Very Kind Invention was founded by Class of 2011 alumni Petchpisut Assarasakorn (MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship), Thiyaporn Panikbutr (MA Cross Sectoral and Community Arts) and Attanon Wongluang (MA Design and Critical Practice), along with collaborator, Lisa Nantaterm who studied at Central Saint Martins. We caught up with them to find out about their time at Goldsmiths and what they’re currently working on. Very Kind Invention is currently featured in the latest edition of Goldlink, the alumni magazine.
Based in Bangkok and London, Very Kind Invention is a company experienced in visual communication, experience design and content development. They integrate their different backgrounds and educations in order to create works that are kind to people of all ages, the environment and the world. They were recently named Emerging Talent in Wallpaper Design of the Year 2015.
What was your experience of being at Goldsmiths? We gained more than academic knowledge from Goldsmiths – it was a great experience studying with fellow students who came from various interesting backgrounds. The learning environment taught us to be open-minded and perceptive of cultural differences. What we loved about studying here is the way we were taught to think and try things for ourselves. We explored new concepts and methodologies that were fresh for Thailand. Goldsmiths also taught us that creativity and creative processes are infinite, and there are always new ways to do things and new theories to try out. We saw many possibilities and opportunities and this led to us founding Very Kind Invention after graduation.
What brought you together? We were friends before we attended Goldsmiths but it was really coincidental that we ended up at the same university in the same academic year. We shared a flat and organised several projects in London. That year was a transitional period – together, we explored our options and learned from this new, exciting environment. In the end, we found we were on the same page creatively, and Goldsmiths played a crucial role in our creative growth. During that year, we organised a fashion show called Remake Remodel at the Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Pavilion. The project ended up becoming our graduation work.
What inspired you to create Very Kind Invention? It was a fun and exciting experience to discover ourselves and learn new things at Goldsmiths, and living in London showed us that there are endless possibilities and opportunities. That year taught us that anything is possible if we actually take action. Even though we didn’t know how we would make it happen, we just knew that we had to try. That was how VKI started.
Are there any particular experiences or events that characterised your time here? We organised several projects in London during our time at Goldsmiths. The first project was Remake Remodel, a fashion show at the Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Pavilion, which showcased traditional Thai fabric from a completely different perspective. The show aimed to present the potential of Thai silk as a desirable material for the fashion industry. We also organised a few events under the name ‘Coconut Project’ including a fundraising event to help Japan during the 2011 earthquake and a pop-up cafe called Urban Camper at an exhibition of a Taiwanese artist during London Design Week.
How do you think your studies have impacted your work now? All of us graduated from different programmes and we each have our own area of expertise that shapes the structure of our firm today. When combined, our expertise created a perfect combination that was tied together nicely with the unique way of thinking we gained from our year at Goldsmiths. Although not directly, we got to use what we learned from university within the scope of our work every day. For example, the most valuable thing Petchpisut got from her the MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship programme was the experience of getting to know and work with people from various cultures.
What is your greatest achievement so far? It’s definitely seeing our creative concepts and proposals accepted and respected by clients who came to us because they trust our creative instinct. After only a few years in the industry, we are now at the point where the briefs from clients often come as “Do anything you want that will fit well with our brand.” It is also a humbling experience to know that design students admire and follow our studio’s works. We are definitely in a very good place for a company that has been in operation for only a few years.
What is Very Kind Invention currently working on? Recently we worked with several government organisations and leading department stores in Bangkok. We hope that our ways of presenting art and culture will reach a wider audience so that they can gradually enjoy our concepts and messages without feeling forced into it. It’s always fun to do something new but now that Thai people are more open to experience changes, it’s especially fulfilling. We are also working on an exhibition inspired by a Buddhist concept of ‘no-self’. The exhibition will discuss Buddhist philosopher, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s teaching and interpretation of the nonexistence of our self. It’s been very much fun delving into the research for this exhibition.
You can find out more about Very Kind Invention on their website.