Meet Panasit Pimchan, a Co-Founder & Designer of unique furniture brand Bambunique, and discover a story about bamboo that will change your perception.
Bamboo holds a special place in Thai traditional culture, however some will say that the perception of bamboo wood does not evoke a sense of luxury. Panasit Pimchan, who is a Co-Founder & Designer of Bambunique, says otherwise. He has harnessed creative design with his degree in Architecture (Industrial Design) from Chulalongkorn University to firstly create engineering applications for bamboo and then, in 2010, he gave birth to Bambunique, which today is a leader in home goods manufacturing with specific expertise with bamboo.
Bambunique quickly gained recognition for design excellence at international level by winning DEmark & GEmark awards in 2014 for its Bench Ra-dee Collection, also securing its position in the luxury sustainable furniture niche. Appreciation for its traditional raw material of choice and stylish designs have ensured that Bambunique is a regular participant at Maison et Objet in Paris and that it has long-term partnerships - for example, its Garden Line collection has furnished the outer areas of all Starbucks outlets in the Asia-Pacific. The abundance of bamboo in Thai forests allows Bambunique to use local bamboo wood, mainly from Ubon Ratchathani, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok. Needless to say, the furniture is appreciated by local retail customers as well as overseas, and the brand has already expanded to international markets such as the U.S.A. and Singapore.
“Bamboo is a plant that is spiritual, and that is both a pro and con for our production,” said Panasit. When the suitability of using bamboo fibre for engineering applications first piqued his interest, he learned about its qualities such as flexibility and elasticity by trial and error. The fact that each bamboo culm varies in size, shape and pattern sounds far from ideal for engineering applications, yet Panasit was able to eventually meld traditional craft techniques (the material-forming process) with contemporary treatments. Bambunique’s furniture redefines the perception of bamboo- made furnishings and interiors with their elegant design inspired by the cultures of Asia, and their made-to-last manufacture. There is also an equilibrium to be found between making tasteful, desirable products and retaining a sense of Thai craftsmanship and spirit, so furniture designers and craftsmen truly need to understand and respect the homegrown material. “Thai giant bamboo is the thickest compared to other species and rough, so the success of our production and designs rely on meticulousness handling and crafting of each piece of wood,” Panasit said.
Panasit explained how his design philosophy is rooted in a deep understanding of the origin of bamboo. “Growing up watching my father, who worked in the Royal Thai Forest Department, ‘planted the seeds’ of forest conservation awareness in me and encouraged me to later work with a focus on sustainability,” he said. This was his approach to managing a sustainability-centric and commercially-viable business. Bamboo may resemble a tree but it is a perennial evergreen in the grass family, and regrows faster than other hardwood-producing trees. It is this quality that can help curb deforestation. “The surge in bamboo wood usage for furniture production and other applications is supporting the renewal of Thai forests and sustainability,” said Panasit. Bambunique is rigorously driven by this vision, constantly
For more information about Bambunique, visit https://bambunique.com/