Kritbodee Chaicharoen is a multi-disciplinary designer with experience throughout the industry; from architecture to art direction, graphic design to interior design.
Will you give us a little overview of your professional life?
I was an architect in Bangkok before I entered the SVA. After I graduated in 2016, I started working as a graphic designer for J.CREW. I am currently a senior designer at La Mer, a luxury skincare company based in New York City.
What are some of your recent, favorite, most challenging, or most interesting projects?
My thesis at MFAD remains the project that I feel the most passionate about. I came from Thailand and joined this program with an idea to create something that could elevate the value of Thai design. At the end of the program, I created PREM. It is an everyday-products brand designed by Thai designers, using local materials and reintroducing traditional arts and crafts in a contemporary lifestyle context. This thesis is an actual starting point as I am planning to make it happen in the future.
Which designers do you admire most?
I admire every good-intentioned designer who understands their responsibility towards their society. It might sound a little ‘cliche’, but I truly believe that designers have a power to make the world a better place. I admire anyone who is conscious about it and uses their influence and creativity to try to have a positive impact on their surroundings, even when it only means a minor change in society.
How do you stay inspired?
I love to travel and see different things. Every place I go, every person I meet has a potential to inspire me. As long as I keep my mind open, everyday can really be inspirational.
Which design trends do you love? Which trends make you cringe?
I see more and more industries going towards ‘eco-friendly’ and sustainable design approaches, which is great, but I also see that some only use it as a trend, a label or a marketing tool regardless the actual sustainability of their product. I believe that we all share a responsibility in what we create and what we use to create: sustainability is not only an end, it should always be a means.
Now that a few years have passed since graduating, Kritbodee was also able to offer valuable insight on how to get the most out of MFAD.
What advice would you give incoming students?
See it as a playground for your creativity. Don’t be afraid to fall or make mistakes, because that’s exactly what you should use this time for. Push your limits. Try to do things that you’ve never done. Stay out of your comfort zone. And never forget to have fun. In the end, you will never regret how much you learned from it.
What is your favorite part of the MFA Design program?
To have people listening to what you want to say and letting you do what you want to do. You don’t get this often in the ‘real world’/professional environment. Everyone at MFAD is here to support whatever you do and whoever you want to become. I am very grateful for the MFAD’s amazing crowd.
How has the program’s multidisciplinary approach helped you?
It helped me look at design through different lens. Good design is not just something visually beautiful, but it builds on understanding the surrounding context: historical, social, economic, environmental, etc. This multidisciplinary approach is essential if you want to step your creativity up and put more meaning in your design.
What impact has SVA MFA Design had on your career?
It has broadened my career path. I entered the program with an architectural background. The program provided me with opportunities to explore myself outside of my original field of expertise, to use my creativity in other kinds of media from print, product, film, installation arts and more. It strengthened the confidence that I could do anything.
If you could choose a thesis topic today, what would you pick?
PREM. And I am still doing it. It didn’t end when I was graduated. If you want to learn more about his thesis project, please check out premthailand.com!
To see more of Kritbodee’s work, stop by kritbodee.com.