THIS: the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2013 + 30th ASEAN Furniture Show is the fair I’ve regularly seen since 2007. This year was…quiet.
While Polish designer Piotr Saladra’s Artichoke pouf (below) joined the ranks of previous Furniture Design Award (FDA) winners — there was a retrospective of past winners like Kenneth Cobonpue, Nathan Yong, Anon Pairot, Jarrod Lim and Outofstock at Singaplural in Scape — in opening the four-day event with a burst of color, the fair itself seemed lackluster.
Fortunately, some of the bigger exhibitors made an effort, like D-Bodhi, which is becoming a leading presence at IFFS, not only for its booth size, but for setting design trends among the other manufacturers (reclaimed teak was a much-repeated byword this year).
The packed-to-the-gills Dutch Design:
And then there the Singapore brands, with fortress-like booths so jealously guarded by wary staff (not everyone with a phone camera is a factory owner from China looking to knock off your designs…I get it — but you know, nobody in Milan behaves this way, even when the Salone del Mobile is swarmed with Chinese “buyers”).
And to add to the so-so reception, D-Space seemed diluted (perhaps, again, because some elements were transported to Singaplural at Scape). There was a Green Pavilion, with really interesting material like this cork fabric — but it wasn’t designed to look like a fair highlight (we miss those days when designers like Jarrod Lim were commissioned to make this space special).