You both studied at Konstfack, in Stockholm. How did your time in Sweden influence your design? Ada Chirakranont: “The school is a mix of arts, craft and design. In Thailand, if you are a designer, it’s very separate from being an artist but [in Sweden] we felt like we could do artwork even if we weren’t studying it. It changed our way of thinking because the environment was more free.”

Describe your furniture designs. Worapong Manupipatpong: “We didn’t want to make tables or chairs; we wanted to make something you cannot define in terms of how it’s used.”
Ada: “One of our early objects was Camp, which looks like a tent made of wood and textiles. It was meant to be a room within a room. We wanted to make a cosy, communal space for everyone to get inside and gather like a family.”

What is your most signi­ficant project? Ada: “We were invited by Wallpaper* Thailand magazine to participate in its handmade issue, so we created Greenhouse, a miniature garden, in 2015. We didn’t imme­diately think of an object but rather the acti­vity of gardening when we interpreted the theme ‘handmade’.”
Worapong: “It was meant to be a small green space in your house. It’s something between furniture and landscape archi­tecture. Many people say the simple wood design has a Scandinavian aesthetic. I think we were unconsciously influenced by our time in Sweden.”

What inspired the Cane collection? Worapong: “Podium, a factory in Thailand, wanted to collaborate with us so we decided to make functional furniture to be used in daily life.”
Ada: “We discovered that the factory works with local craftsmen who weave cane [the peeled bark of rattan stalks] in a village in Chonburi province. The material was first used in the colonial period, which we thought was interesting. It was a Western way to use an Asian material. We wanted to redesign this style to make it more contemporary and simple.”

How are you involved in the Thai design scene? Worapong: “In Thailand, when you graduate as a designer, there’s no support from the government. We started a platform called Design Plant, to build a community for young designers. We are mentoring them and plan independent exhibitions together.”
Ada: “Before, most designers worked indivi­dually but now there’s more collaboration so it’s more interesting. When we gather, it becomes like a larger design movement, which makes our work more visible.”