Published on October 6, 2007
When the people at furniture company Modernform wanted to create a truly unique design, they realised they'd have to come up with a new idea. Out of the brainstorm came a bolt of inspiration: Call on eight people who had never designed so much as a chair leg.
Those chosen for the project - titled "My Style, My Signature" - came from different walks of life.
Grace Mahadumrongkul was last seen acting as the monarch's beautiful sister in "The Legend of King Naresuan". She took time out from her regular job as vice-president of marketing for packaging firm Cosmo Group, joining businesswoman Korakot Srivikorn, who daylights as director of Gaysorn Land Asset Management.
ML Piyapas Bhirombhakdi brings elegance and beauty to the equation - she played the legendary queen in the film "Suriyothai". From the entertainment business come Prapas Cholsaranon, deputy CEO at Workpoint Entertainment, and Takonkiet Viravan, managing director of Scenario Co.
Selected for their aesthete's vision, Kai Boutique's fashion designer Somchai "Kai" Kaewtong and editor-in-chief of Lips magazine Sakchai Guy also made the cut. Finally, president of Brandscape Dolchai Boonyaratavej brings his expertise in branding and architecture to the mix.
Each was given the task of designing 10 pieces of furniture that would reflect their unique personalities. And with a budget of Bt100,000 per piece, the pressure was on to produce masterpieces.
Sakchai seems to have taken the simplest approach with his theme "Green Power", though he confesses that his main inspiration comes from the fact that he can't deal with people rearranging anything on his desk.
"The working table is my territory, so I want to design a desk where I can keep everything inside without my things being moved," he says. His vintage-look desk has acres of space to hide his papers away from the curious and careless. The green trend is most obvious in his cabinets, which are inscribed with pithy quotes like, "It's our time to rise again to secure our future".
Korakot, who normally spends her time tempting shoppers into the Gaysorn complex, shows a fun side with her furniture concept "Games of Life". Noticing that most kids nowadays are addicted to solitary computer gaming took her back to the scrabble and chess she played as a youngster with her family. She's transformed an ordinary round table into a surface incorporating board games.
"Creating a table you can play games on will encourage kids to stay away from the computer and spend more time with the family instead," she says.
Dolchai came up with the theme "Magic Dimension" for a work desk that could be collapsed and expanded like a magician's trick hat to contain all sorts of objects. The number eight has been used as the basic scale for the piece's proportions, a clever way to celebrate His Majesty the King's 80th birthday.
"I do a lot of things at my work desk. I use the PC, type, listen to CDs, read and write," he says.
Dramatist Takonkiet Viravan took his cue with the concept "Stage". A director and scriptwriter, his present couch doubles as a workplace and a bed, so he's dreamt up a chaise longue that he can rest his feet on while he's busy writing or watching television. It has two sides, one for sleeping and the other with space for the pens he needs to reach for when his mental light bulb switches on.
Prapas works in film but is also known for a way with prose the books he writes. He's come up with "Chingcha Chaleang" ("Swing Porch"), which mixes the innocence of youth with a party atmosphere.
"The porch is the finest place in the house. You can eat, sleep and hold parties there," he says. "And the swing is a symbol of youth - the rocking of a cradle as your mum puts you to sleep."
The intrepid and peace-loving Grace was inspired by colourful hilltribe fashions. Keeping things cool, simple and chic, she's combined new technology with traditional handicrafts to make a coffee table decorated with the 12 zodiac signs of folk culture.
Fashion designer Somchai breaks the shell of his humble origins with his concept "Kai on Stilettos".
"I came from the South - Pattani - and was raised in Yala. Then I broke into the fashion world," he says. "So I thought why not put kai [an egg] on stiletto heels?" His couch is egg-shaped, the legs resembling stilettos' heels. But this is no joke: Somchai has demanded haute couture-quality stitching and the finest leather in two-tone olive green.
ML Piyapas, also director of CB Holding, brings a special elegance with her "Thai Heritage" concept. She's transformed the familiar large stool, once a focal point in many Thai households, into something chic. In leather and wood, the proportions of the water-drop shaped stool conform to the Golden Ratio of 8:5.
"My Style, My Signature" is sponsored by Modernform to commemorate the 80th birthday of the King, with all proceeds to be presented to His Majesty. The furniture will be on display November 28 at Gaysorn Plaza. To reserve a piece, call (02) 722 8250, extensions 2510 and 2511.