Interview with Kansaranat Pear Nerngchamnong

Winner of Social Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Kansaranat Pear Nerngchamnong shares insights


Interview with Kansaranat Pear Nerngchamnong at Sunday 21st of October 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
KN : I went to undergrad at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for Film and Television and graduate school at Parsons School of Design for Strategic Design and Management.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
KN : My passion for storytelling and problem-solving has always been my main driver in everything that I do, and that led me to combine my former training to focus my practice on Design Thinking.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
KN : I chose to become a designer, but also my past personal and professional experiences have formed my path to be in a design field.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
KN : I wish to be more involved in the field of Service Design and Design for Social Impact.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
KN : To continue to learn. I am still learning and still have so much more to learn, and I think it’s important to have your sensors and curiosity turn on no matter how many years you have worked in the field.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
KN : I think a good designer delivers an amazing project. A great designer brings what they learned from past projects to continue to improve.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
KN : A design that responds to the needs of users. Design can’t just be visually appealing; it has to function well and serve the purpose.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
KN : A good design is sustainable. It benefits long-term impact and usage.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
KN : Empathy. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand their needs, their pains and gains. That way you’re really designing something that will truly benefit your customers.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
KN : I really admire the work that comes from Ideo and their practice in human-centred design.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
KN : I am always open to new challenges and new learnings. If there is something I don’t know how to do, then I try to understand it. Even if I failed on the first attempt, at least I learned from it.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
KN : Design is a way to improve human interactions, and it comes in various forms: whether it's in the form of how human relationships interact with space, how products help improve our daily lives, how design helps communicate, or how design help better services and communities.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
KN : My sister, her boyfriend, my mother, and my boyfriend are my biggest supporters. I’m also very grateful to have great friends, have opportunities to have met inspiring teachers and supportive bosses from companies I’ve worked for.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
KN : My Colleagues, friends, and employers all have helped shaped my skills and learnings.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
KN : I think self-doubt was one of the main obstacles. You always doubt if this will be enough. I think the best way to overcome that is to focus your energy on your passion and directly on the work that you do. Focusing on the joy of creation.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
KN : Design helps shape our society and is embedded within everything we interact with on a daily basis. And I think that is why any design work with a good purpose can be very impactful. Some of the issues around the world only speak to a specific group of people, and that’s when design can come to help expand the communications to a larger audience.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
KN : My recent passion project called Bear is a platform that helps address End-of-Life preparation and communications. The End-of-Life issue itself is a sensitive subject and considered a taboo among society due to its association with sadness. Despite a few doubts that I received from other people, I chose to continue to develop the concept because I truly believe that there must be a better way to design and help those that are in bereavement. I recently received acknowledgements from a different awards competition, and that help validates that this project has a potential to help the people in bereavement and tackle the issue of End-of-Life conversations.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
KN : I think the design field will continue to grow and become very involved in technology and innovation. As the world continues to change and influenced by technology, the design field will help bridge the gap between computers and humans.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
KN : I think it takes two to tango.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
KN : Technology is a powerful tool. I mainly use Adobe Creative Suite, but I also appreciate the impact from a program like InVision for prototyping, or even project management software to help streamline the workflow within the company.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
KN : I always start with a pencil and a paper to group my thoughts and ideas before I take it to Adobe Creative Suite.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
KN : It helps generate the personality, looks, feel, and meaning of the design. Certain colours resembles certain specific emotions, attract different target audiences, and represent brand presence.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
KN : Amazing! I want to find out more! What’s the functionality?

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
KN : I feel extremely grateful for the awards and recognition. I'm also very grateful for the people that helped contribute and teach me along the way.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
KN : My favourite colour is blue, and vanilla. My favourite place is the home that I share with my boyfriend in New York because it is the place where I feel most at ease. My favourite food is Thai and all things spicy. Summer is my favourite season.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
KN : Good sleep, food for all meals, a pencil and notebook all contribute to a clear mind to design. But a good Spotify playlist is always a bonus point.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
KN : I don’t think it was obvious but I’ve always have a keen interest in the arts and sports growing up.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
KN : I think automation/technology will still play an important role, but I also see (and hope) that the future will dedicate to sustainability, continue to design our cities to be resilient (hoping that we learn that we’ve done enough harm to the world and learn from the continuous impact we made on global warming).