Piyaluk Benjadol (1967) is an Assistant Professor in Communication Design at the School of Fine and Applied Arts, Bangkok University, Thailand. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in Design Arts at Silpakorn University, Bangkok. Piyaluk graduated with a B.F.A. in Product Design and started her career as a designer at Jim Thompson’s in-house company. In 1991, she received a grant from Bangkok University to pursue an M.F.A. in Computer Graphics Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, U.S.A. Since 1995, she had been involved in design education as instructor, lecturer, and supervisor. She served as the head of Communication Design Department starting from 1995 to 2001 and from 2006 to 2010.
As an instructor, Piyaluk teaches and lectures on various subjects and specializes on packaging design, communication design, and contemporary issues related to graphic design. She compiled a Thai textbook on packaging and graphic design on packaging in 2006. Eventually when her interest shifts to Semiotics and Post-structuralism, she started applying semiotics frameworks to graphic design field and provided an essay about decoding Thai advertisements. In an attempt to connect graphic design practices and professions to cultural issues and social contexts, her papers, as design criticism, are published in books, magazines, and academic journals.
In 2010, she participated in a team for a commissioned research project by Thailand Creative Design Center (TCDC), “Vernacular Thai Graphic Design”, in collaboration with Practical Design Studio team. This historical research gathered information about Thai graphic design career transformation from lettering and illustration artisans in printing studio to contemporary graphic designers in early advertising and design studios.
In addition to educational activities, Piyaluk believes that graphic design, especially the signification process and its power in meaning constructions, has great impacts on our society. In 1998, she cofounded a collective art and design group, “Nuts Society” and had been joining its projects and activities in many countries until present. One of her prominent design and activity-based project in collaboration with Nuts Society is “Writing Gaw Khaw Kaw (กขค): A Learning Reform”. This project introduces the new concept of alphabet learning to Thai society and leads her to a subject for the Ph.D. dissertation. It focuses on an in-depth investigation of how alphabet primers relate to social ideologies and discourses about Thai femininity.