With days away from its grand opening, the IFFS 2018 (International Furniture Fair Singapore) is destined to present the trendiest designs Southeast Asia has to offer and at the Design STARS section in Hall 6, young designers from all over the world will again be our focus.
Since its introduction in 2014, the Design STARS Showcase has garnered much attention and consistently received positive feedback from industry visitors. This year, the ever-popular showcase features a collective display of works presented by 10 design talents from around the globe. We've picked five of our favourites just to give you a taste of the creativity being highlighted at this year's event.
Diego Lee (Taiwan)
Born in Taiwan, Lee majored in furniture design at the National Taipei University of Technology and founded both Image Interior Design Studio and Fruitful Furniture Studio in his home country. His Aires Chair design was inspired by an abandoned steel wire net in a wasteland, twisted, deformed and isolated on the ground like a sculpture. Realising that many Taiwanese use steel wire baskets to burn paper money too, he utilised the martial expanding steel, a common material used in building and construction, to form a light, elegant and weatherproof outdoor chair. The diamond-shaped grid also gives the chair an interesting texture.
Jattamon Buddharee (Thailand)
A graduate of Silpakorn University with a Bachelor of Decorative Arts in Product Design, Buddharee currently works as a furniture designer for ROOM Lab, a group of like-minded designers who explore new possibilities and experiments with innovative concepts to create modern, functional home collections. Her Spot furniture collection is a series of versatile coffee tables that play with the idea of giving extra functions to the noble design. For example, the movable wooden tray on the table top can be used for carrying drinks or keeping small items in place. Once the tray is removed, the void reveals a shelf (or a wastebasket) beneath and the increased vertical space is used to secure taller items like bottles or vases.
Jun Paul F. Lasco (Philippines)
Growing up in Bohol, an island in central Philippines, Lasco had pursued a non-design degree and worked in the IT industry for three years before finally starting an Interior Design degree. However, he then dropped interior design to pursue furniture design full-time in his second year and currently works as a junior designer. His Bench Screen design is basically what its name suggests: a communal seating/bench that has a bamboo screen as the backrest. The 1.7-metre high partition will be able to create a degree of privacy in public space, therefore eliminating the need for two separate pieces of furniture.
Masafumi Ishikawa (Japan)
Ishikawa is a product designer who is always trying to properly design what happens between people and objects, services or the environment. To achieve this more precisely, he said he's about to extend his field to another area such as business and engineering. For Design STARS, he will be presenting some of his greatest hits since setting up his studio five years ago. His World Clock provides an interesting way to stay connected through time with your loved ones in different time zones. Simply rotate the clock to the desired city and the hour hand will automatically set to the correct position for that city's time zone. On the other hand, his Dimension lighting fixture is truly mesmerising, reinterperting the traditional wire cube chandelier. Instead of having light bulbs in the middle, it is replaced by thin LED within the structure itself, resulting in a very flexible design with a soft indirect illumination.
Ryota Yokozeki (Japan)
As a regular in the recent SaloneSatellite and DESIGNARTshow, it's really hard to believe that Yokozeki only set up his studio last year after working at Sony as an industrial designer for nearly a decade. A graduate from Kanazawa College of Art, Yokozeki puts a lot of thought into the "form follows function" and experience concept when he's designing. Hence his Fold Series and A Flower Vase collection not only are true to his aesthetic but also provide a new perspective on the simplest designs. From one angle, the former might looks like a box. But from the other angle, it looks like a side table. And in truth, these sophisticated furniture systems made with folded metal sheets can also be used as a sitting stool too. In the end, it was the simplicity and zen-like quality of the designs that impressed us the most and reminded us that this is what Japanese design is best known for.
The International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS) 2018 will be held from March 8-11 at the Singapore EXPO. For more information, visit iffs.com.sg.