Khoi Tran Nguyen Bao

Good in Furniture Design.

About Khoi Tran Nguyen Bao

Khoi is a product designer. He loves designing furniture and housewares. In this field, he won several design awards in his country. Everyday, he tries to learn news from work and life, thinking about positive things. In design, he wants to make as many different options as possible then refine them. Simplification is the key to handle his problems. Simple but not superficial is what he always pursues. In his opinion, live kindly, listen and share with others contribute to a better society. Especially humor, it is the key to solve all difficulties in life.

  • Winner of Furniture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Furniture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Furniture
Mekong Writing Desk

Mekong Writing Desk

Furniture Design


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Interview with Khoi Tran Nguyen Bao

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I majored in Product Design major at Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture, Vietnam. Before that, I studied art at a college for a few years. I love to draw my thoughts on a blank page; the excitement and also challenge when creating something new that made me become a designer. I think that no career brings more real value to my life than designing.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
At present, I do not own a company or a design studio. I am working full time for a big Vietnamese furniture manufacturing company.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I am almost satisfied with the projects that I design, a white massage chair designed for the US market is a example. It has a furturistic style. Everyone loves it.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
It's an outdoor furniture collection I designed when I was a student. It gave me a trip aboard to expand my design mindset.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I love wood, glossy metal such as stainless steel, alluminium...Modern CNC machining technology is also quiet interesting.
When do you feel the most creative?
I often feel the most creative in the early morning or when I am optimistic.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
The impressive first look, new details and the applicability of product are which I focus more during designing.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
That is excitement and a bit of a rush, sometimes quite slowly. I try to catch emotions and thoughts as quickly as possible.
What makes a design successful?
I think that is the satisfaction of the person who owns and uses them. Or the way it blends into daily life most naturally.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
I consider whether its form and functions are suitable for design purpose. Does it bring satisfaction to the user?
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Those are questions that must be given frequently: how to meet customer expectations for products, but but the production process is limited in harm to the environment.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I think the "design field" is evolving in a way that is closer to the needs of people than ever before. It increasingly understands the psychology of users. The future of design is smart products, more friendly to the environment.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
It was 2 years ago at the international fair Vifa Home 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Whether or not my next exhibition will happen depends on whether I can create good designs anymore.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
They come from the interesting things I suddenly discovered in life. Reading books, drawing sketches, looking at beautiful pictures everyday, having fun with everyone is how I feed my creativity. My sources of inspirations are curiosity, like to make things different.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
My design style is aimed at modernity, keeping things as simple and logical as possible. I love a phrase adopted by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe "Less is more". Main characteristics of my style is to combine smooth and coherent lines, eliminating the extra details. I like using neutral tones. Market research is my approach to design.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Yes, the cultural heritage of my country partially influences my design. The pros during designing is that it brings uniqueness to the work and the cons is that you can not leave those features intact, you have to adjust to fit the general design trend in the world.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Let designers try their best, don't put too many restrictions in the beginning, do not too urge them. And most importantly, encourage them. I am not sure how can companies select a good designer, as long as good designers match their needs.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
It is like the design process of other designers: Read carefully the design requirements, refer to the new design trends, express ideas by hand sketches or computer. Continuous exchange with customers and technicians until the product is complete.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Busy goes with me from morning to 4 p.m. A "ca phe da" cup on the sidewalk brings to me a little relaxtion after work. Before sleep, I spend my time on private projects, research or just go to bed early.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positives: Have wide knowledge base from culture to technology, an interesting personality. Negative: Sometimes the work will follow me into sleep.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I use some software as Rhinoceros, Photoshop, Auto cad..for work. I enjoy reading books that describe art and design through the ages
What was your most important job experience?
Every environment I work in, every project I get gives me different experiences, so it's hard to say which is the most important.
Who are some of your clients?
They are manufacturing businesses that need to buy external designs for their plans.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Product design. Because through each project, I learn more lots of knowledge from materials, technology..to human psychology.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I still work for furniture manufacturing businesses a few years to accumulate more knowledge. The next is a new furniture collection that is reminiscent of Saigon old time.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
In daily work, I work as team. For individual projects, I develope my designs myself.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Yes, I'm designing a furniture collection based on "Mekong" idea.
How can people contact you?
They can contact me by my email: khoitran5490@gmail.com. I thank for all attention.

