists, Cosmos & Harmony is definitely in it. Its Ease Up With Style soap collection was in the latest 17 Don’t Miss product list ranked by shoot2china. The soaps in this collection are in ancient Thai style packaging. There are three scents; Nam Ob Thai (Thai perfume), Muay Thai (Thai boxing) and Hermit Self-stretched. Each scent gives different feelings, for example, Hermit Self-stretched gives the aroma of Wat Po’s balm and its herb ingredients help releasing an ache.

Supachai Klaewtanong: Nipa palm leaf project

Bangkok does not represent all of Thailand. Ways of life differ from one region to another. Inhabitants of secondary towns have their own ways of life, including those in the southern town of Nakhon Si- Thammarat. Though classified as a secondary town, Nakhon Si Thammarat has much to offer, especially in the world of design and contemporary handicraft which is experiencing an unprecedented boom.

Tie-dyeing: ancient style making a comeback

Tie dyeing refers to a set of ancient dyeing techniques used universally. Thailand and its Southeast Asian neighbors –Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar– all inherited the techniques from India, though each has refined the processes in their own unique ways, and their products are known by different names. Japan and China also have their own tie-dyeing techniques, so does Mexico, located half the world away.

Dhanabodee Ceramic and Lampang’s iconic “chicken bowls”

Lampang is well-known to most Thais for its “chicken bowls.” Manufactured and made famous by Dhanabodee Ceremic, the first ceramics factory in the province which is currently managed by the second generation of the family. A portion of their factory has now been turned into a museum open to visitors interested in their story.

Nuaynard: Contemporary Isan : Live in nature, rejuvenate in a Thai style

We are living in an age where consumers are more conscious about healthy living. Demand for natural and organic products is ever-increasing. As people are becoming more concerned about chemicals commonly used in everyday life, it is only natural that more are returning to nature. This consumer behavior change results in the boom of natural products, particularly in the health and beauty industry.

Making space… making a difference : Design + Art + Craft + Space

Aterlier2+, a new design studio born out of the ideas of a designer couple, Worapong Manupipatpong and Ada Jiragran, is fast becoming one of the top studios in Thailand. Its expertise lies in the incorporation of handicrafts into architectural structures and furniture items. Their works stem from the way of thinking characterized by openness, compromise, and cooperation, as indicated in the “2+” part of the studio’s name.

Out of Comfort Zone: textile alchemy by Ausara Surface

We can say that right now, Ausara Surface is one of the rising stars in the global interior decoration milieu. Founded four years ago by textile designer Jarupat Achawasamit and Choson Tatawakorn, former CFO of Alexander Lamont, this Thai industrial craft brand has grown significantly throughout the years. From a dream to combine experimental craft with industrial weaving techniques, Ausara Surface has thrived as a leading provider of ‘innovative materials’ with highlighted products like metal fibers and an image of a luxury craft brand.

Lamunlamai in Paris

There was a time when they were wondering what to do with their lives after graduation. Then some time later, their small Lamunlamai Craft Studio celebrated its fourth anniversary. And not long after, they found themselves as far from home as in Paris, France, taking part in the Maison & Objet Paris 2018, one of the largest trade fairs in the world. Most recently, the brand was selected to participate in one of Thailand’s biggest design and craft projects hosted by Icon Siam.

Lightning-patterned woven scarves - How soccer scarves help create sustainable communities

The founding of Buriram United Football Club has “awakened” and “changed the city’s economy completely. All sectors have responded positively to this new chapter of the city’s history, with an aim to create sustainable communities - for local people to achieve economic sustainability and feel proud of their native town.

Mowaan Bamrungchat Satsana Yathai Pharmacy - Keeping heritage of herbal Thai medicine alive

Thai people have been familiar with yahom (traditional herbal powder) for more than three centuries. It is believed that yahom recipes were first brought into the Kingdom in the Ayutthaya period. At that time this medicine was exclusively used in the royal family, as several ingredients were imported from overseas. The making of yahom also required thorough grinding and winnowing, meaning many people were involved in the process. Therefore, it was regarded as a highly valuable item and was so expensive that ordinary citizens were hardly able to afford it.

COTH STUDIO: A community inspires a new language for craft

The “COTH Studio” is short for the “Creative Collaboration Thailand Studio,” and as its name suggests, the studio is focused on working with others and collaborating on ideas. The studio was founded by Chalermkiat Somdulyawat or “Ton,” who holds a Master's degree in Product Design from Silpakorn University, and Kawisara Anansaringkarn, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Interior Architecture from Chulalongkorn University. The two design buddies combined their different skills and opened the COTH Studio.