Nguyen Phan Thuy Duong
Managing Editor – Elle Decoration Vietnam
Graduated with a master’s degree in Design Management from SCAD and Visual Design from SPD Milano, and is currently Lecturer in Graphics of the University of Architecture of HCM City, Teacher at RMIT University and Managing Editor of ELLE Decoration Vietnam, Nguyen Phan Thuy Duong is passionate about learning the art of craft from different cultures around the world, the art of typography, the architecture and furniture design. Everyday work gives her the opportunity to know more inspirational characters and topics about the beauty of life.
Lecturer/Journalist Duong Nguyen:
“Whether modern women have more experiences in life?”
Passionate about work, eager to learn about the art of craft of many cultures around the world and appreciating every beauty of life, for Duong Nguyen, women whether traditional or modern, are always women. They are sweet, charming, beautiful, intelligent, full of passion and ready to face challenges.
Continuing the series “The Empowered Women” campaign by Hanoia, let’s meet Lecturer of the University of Architecture/Managing Editor of Elle Decoration Vietnam Nguyen Phan Thuy Duong in her rare spare moments.
1. Being lecturer at the University of Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City, teacher at RMIT University and managing editor of ELLE Decoration Vietnam magazine, how do you balance this busy schedule with your own life?
Between teaching and producing a magazine, which work do you spend more time and which work do you enjoy more? What does daily work bring to you in life?
I’ve always been doing many jobs at the same time since the beginning of my working journey, so I’ve get used to it. Fortunately, these jobs have flexible schedules, so if I can organize them properly, I can still manage them. However, I have to say that I myself would not be able to balance my work without my team and my longtime colleagues who understand me, love me and always support me. This is my luckiest thing at work.
I start teaching since 2009 and feel I’ve been with this job long enough to understand it defines myself. As I’m a bit “greedy”, I love these jobs equally and find them as essential supplements to balance and support the development of myself, of my career. Every day, I have the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas from my students, and to learn from the experts and designers I’m working with at the publication. The daily work motivates me to be always active.
2. As a modern woman, what do you define a modern woman?
I think whether modern or traditional, women are always women with their charm, their beauty, their intelligence, their passion and their difficulties in life. In my opinion, the life of a woman is full of colors and extremely interesting. In modern time, life is faster, so does she have the chance to experience more?
❝ The daily work motivates me to be always active.
3. Knowing that one of your biggest passions is to learn the art of craft from different cultures around the world, could you please share us in details? Which art of craft are you most impressed with? Why? What do you think about Vietnamese lacquer?
At the pinnacle of the luxury world, the craftsmanship is the sign of superior value. Handmade products aren’t simply products that are crafted by hand, they also refer to the absolute mastery of manipulating tools, to the understanding and appreciation of raw materials. Only when people use their hands to make the shape, they can feel the connection of raw materials in nature. In order to successfully create and craft a product, they are required to “base on” the nature of raw materials to bring into full play their characteristics. That is the application under consideration, not the over exploitation of natural resources.
At a higher level, handicrafts tell original stories about the culture, the identity, the emotion and the life’s point of view of their authors. I think if we spend enough time contemplating, we will “learn” a lot from the handmade works.
Vietnamese lacquer has been our pride for many years. I look forward to seeing these traditional techniques be passed on to the next generations so that this story will continuously be alive under more contemporary art perspectives.
4. Is furniture design your hobby? What are the works you like the most? According to you, can we customize the furniture to suit each living space or each interior style needs its own furniture?
I highly appreciate furniture creations of high quality, as wood and furniture manufacturing always affects the environment. When observing the works of local and international designers, I have a thorough insight into the world and their creative journey – every detail of the shape, every choice of material, every color is the result of a powerful decision. Therefore, I can’t name the works of my best interest. I’m so greedy, right?
Personally, I’m not a perfectionist who pursues just one interior style. In my opinion, the living space in general needs a certain adjustment to reflect the story of its owner. And us, the owners are always changing.
5. What do you usually do in your spare time? What makes you happy every day? Can you share the secret to become a happy woman?
If I have some free time, I will spend it for myself. Every day, I’m happy to dialogue with interesting ideas and projects of my friends or surrounding people – they give me a very positive energy.
I don’t dare say that I have any secret to become happy. Each day for each people is a small fight. And I hope you also find something humorous, something beautiful or emotional in your live journey.