Alumni Spotlight: Nham Wongpradu

What are you doing professionally?

After returning to Bangkok at the end of year 2015. My creative partner and I set up a small design studio called "The Head and The Heart Studio." We are a transdiscipline design/branding studio that uses scientific thinking process to create emotional design results. I also give lectures from time to time at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

How has your thesis progressed?

My thesis,  Monkey Riding Tiger, is a farm to table pop-up food truck experience made from collaborations between creative chefs and Thailand's organic farmers.I am still determined to make it happen and I am so glad that every time I meet my project partners, they are still eager to make this project a reality. It feels great because the project has given them some passion to want to continue working on it. A year has passed and I now see that the business plan needs to be changed according to the fast moving business environment, but, yes, I would love to continue this at the end of this year. So stay tuned.

What are your long term goal/short term goals?

I remember answering to Lita Talarico's question when she interviewed me for the admission to SVA MFA Design. I said I think being on a design path for me is like being a monk in search of nirvana. I just want to keep learning and learning about this until I finally understand everything. So right now, even though I am still on my way to enlightenment in design, whenever I look back, my path overall is a very happy one. (Insert a smiley face here.)
Thus, my design studio becomes an important short and long term goal since I've been learning a lot everyday while I am working as a designer. I plan to keep learning all my life and try to find ways to serve my community better through design.

What impact has SVA MFA Design had on your career

Studying with wonderful designers from all over the world gives me my life-long friendships and most important of all, an open heart to ideas and differences. I think this really impacts me as a person and really open up my perspective towards life and design.I still use so many things I've been taught in classes at MFA Design direct and indirectly almost everyday in my life, especially my ability to communicate and design effectively and efficiently. I can easily related to clients and become their friend because I have knowledge of how to build a business. I gained trust from them because of that.

Has our "do it all" approach changed the way you work or approach a project?

Absolutely, I always believe design is not a one way street and it is easy to get trapped in your own very way of answering the question. Working in different methods back in classes at MFA Design allows me to now know that there are different ways to do one thing and once you know how to really design one thing, you know how to design it all.

What advice would you give incoming students?

Don't be afraid to fail. The classes here might make you feel nervous but I believe being nervous also means you are getting out of your comfort zone. And there's no other places better than school to fail and be nervous. Lastly, I hope you make great friends and enjoy New York like I do.

You can see Nham Wongpradu's work on her studio's  website.