A Round Table on the Ethics of Working With Artisans, and How to Respectfully Bridge Cultural and Geographic Divides

Over the last year, I've been laying the foundation for a new company that aims to connect Thailand and the U.S. through the universal languages of craft and design. I found myself thinking about how designers can foster a respectful, non-exploitive engagement when they're creating products with artisan communities rather than in factories, so I organized a roundtable discussion on the topic with three participants who have experience in bridging barriers of geography or culture: Peter Mabeo of Mabeo Furniture, Casa Wabi director Carla Sodi, and Tantuvi founder Arati Rao.
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By Innovating Local Materials and Manufacturing, This Bangkok Studio Is Redefining Thai Design

Decha Archjananun and Ploypan Theerachai, the couple behind the Bangkok-based product and furniture-design studio Thinkk, named their practice after their core professional pursuit: to think past the obvious and propose a new narrative for what it means to be “made in Thailand.” It’s a theme they’ve explored not only in their own work, but through exhibitions and projects they’ve organized since graduating from European design schools (ECAL and Konstfack) and returning to Thailand to found their studio in 2011.
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Guest Editor Robert Sukrachand Wants Us To Embrace the World’s Diverse Design Perspectives

As part of our 2020 Guest Editors series, we've asked each editor to write a personal essay that introduces themselves and the ideas and inspirations behind their week of content on Sight Unseen. Today, meet Robert Sukrachand, a New York furniture designer and American Design Hot List alum. "I’ve aimed to stop trafficking in the binary language that separates 'craft' from 'design,' or 'primitive' from 'modern,'" he writes. "The rigidity embodied in these distinctions is a tool that reinforces colonial hierarchies."
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