Chiang Mai-based Thai American furniture designer Robert Sukrachand’s output has always been an exploration of his cross-cultural identity. From his Mirazzo collection which references the terrazzo street furniture seen all over Thailand to his sculptural 3D mirrors that speak to the complexity of self-reflection, Sukrachand has used design to explore his heritage.
Robert Sukrachand is a New York City and Chiang Mai based furniture designer. Since launching his first collection in 2015 Robert has created mixed material works that blend divergent material and cultural influences.
In 2019 Robert’s work turned introspective with Mirazzo, a collection of mirror and stone aggregate benches which reinterpreted Thailand’s terrazzo street furniture. This was an attempt to use his own material vernacular to build upon a hybrid form in which no single designer – but rather Thai material society more broadly – had reimagined an Italian construction technique in a way that pervades everyday Thai life.
Speaking about his new company, which aims to create “design conversations” between designers in the United States and crafts communities in Thailand, Sukrachand adds, “I grew up in Massachusetts with my American mother but began spending summer breaks in Thailand with my father when he moved back here. The new company I am building attempts to take that ‘in-betweenness’—throughout my life a source of angst and restiveness—and instead view it as a rich ecosystem for designers, craftspeople, and customers to connect through the universal language of design.”
The company’s first offering is a collection of sculptural bells from Korean American designer Pat Kim inspired by the Buddhist bells seen all over Ban Pa Ao in northeastern Thailand, where Sukrachand and Kim learned the ancient lost-wax brass casting technique.
Thai-American furniture designer Robert Sukrachand sees craft as ‘a universal language communicated through hands and inherited knowledge.’ And with his new company, currently based in Chiang Mai, he aims to ‘use it as the tissue to bridge cultural barriers’. By inviting American creatives to team up with Thai makers, he has produced Buddhist-inspired bells with brass workers north-east of Bangkok, and will soon partner with lacquer artisans from the Karen hill tribes. ‘The words I always hear as a result of our collaborations is mee kwam sook,’ he says. ‘That roughly translates to “happiness”.’
Robert’s work is frequently featured in such publications as Interior Design, The New York Times Style Magazine, RUM ID, Elle Decor, The Cut, and Design Milk, among others. In 2020, he was named as “one of the 20 names to know now in American design” by the editors of Sight Unseen.