All you need is wood – top 12 South East Asian designers

What is your favourite material? Mine is undoubtedly wood {of course, we’re talking about solid wood here!}. I love the texture, the smell and the sense of it. Especially when it comes to design, I’m always fascinated by the way designers explore and transform different types of wood into unique pieces, sometimes incredibly intricate, sometimes just simple.
Wood is a fascinating living thing. It shrinks, expands, wears out with time and a wood art designer must keep this in mind when planning out the dimensions of a piece.

But I better let their work speak…

th1. Thinkk {what a name!} 

 A studio that translates the idea of “thinking out of the box” to “design out of the box”. Their work is innovative, surprising and handsome. Combining contrasting materials together, mixing hot and cold, hard and soft, Decha Archkananun and Ploipan Theerachai create designs with surprising details. And for everyone who loves the industrial touch: the designer duo works very often with concrete and metal as well!

th  2. If I were a carpenter {what a nice vision!}

Do you like handcrafted wood and a bit of rustic-industrial and vintage look of furnitures like I do? You won’t be disappointed by the work of this Bangkok based studio. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind creation based on redwood, rosewood, canaga or ormosia. It’s gritty but elegant, it’s rich and textured.
Come down to see and smell the different types of wood, and let the carpenter Nott Tongrow explain to you why his studio is so special!

th 3. Studio 248  – Sense of humour

I’m sure you will agree with me if I say Studio 248 is just a gem! I literally LOVE everything from the designer trio but especially their sense of humour. Each design is provocative and memorable. It’s hard for me to decide which one is my favourite, because all of the designs just look insanely AWESOME and FUNKY!

ph 4. Vito Selma – striving for perfection

Not funky, but truly epic is the work of Vito Selma from the Philippines. Established in 2006, Vito Selma strives for perfection when exploring shapes, lines and textures that “are often repeated in the earth, the sky and the sea.” Just feel the flow!

th 5. Oggi living – Sense of well-being

If you are looking for something with more understatement, then you will probably like Oggi’s well-proportioned and cosy furniture. You will enjoy the soft lines, rounded edges and the natural colours that inspire a sense of comfort and well-being.

th 6. Alltagdesign – Practical sense

I spotted another Bangkok based studio for you, it’s  Alltagdesign {well, they’re not German!} and I love them for their sense of functionality. My favourite items are definitely this unie lamp and this extremely good looking wall hanger shelf in walnut wood.

th 7. Chabatree – everything but kitchen!

Chabatree is another studio with a big sense for everything practical and aesthetic.I don’t know how you feel, but looking at these amazingly cosy kitchen ware collection makes me feel like I want to redecorate my kitchen with these wooden objects of desire… {Love the combination of glass and breech wood!}
No wonder Chabatree got a lot of international attention. Did you know that the famous Berlin based blog ourfoodstories {right pic below} is having Chabatree’s design in their kitchen?

sg 8. Studio Juju – to fell in love with

There is no way to walk around Studio juju from Singapore when talking about furniture in SEA, because Timo Wong and Priscilla Lui‘s work definitely set the benchmark in the region. Studio Juju is working with different types of material, but we concentrate on wood here, so I would like to highlight their designs which are based on mapple wood like this wobble mushrooms or the AT lamps. There is everything that treats an design lover’s heart: minimalism, elegance, wittiness, tuning lines, surprise.

id 9. Magno – caring about wood

Magno comes from Indonesia and is for everyone who cares about wood and the story it tells. Created by Singgih S. Kartono in a small village in Central Java, Magno aims to make small designs for everyday that last and that we care about, like this Ikono radio:

sg 10. Svnty – hand-engraved wood

If you would like to see icons like Marley or Monroe on your phone, but with a twist, then this hand-engraved wooden phone case is perfect for you. This creations are from the Singaporean illustrator and visual artist Markus. I love it because there is so much detail and attention in his work!

Having this with me everyday:

th 11. Everyday studio – childhood’s memories

This design takes me back again to Thailand, but also to my childhood. Do you remember having fun on your rocking horse? If not, then this rocky stool will help to refresh your memory. It comes in different colours and is not only a prefect match for a kid corner.

th 12. Pana objects – let’s play with wood!

If you the playful approach of Everyday studio has also caught your attention as they did with mine, then you should have a look at Pana objects as well. There’s a lot of imagination behind this brand. I love their creations because it’s playful and cute, and reminds me a lot of the toys I was playing with as a child!

Where to find:

Please note that this selection is only a glimpse of designer and design studios in South East Asia.
If you are interested in knowing more, you can check the past events like the Singapore Design week 2015, Singaplural or Maison & Objet Asia which took place in Singapore during March this year.
Or you might want to visit the next event in in April 2015: The Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2015.



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