If you have a chance to visit a house in Southern Thailand, you will notice that most houses have one thing in common, which is wooden bird cages hung at the front. Bird singing competitions have been a big thing in the area for decades, so people don’t only raise birds as a hobby, but also for sport. But for Nakhon Si Thammarat-based designer Supachai Klaewtanong, founder of Nakkhid Studio and TIMA, that was the starting point.
Combining the traditional birdcage structure with the natural shape of “Jaak” or Nipa palm, a plant commonly found in the region, he created a new lamp collection that retells the local way of life through simple forms. The design are easy to reproduce by local craftsmen and made with affordable materials. The lamp collection was later extended into a furniture collection.
His method resulted in many awards, from the Innovative Craft Award 2015 by SACICT and DE Mark Award 2015 by DITP to the Designer of the Year 2017 in the product design category from Silpakorn University and DITP. He also had a chance to represent Thailand in Milan Design Week 2016 and Maison & Objet 2018. In 2015, he found TIMA, a design brand whose name came from the Malay word ‘Timba’ or water container, to further his vision to elevate the Southern Thai cultural heritage to the next level.