The International Furniture Fair Singapore 2013 which finished in March seems to have again defied the trends, Paul McGillick reports.
April 19th, 2013
Despite the continuing sluggishness of the retail market, the Fair attracted a record number of participating companies (466) and attendances up on last year.
This year also saw an expanded version of SingaPlural, the off-site downtown celebration of local design. The highlight of this mix of talks, installations and exhibitions ranging from architecture and urban design to interiors, furniture, graphic and fashion design was undoubtedly Bench.
“Bench.” by Raymond Hon, Student Category
Thirty designers and architects were given timber bleachers from the demolished National Stadium and asked to design a bench.
“Aesop Unbreakable” by Donovan Soon Chong Siong / WOHA
The results, seen mainly in Dhoby Ghaut Green adjacent to the metro station (and also at Park Mall and the Handy Road Open Space), were fascinating. From the strictly functional to the boldly sculptural, it was a hugely imaginative exercise by some of Singapore’s most talented creative.
“Full Circle” by Terence Tang, Student Category
They were also well used by visitors to the park at Dhoby Ghaut and treated as…well, just part of the furniture.
“Shelter Bench” by Lanzavecchia + Wai
Back at Expo, one of the innovations was the clustering of country stands – France, the U.S., Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. Even Myanmar fronted up with a stand this year. And, per usual, Halls 7 and 8 were predominantly Chinese. Otherwise, there were companies from all over the world.
The Furniture Design Award moved to the SingaPlural centre at *Scape this year to get greater exposure. But compensating for this was the beautifully designed exhibition, Futurecraft. This showcased the result of 14 designers from Singapore and Indonesia, and one from Sweden, exploring ways of reinterpreting traditional crafts for contemporary use.
Best exhibit this year went to the small Taiwanese company, Kozy for Living, for a beautifully resolved and finished multi-functional table/stool. But their other stools and umbrella stands were equally fine with just a touch of humour.
“Arrow” by Kozy for Living
Thai company, Ango, again produced a beautiful new pendant light, while Indonesian company, d-Bodhi, continues to expand its range and sophistication.
“Arrow” by Kozy for Living
The most intriguing products were Maiori’s colourful and quirky outdoor shower and Lithuanian company, Sedes Regia’s Tufty chair. And my vote for the greenest and most functional and aesthetically pleasing product was Indonesian company, Cocomosaic’s tiles made from coconut-shell chips.
Cocomosaic – Coconut Shell Tiles
International Furniture Fair Singapore
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