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Host & Home shines a spotlight on Thailand’s regional crafts

Our three-part series, ahead of Host & Home’s Salone del Mobile showcase, begins with a deep dive into Thai furniture manufacturers Deesawat, Kun Decorate, Kenkoon and Thaniya1988.

At this year’s Salone del Mobile, Thailand will present a selection of Thai entrepreneurs offering a wide range of new products for the European market, which this year highlight a new focus on sustainability, circularity and connection. 

Otherwise known as the Host & Home showcase, it highlights Thai furniture and decorative products whilst supporting their development and promoting a good national image of Thai design.

Now in its eighth year, the project celebrates local artisans and showcases their work at Salone del Mobile in a bid to increase the export value of Thai design across Europe.

Ahead of this year’s Host & Home showcase, DesignWanted will be introducing readers to some of the designers whose work will be included.

A total of 11 brands were chosen for their handmade unique products, which showcase high standards of production and the finest materials.

Below, we have explored the work of four of them, underlining their eco-friendly furniture and getting to know a little more about their sustainable approach, which you will quickly learn is representative of Thailand’s design industry as a whole…

Deesawat

Tell us about your core product? What defines your brand?

Deesawat has been a teak wood specialist since 1972. Our woodworking process is managed by master craftspeople and starts with the log and lumber, which is kiln dried before being put into production.

Our general offering includes a standard collection ranging from flooring to furniture, textiles, fabrics, doors and deckings. Then, we offer a bespoke service which includes customised sizes and designs depending on the project requirements.

Host & Home Showcase at Milan Design Week 2022 _ Deesawat
© Deesawat

Which areas are you focusing on in terms of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials?

We use sustainable teak wood material and our factory has a Green Industry Certificate. Deesawat is one of the 50 heroes of Thailand BCG sustainable projects supported by Thai government as well. 

Our mission as of late has been trying to maximise the usage of good material, and design several smaller pieces that make use of all the off-cuts.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

We have been doing a lot of research and development in terms of design and concept, which is being recognised.

Besides having awards for DEmark in Thailand, our collection has been recognised by the Good Design Award in Japan, the K-design award in Korea, the Good Design Award in the USA, the German Design Award and the EU Design Award.

The list goes on, but the greatest achievement is our involvement in the Yahoo auction in Japan, which showed people the value of our product and the brand.

Slow Hand Design exhibition _ Milan Design Week 2022 _ Sustainable Thai Design (12)
© Deesawat

Can you describe the strengths of your manufacturing process?

We are not a mass manufacturer. Instead, we focus on several lines of product that make our QC in production very high.

It’s standard in our furniture production for the quality of the wood to be the same grade both inside and out, which goes hand in hand with our sustainable practices.

Where wood differs in quality, we can still use it for another product category like flooring. 

We consider every single piece as craft, not mass production, so all of our products are made to last.  We do not expect ourselves to compete in price as our mission is to create a long lasting good product.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Host & Home exhibition during Salone del Mobile?

To be part of Host & Home is to be proud of Thailand. It’s an incredible marketing opportunity that speaks to a need for community in this day and age.

DITP has created a synergy of products that are not competing but are complementary to one another. 

We are all colleagues and friends, and happy to be at the fair to support each other.  

Kun Decorate

Tell us about your core product? What defines your brand?

Kun Decorate is an aluminium furniture manufacturer that sets itself apart with its seamless welding technologies and the perfect blend of lightness, durability, non-corrosive quality and variety in colours.

Kunakij Furniture Industry _ Milan Design Week 2022 _ Host & Home _ Thai Design
© Kun Decorate

Which areas are you focusing on in terms of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials?

Our factory started with the production of steel furniture, which we developed with the same craftsmen to produce aluminium in 2004.

Today, we use 50% of aluminium to recycle our products and every time that we develop new products we calculate zero waste.

What is your greatest achievement so far? 

Our specialised aluminium welding skills, and the design of Kun’s unique aluminium profiles.

KUN _ Host & Home Showcase _ Milan Design Week 2022
© Kun Decorate

Kenkoon 

Tell us about your core product? What defines your brand?

Kenkoon’s experienced craftsmen manufacture wooden outdoor furniture made from solid teak, cypress, sadao wood and stainless steel.

From the beginning, we have combined solid wood and stainless steel to create outstanding designs.

@ Kenkoon

Which areas are you focusing on in terms of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials?

We use stainless steel and aluminium as our standard materials because they are durable. With this, we aim to create less consumption or replacement by promoting repairs and reuse.

We are also using waste management policies for the unusable materials from our standard production line to create new design products.

Describe to us the makeup of your team and manufacturing facilities, how many of you are there and what is the general skill level of your artisan designers/craftspeople? 

We have around 100 people in our production team that come from various industries including wood-work, steel work and even weaving communities. Together, these artisanal skills come together to promote unique training opportunities and even more unique design products.

Kenkoon _ Host & Home Showcase _ Milan Design Week 2022
@ Kenkoon

Thaniya1988

What defines your brand? 

We create decorative and artistic scented products with hand painted ceramics and natural ingredients such as jasmine rice wax.

Which areas are you focusing on in terms of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials? 

We are motivated to create eco-friendly products and select only raw materials, sustainable production methods and packaging.

@ T-Thaniya

Describe to us the makeup of your team and manufacturing facilities, how many of you are there and what is the general skill level of your artisan designers/craftspeople? 

35 years of experience comes from our generational craftspeople, which compliments the skill and innovation inspired by our younger team members.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Host & Home exhibition during Salone del Mobile? 

It’s a great chance to become a global brand and gain exposure to the Italian market, including time spent with professors who in turn have helped us to design our product in a way that meets the expectation of the EU market.

Not to mention, the opportunity to be at the biggest design exhibition in the world, Salone del Mobile.

@ T-Thaniya

Ahead of Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile, the Host & Home project continues to develop entrepreneurship across Thailand, including branding workshops with experts in the field.

Stay tuned as we explore how this opportunity has helped other designers included in the Host & Home exhibition in the coming weeks.

The Host & Home showcase was launched by the Office of Lifestyle Trade Promotion and Thai Trade Center Milan, Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce Thailand with the aim of creating new opportunities for Thai designers and manufacturers.

The showcase will take place during Salone del Mobile 2022 on the corner at Hall 8/B37 during Salone del Mobile from 7-12 June, 2022.

To find out more about the showcase visit its website.

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