Furniture design

Influenced by storytelling, visual elements, and harmonious color combinations

A junior product and furniture designer hailing from the heart of Bangkok, Mooque Sarunphon Boonto has woven her academic roots into the very fabric of her professional life.

In the bustling and vibrant world of design, where tradition meets innovation, Mooque Sarunphon Boonto‘s design ethos, deeply ingrained with the nuances of storytelling, visual allure, and the emotive power of colors and shapes, heralds a fresh perspective in the industry. As we delve deeper into her approach through this interview, we gain insights on how her designs begin with a story and ultimately invite the audience into a deeper engagement with her work.

Sarunphon discussed the playful, yet simple essence of MOOQUE’s products, emphasizing the brand’s dedication to creating distinctive patterns, weaves, and features that stand out. This commitment to innovation is not just about visual appeal but also about pushing the boundaries of traditional design to create modern, captivating pieces.

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto _ Thai Design
Mooque Sarunphon Boonto, Founder of MOOQUE Design Studio

Who is Mooque Sarunphon Boonto? How did your design journey begin?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“I am a junior product and furniture designer from Bangkok, finished my degree in Product Design at Bangkok University in 2020. My design approach is heavily influenced by storytelling, visual elements, and the use of harmonious color combinations. I value how shapes and colors can subtly influence human emotions and hold a firm belief in the power of storytelling to enhance design’s appeal.

Having graduated in 2021, I seized an opportunity to work with Corner43 Decor, a craft manufacturer in Thailand, through an initiative led by DesignPlant. This project aimed to invigorate the Thai furniture industry by bringing together up-and-coming designers and seasoned manufacturers to produce inventive pieces. My creation, the ‘Bilid -Room Divider,’ was born out of this collaboration.

Being selected to showcase this piece at Maison&Objet2021 in Paris was an extraordinary privilege, signaling MOOQUE‘s debut on the international design stage. This recognition was not only incredibly humbling but also felt like a promising start to my design career, which is only beginning.”

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto _ Thai Design

In your bio, you mention employing design as a storytelling medium. Could you elaborate on this? How does it manifest in practical terms?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“In practical terms, my design process often begins with a concept or story, which then informs and inspires the elements of the work. This approach allows storytelling to enrich the design with diverse and intriguing aspects, from form and function to lighting, color combinations, and even the way a piece is installed. Take, for instance, Bilid Room Divider (2021). This project, highlighted by its use of orange and light, cool-toned blue, stemmed from contrasting perspectives. By blending these warm and cool tones, we achieved a harmony that reflects the complexity of viewing things from different angles.

Another example is my thesis project, ‘Zodiac – A Collection of Floor Lamps Inspired by Zodiac Signs Personalities.’ This work translated the distinct traits of the zodiac signs into a tangible form, creating a collection that resonates on a personal level with viewers. Employing storytelling in design not only adds a layer of enjoyment for me as a designer, but also deepens the audience’s engagement with the work. It invites them to uncover the subtle narratives and whimsical details embedded within each piece, making the design experience more profound and interactive.”

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto _ Thai Design

Could you delve into any distinctive or characteristic design methodologies or techniques that set MOOQUE apart within the industry?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“MOOQUE’s products are fresh, playful/pop, yet maintain a simple form. Beyond the interesting concepts or inspirations, I often design gimmicks or intriguing techniques that serve as the highlights of each piece. I create new patterns, weaves, or standout features for each collection to differentiate and enhance the mood of the work through the color combinations/color selection techniques that modernize the atmosphere, making each piece visually appealing and eye-catching.”

What choices have been the most important in your life that brought you where you are today?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“One of the most important choices I made was to pursue a degree in design. It laid the foundation for much of what I understand about aesthetics, functionality, and the storytelling power of objects, including the joy and challenge in creating design works. ‘You’ll never know until you try.’ This might be the motto for the times I’ve faced significant choices. After graduating with a degree in product design, I began searching for exhibition spaces in Bangkok to have the opportunity to create new works.

That’s when I encountered DesignPlant, which offered an intriguing challenge for emerging designers by pairing-collaboration with manufacturers to create new pieces under a given theme. Initially nervous, this experience turned into a joy as I ventured into new arenas. My work began to reach more people after being featured on design pages, and articles about my creations started to increase. Therefore, the most important choice that led me here might be the courage and enjoyment in facing new opportunities.”

How does the studio reflect Thai culture and design? And, more importantly, what elements, in your opinion, characterize Thai-made design?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“Reflecting Thai culture and design within MOOQUE’s approach may not always be overt in its external style imagery. However, we skillfully fuse traditional elements with modern furniture design, subtly mirroring Thai culture and design in a unique manner. For me, the elements that characterize Thai-made design likely include:

Craftsmanship and Detail – Thai design is celebrated for its meticulous craftsmanship, evident in detailed carvings, weaving, and embroidery. Such attention to detail showcases a commitment to quality and artistry that is deeply ingrained in Thai culture.

Innovative Tradition – MOOQUE embraces the blending of traditional techniques with contemporary trends. This approach not only honors the heritage but also ensures that the design remains dynamic, evolving with the integration of modern innovations.

In my opinion, our designs are a testament to the fusion of Thai tradition with modern principles, utilizing indigenous materials like rattan and championing Thai craftsmanship. This approach not only honors our cultural heritage but also pushes the boundaries of design forward, making our work culturally and aesthetically significant.”

What is the next step for Mooque?

Mooque Sarunphon Boonto:

“My Studio is on a journey to expand its portfolio by diving into the exploration of new materials and objects. In our quest to refine our creativity and skills, we actively seek delight in discovering opportunities through meaningful collaborations with diverse brands across the globe and within Thailand. Our goal is not only to enhance our creative abilities but also to weave these experiences into our identity, solidifying it as a distinct and celebrated brand in the design community.

Concurrently, we’re laying the groundwork for an exciting venture: designing and launching products that are uniquely our own, marking a significant milestone in MOOQUE’s evolution. This forward-thinking approach extends beyond simple growth—it’s about gently pushing the boundaries of design creativity.”


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