Singapore, a city-state nestled in the geographic and economic epicentre of Southeast Asia, is one of the wealthiest and more organized locations in this part of the world, and as such has become a strategic market for high-end products in Asia. Which is why IFFS — International Furniture Fair of Singapore — has emerged as one of the best trade shows in the region to see original southeast Asian high-end design, and a preferred platform for western manufacturers to approach this part of the globe.
Gathering forward-thinking design-oriented exhibitors from Japan, China and the Philippines to growing design countries like Thailand and Vietnam, IFFS has seen an important transformation in the past few years, shifting from a commercial-trade-furniture show for international buyers, mostly in the mass market, to a design event, suitable to a public that looks for the best regional and international design, not visible anywhere else.
Nathan Yong Collection│Ipse Ipsa Ipsum │Singapore, India
Designed in collaboration with renowned local designer Nathan Yong, the eponymous collection is the first of Ipse Ipsa Ipsum’s line of co-authored collections that features a wide range of furniture and lifestyle accessories. One of the hallmarks of the Collection is the variety of options that customers have to personalize individual pieces. For example, they can select from multiple variations of a sofa by choosing different components such as an additional lamp or mirror, or white or grey leather hides to adorn the hand-forged sofa.
Udaipur Sofa. Image courtesy of Ipse Ipsa Ipsum
RE.INC│The Rug Republic │India
“Reduce. Recycle. Reinvent and be creative while saving the planet. A reincarnation of a vast variety of post primary use materials, these are as vibrant and lively as the concept, not to mention exceptional value and environment friendship.”
Image courtesy of The Rug Republic
Tie bench & Unipoli daybed│Deesawat│Thailand
Founded in 1972, Deesawat is one of the leaders of a thriving wood industry in Thailand, with furniture that brings strong esthetic as well as narrative qualities. For example the Tie bench, with Braille message in relief on the back promoting blind people to stay with others and share their experiences. It says “If you sit alone, try to move to the side, and leave some space for the people to share with you.” With the Unipoli daybed, interactions such as napping or talking to someone are intended to be face to face.
Tie Bench by Deesawat. Image courtesy of Deesawat
Unipoli Daybed by Deesawat. Image courtesy of Deesawat
Bottle & Pumpkin│Deesawat│Thailand
For this collection of outdoor lifestyle seating, Deesawat has been working with Zero First design and Sarran Youkongdee, with textiles by Jim Thompson, known as one of the best fabric manufacturers in Thailand. The cooperation between the brands allows all three identities to shine through, for example the Bottle collection recalls the traditional shape of Asian rattan objects, and the Pumpkin bench is inspired by a traditional Thai cushion.
Bottle Collection by Deesawat. Image courtesy of Deesawat
Pumpkin Bench by Deesawat. Image courtesy of Deesawat
An iconic and sculptural piece designed by Lionel Doyen for true design aficionados, SAN’s natural lines in exotic Iroko wood are supported by refined materials such as powder-coated aluminum and marble. Sublimating the outdoor experience, the collection boasts a unique set of possible set-ups, from bench to lounger and sofa or two-seater. The low-to-the-ground bench is available in Lava, with removable seating and back cushions in different colours. The elegant marble tables are in contrast with the bench’s natural wooden structure. The table can be clicked on where you like it best and comes in Portoro black and Carrara white, responding to both different functional needs and atmospheres.
Divanetto, San Collection. Image courtesy of Manutti
By bringing together an ambient light and a Bluetooth speaker, JinGoo is the perfect blend of Eastern aesthetics and superb sound quality. JinGoo features a mono two-way speaker, the low frequency woofer positioned in the base structure and its sound waves reflected by the ceramic tail of the bird. A wide stereo effect is created with the sound waves from the tweeter located in the bird’s body.
Jingoo. Image courtesy of Daqiconcept
The Ojami is an original cushion developed by Takaokaya over the last decade. The unique shape is inspired by the ancient Japanese beanbag toy called tedama or ojami in Kyoto dialect. Takaokaya’s funky, modern take is filled with azuki beans, handcrafted by skilled Kyoto artisans, and comes in a variety of colours, fabric coverings, fillings, sizes and shapes. The unique geometric shape is amazingly comfortable and is designed for posture support and correction, in addition to being a beautiful decorative object.
Ojami Cushion. Image courtesy of Takaokaya
This collection reimagines in equal parts nostalgia and high-end Sydney style. Straight linear lines paired with mixed materials offer a signature look reminiscent of home. The stainless steel frame is available in polished or PVD brass finish. The South American leather sling is reinforced with canvas army duck fabric.
Sidney Chair. Image courtesy of Harbour
The Ritorto line of seating and tables doesn’t shy away from the regional design vocabulary of its predecessors. In fact it embraces it, just with a new twist. This is traditional rattan furniture but rendered in a different material: steel.
Ritorto Chair. Image courtesy of a.garcia
Ritorto Dining Table. Image courtesy of a.garcia
Caning, a method of surface weaving used for furniture, is derived from the peeled bark of the rattan stalk commonly found in Southeast Asia. “The caned furniture has a unique quality that gives warm and timeless texture to the interior space. We love the historic touch and sense of place when we work with this material and the craftsmanship process. We try to capture the classic colonial interior and reinterpreted in new contemporary lifestyle,” says Atelier 2+, the design outfit behind the collection.
Cane Collection. Image courtesy of Podium
Shelf Mate│d-Bodhi│Singapore, The Netherlands
Bodhi, Sanskrit for “awakening,” is also the term Buddhists use to express “enlightenment” or “the call to think beyond the ordinary.” The “d” in front stands for design: put both of them together and d-Bodhi can be translated to mean “enlightening design.” Shelf Mate is a system of five variously sized shelving units, handcrafted out of reclaimed teak. We see these shelves as someone who helps you find a solution for your wall, no matter its size or shape. Shelf Mate is also wordplay on “self-made,” since you will have to assemble and hang it yourself.
Shelf Mate. Image courtesy of d-Bodhi
Dualtone is a range of living, dining and bedroom products specially designed to highlight the best qualities of two timbers: bright oak and dark walnut. Set in mid-century flavours and topped off with tinges of pale brass-coloured stainless steel, it is designed to stand out from the norm. Additionally, the collections are designed with the intent of minimizing waste, with wood sourced from sustainably-managed forests and use lacquers and coatings with low lead content.
Dualtone TV Console. Image courtesy of Commune.
Is this a lamp or a flower? It’s both! The petals of the lamp come in two different shapes made by a very thin sheet of timber, creating natural yet warm and cozy different light effects.
Lamps by Touchable. Image courtesy of Touchable