Global Young Talent, Suksakaow Mahuttanatan, is an experimenter who loves to create incorporating interactive and unconventional materials into her designs. Inspired by life around her, how different things are made and what they represent is reflected throughout her vibrant design work. Believing there’s a deeper meaning behind each aspect of life encourages Suksakaow to strive to design with a purpose. Read further to gain a deeper insight into Harper’s Bazaar June 2021 Global Young Talent’s thought and work process.

Your designs are bursting with colour, what inspires you to work with these bright colours?

I tend to work a lot with colours as I think colours can give specific moods to things. I consider it to have personality like a person, whether it be young and cheerful, or cool and reserved – it’s something that I consider the personality and age of colours.

For example, in my recent project Line, I wanted to capture the playfulness and inner childlike personality, so I chose colours that I consider primarily young and playful. It gives a nice and refreshing contrast to the gloomy atmosphere during the pandemic. As for Dreamscape,I chose a calmer and more composed colour palette. 

You talk about relating your work to children and their characteristics, has this been an area you’ve always been interested in?

I am interested in people’s characteristics overall as I see arts as something that represents the internal significance rather than just external materialisation. It is always an exciting challenge to try to create designs for different types of people, particularly those that do not only maintain their characteristics, but also allow them to feel comfortable with it. After all, it is not about fitting people into the mainstream, but about striving to represent each individual person by bringing the inside out.

As for Dreamscape,I chose a calmer and more composed colour palette.

Y You experiment with interactive and regenerate designs, could you tell us more about the techniques that you use?

For a couple of projects, I integrated Arduino and coding into my design. These components make the design interactive and responsive to the observers. I like the way electronics create movements to my work, as if it had come to life. I found myself working a lot with motors and sensors. In my most recent project Dreamscape, I used a combination of servos and flex sensors to make the design interactive to a user’s movements. This was made with a set of codes that maps the curving degree of flex sensors to servo motors rotation angles, resulting in a design structure that change according to the user's hand movements. Regenerate design is something I strive for as it aligns with my vision of sustainability. I have been doing multiple researches on materials – biomaterial, to be specific. I believe that I can expand my creative potential further by trying new things and with incorporation of sciences.

Regenerate design is something I strive for as it aligns with my vision of sustainability


Has the current pandemic influenced your work in anyway at all?

The pandemic has influenced a lot and in many ways. I found myself working and experimenting with more materials as I don’t have access to my typical facilities. It is just incredibly different from before when I could easily find those I needed in the art store. I started to explore any materials I could find in my house and re-evaluate their purposes. How I could use them has been an echoing question. For example, packaging wastes could also be used to create different brush strokes. I then found this practice interesting, and have continued doing it since. Also, during the lockdown, I spent a significant amount of time developing my digital skills, which have also influenced my design practice afterwards.

You combine hand drawn patterns and digital prints, do you have a preference on which technique you use?

Each technique has its own unique essence that can’t be replaced by the other. I like to combine several of them in order to a design. Crayon, acrylics and ink are my most used medias, whereas Photoshop and Illustrator are my personal choices when doing digital arts.   My designs are mostly created by hand. I personally like to work with physical things first – like a collage or mark making. I feel hand drawn patterns created with actual media better depict the textures and dimensions. After I have developed my designs towards the final stages, I will then do it digitally on my laptop, just to give them the final touches. 

I feel hand drawn patterns created with actual media better depict the textures and dimensions.

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Words by Holly Cramman