A small contingent organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and Design Singapore Council is showing at Zona Tortona, one of the fringe event destinations (actually considered the most critically acclaimed) during the Salone del Mobile Internazionale. Last year, I hobbled my way through Zona Tortona a second day, after parting with my Fair accomplice, because it had all the names worth writing about. I guess the Singapore contingent figured that out, too, because they chose to exhibit here, rather than at Rho Fiera (the fairgrounds).
Part of the contingent, collectively calling themselves Singapore lah! is new Singapore label Hinika, helmed by Australian-born designer Jarrod Lim. “Hinika” takes its name from the Japanese term roughly translated as “someday” – and you can see the wistful, whimsical sentiment in its lovely wooden pieces. Jarrod apprenticed for the likes of Matthew Hilton and Patricia Urquiola, and his craftsmanship reflects that.
Another new Singapore label is Kapsule, from President’s Design Award-winner Kelvin Teo, who is both an interior and furniture designer. He’s got fun statement pieces like Doggy Hart, Pebble Table and Telephone Booth shelf.
If you are not immersed in Singapore design culture, and Hinika and Kapsule are your first exposure to it, I can tell you that they are very representative of the young country’s aesthetic: Japanese-influenced in its Zen and modernist sensibilities on one hand, and cheeky-fun, primary colors on the other.