Rising Tide of Talent
Furniture export is one of the most important activities in Malaysia’s growing economy. Malaysian manufacturers have always produced for the mass market, exporting furniture with great price points to the world’s biggest furniture chains, and with North America as one of their most important markets. Given this international reach, the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF), organized by global b2b events specialists UBM, is one of the most relevant shows for international buyers as well as companies that exhibit in Kuala Lumpur for the southeast Asian market.
Alongside many mass-market products, mainly from Malaysia, but with a broadening international range, the show is growing a sense of local design. Many initiatives are supporting the creation of a national design industry, to sustain a sector with businesses able to compete in the global markets. The show, the government and local furniture industries are strongly investing in the creation of a young generation of Malaysian designers able to leverage the national manufacturing capabilities to create furniture with an international taste but with a local character.
Inspiration for this chair comes from the environment in which the designer, David Wang, grew up. In the mountainous island surrounded by the sea in Taiwan, there are almost 400 species of butterfly, and the structure of the seat back recalls a butterfly waiting in the bush, basking with the wings opened and waiting to dance in the sky. www.lagoon.com.tw
The backrest looks like two different sections, joined by zigzag stitching, a detail both aesthetic and functional as it becomes the fastening element for the upper section cover, which comes in fabric and colour combinations inspired by the hues of lagoons. Designed by Baldessari e Baldessari, the shell is inspired by natural geometry such as leaves, and it is characterized by veining and ribbing which confer resistance to the material while lightening it. www.lagoon.com.tw
Lolla│Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd
Designed by Sujaklosophy, the Lolla concept creates a Willy Wonka-style gumdrop wonderland into the stressful office environment, where teamwork forms naturally and creativity juice flow endlessly. Lolla is versatile enough to fit into all kind of office settings ranging from breakout area, public seating to library and even café. www.oasis.com.my
Wall hook│Chang Fu Precision Co.
Seen in the Taiwanese Furniture Manufacturers Association pavilion, the unique styling of these wall hooks, designed by Steven Wang, are inspired by architectural patterns such as various sizes of arched windows and doors in landmark European structures, and perform double duty as wall decoration and hangers for clothes and keys. www.changfu-ind.com
Lole Hanger│Eonmetall Group Bhd
Kent Goh of 180° Design wanted to do something simple: turn conventional steel racks into new design objects. With a minimalist design, the Lole Hanger is able to double up the hanging space; it has three different level height hangers to fulfill all of your clothes hanging needs. www.180degreedesign.com
Huli Tafel│Eonmetall Group Bhd
The Huli Tafel by David Ooi of 180° Design offers a clean working space that includes a movable LED light that follows the table edge. It just needed to be lifted up and switched on. The lighting structure comes in white steel and the desk in laminate wood. www.eonmetall.com
The inspiration for this chair concept comes from the southern Europe sunflower family Xeranthemum; a silvery flower heads with purplish tubular flowers, symbol of eternity and immortality. Xera is built from individual components and most of the parts are made of polypropylene and nylon gloss-filled material, making the entire chair highly recyclable. www.artmatrix.com.my
Vdimsum table and Rabbit Barstool│Woodot
Woodot commercialize original furniture designs made by Malaysian students, such as the Vdimsum table and Rabbit barstool, both designed by students from Southern University College. The company’s idea is to have a new starting point in a country that produces good wood furniture (hence the name: wood plus dot). The Vdimsum, for example, uses the traditional Chinese dim sum dish as a table top, to allow people to display whatever they want in the cavity between the glass and the container, such as products for sale, pictures, personal mementos, and so on. www.woodot.de
Alur chair│ Shahril Faisal
Like the natural flowing system in rivers, branches or veins, these elements hold particular shape and structure. The concept and shape of “nature efficiency” is replicated in the construction of the Alur chair by utilizing the flexible characteristic of rattan which allows for minimal yet resistant structure, resulting in a graceful flow of lines, emanating spontaneous elegance. Designed by Shahril Faisal, this prototype was made within the Tanggam initiative, launched by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board to select, promote and market designers and furniture products at an international level. www.shahrilfaisal.com / www.tanggam.my
Pua Kumbu console table
By winning the 2016 Pusaka-Unimas Furniture Design Competition for her console table, Norazrin Binti Rashid was invited to exhibit it at MIFF. The long and narrow table carved from solid Acacia wood is inspired by a traditional ceremonial cloth pattern known as pua kumbu made by the Iban people living in Borneo, a pattern meant to evoke peace and serenity.
Aruncus and Twist│SJY Furniture
Established in 1983, SJY started out as a manufacturer and exporter of wood and rattan furniture to international markets and today is providing a globalized service with factories in Malaysia, China, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Twist coffee table is part of the indoor collection. Inspired by tornados, the twisting motion of rattan for the table base is secured with natural jute. The traditional Aruncus chair is revised with new shape and colours such as pink, green, yellow, black and purple. www.sjy.com.my
The Able│Victoria Pamela Yap Wei
The MIFF Furniture Design Competition connects important local manufacturers with young designers under 30 in a contest judged by an international jury consisting of designers, industry developers and trade media, with the aim of uncovering and celebrating young talent. The first place prize of RM10,000 went to 26-year-old female designer Victoria Pamela Yap Wei who swayed the judges with a counter height table set The Able. The narrow rubber and wood table with four padded stools and a drawer side table that doubles as a kid’s chair was inspired by Hong Kong’s famous “ding ding” tram. The minimalist set is suitable for the home or commercial space as a breakfast table, kitchen island unit or discussion table.