Extended Interview with Khoi Tran Nguyen Bao

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I majored in Product Design major at Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture, Vietnam. Before that, I studied art at a college for a few years.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
To free my thoughts. My interest in drawing from childhood has led me to design profession.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
Previously, I used to design industrial products such as: transport, lighting, home appliances, pedicure spa..Now, I want to focus on furniture field.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
Based on how people perceive and position their products. A good designer brings a good product, a great designer brings a story, I think so.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
A really good design: No need to change anything anymore.. I evaluate a good design depends on customer satisfaction.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
That is the benefit it brings to its users. Everyone invest in good design because of its potential, a good design goes a long way.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
It is ahead. But I don't think too much about it, I try my best in any project I design, always remember the achievements.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
Thinking coherently, persistence, work hard, read a lot. view a lot, always find opportunities.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I learn quiet many from design myths from fashion to product design, architecture and interior. I admire the constant working of Karl Lagerfeld, the utmost sophistication in his design; the crazy of John Galliano. Quasar Khanh, Philippe Starck, Karim Rhasid, Zaha Hadid..are also legends that their freedom in creativity, the mixing of science and artistic inspired me.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
I like Louis Ghost Chair of Philippe Starck, B306 of Le Corbusier's studio, The Animal Chair by Máximo Riera..They teach me how a beautiful structure, the unique thinking about using material, shapes..
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
That is the Nervure Chair in cast alluminum furniture line of Quasar Khanh. It is a love poem, a perfect simulation from nature with beautiful lines and superb craftmanship.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is a game of thinking. You do not want someome to give you a complete set of instructions from start to end like the installation guide of a Ikea's table.
What helped you to become a great designer?
I think I am not a great designer yet. What helps me improve is effort and curiousity.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
There are always obstacles on your way such as getting used to new technologies, skills and things in life that govern your work. Thinking that you are already a design master will be a burden to the creative process. Be carefree like the kids.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
That is still furniture. The wood processing and furniture manufacturing industry in Vietnam is growing fast and stably. So designers like us have a lot of work to do. I am working hard to introduce better products in the future.
How does design help create a better society?
The starting point of the design is the problem. The more well-solved problems, the better society is.
What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
The furniture items really suit the people, climate and culture of Vietnam.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
These are things that I feel are more special than anything I have designed, and they also get good feedback from clients. Mekong Writing Desk is the project I am most proud of ever. It makes the dream "A' Design Award& Competition" come true.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
Minimize pollution to the environment, especially water sources. Every product that is no longer in use is completely recyclable. I wish one day, a commodity would be discharged. a tree would be planted.
What is your life motto as a designer?
Don't rush, calm down and enjoy. Don't turn yourself nto a printer.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
A trend can originate from any event, sometimes it is accidental.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
Who support my limitations. I believe, as long as the specific work of each person clearly defined.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
There are some books I love that affect me. "What is product design?" by Laura Slack, "Bauhaus" by Magdalena Droste..are examples.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
Always learning. Observing, analyzing and drawing should be a habit.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
I appreciate the achievements I had. I do not think much about the famous because the world is moving so fast and there is a lot to do.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
Color: Emerald Green. Place: Saigon. Food: banh mi (Vietnamese Baguette). Season: Winter. Thing: LC4 Chair. Brand: Cassina.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
In 2014, I displayed an outdoor relaxing chair, its shape resembles a Vietnamese national musical instrument. People were afraid and did not want to try until I sat comfortably, they laughed a lot.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
That is thinking about pre-bed ideas and wanting the morning comes quickly to draw those ideas. The desire to create something new or improve my skills are the ways I motivate myself.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
When I was a child, the internet wasn't quite as developed as it is now. I realized that I was able to draw and just care for those premitive works. As I get older with more information, I define what a designer is like and learn to be a designer. But with the title of great designer, instead of always thinking that sweetness, I try to do jobs better yesterday and make the right decisions.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
The future will be very difficult. People are more and more afraid climate change. They are also too fed up with the huge amount of waste that is released every day. In a hundred years, I see a dark grey color filled with garbage, human greed and impasse. But I also see a green color when people know enough, realizing that luxury matter is not as valuable as napping under green trees. Nature will be harsher but human will adapt. Each product produced will be assessed as rigorously as possible and environmental protection values are higher than the cost.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I wish when they travel to Vietnam, see the peaceful countryside along the Mekong River, they will remember my "wooden boat", of a designer who constantly strives to make better works.

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