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Rising Asian designers set the bar at IFFS 2015

Young design talents from the region take the spotlight at International Furniture Fair Singapore. Nicky Lobo reports.

Rising Asian designers set the bar at IFFS 2015


April 17th, 2015

The International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS), held annually in March each year since 1981, is presented as ‘the region’s leading event for trade professionals of furniture, interior design and hospitality industries all over the world to source for the latest products’. Walking through six halls of Singapore EXPO certainly cements this statement.


There is a buzz of business in the air and a serious undertone of industry – the press releases, communications and opening speeches all relate the event back to numbers. The growth of Singapore’s population, housing and construction industries and furniture consumption worldwide are factors to the growth and success of IFFS, it is claimed. And indeed, it is.


The positioning of design and furniture design within a wider context of economy and industry is something that Singapore gets right. The discourse becomes practical, rather than frivolous, abstract or purely decorative.


In the past few years, the vision for IFFS has been to integrate design and business into a cohesive experience for visitors. To me, the experience was heavily weighted toward business, with a number of exhibitors missing the opportunity to present their product in a thoughtful, design-considered way.


However, there was a jewel in the crown of IFFS in Hall 4, appropriately titled “Design Hall” where most of the official events – such as the opening ceremony – took place. Also featured were the crème de la crème brands, a Furniture Design Award retrospective showcase curated by Thai designer Anon Puritat, two art installations and the exciting Asian STAR Showcase.


Featuring a collection of pieces by rising designers and studios from countries across Asia, this part of the exhibition was the real showstopper with names like Vito Selma, District Eight, Alvin T and Milk Design. This level of quality should set the bar for all exhibitors in future editions of IFFS.


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