VIFA 2024: Cultural Additivity

A term used to explain how the values of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism mix and influence Vietnamese society, it could also be seen in the aisles of VIFA Expo, Vietnam’s oldest trade show for furniture and home décor which brings buyers and makers to the capital city of the fifth largest furniture manufacturer in the world, where influences will inevitably blend.

Joss | District Eight

This collection of monolithic-sized sofas, designed by Toan Nguyen, pays explicit homage to traditional Asian architecture as seen in the curvature of the top of the solid wood base, a sinuous line that continues through the volumes of the seats, backs, and armrests and is reminiscent of the rooftops of doorways that lead into Buddhist temples. The collection includes nine components, including a daybed and a coffee table.

Chair 3008 | Santang Vietnam

A massive booth with a dizzying array of plastic chair design options, the furniture manufacturer was perhaps one of the best at selling the right narrative: recyclability. Acknowledging how important the plastic furniture industry is in Southeast Asia, it was reassuring to hear agents speak about all the ways plastic bottles, cans and bags are sourced as raw materials for their various lines.

Sideboard | Antique House (HK)

This Nordic-inspired Japandi-style living room piece uses recycled pine and steel and was designed in Belgium by Steven Vetters for a Vietnam-based furniture company and is a great example of European design sensibilities finding receptive audiences in a market dominated by rattan and bamboo cliches.

Lớp Lamp | BằNG

Designed by Thomas Vincent, the lighting company’s creative director and designer, this floating sphere amidst layers of bright acrylic is a playful surprise in an aisle of cheap furniture knockoffs. Available in four sizes and eight vibrant colours, when lit reflections of the sphere on the layers evoke the illusion of motion.