Singapore Design Week

With Maison & Objet Asia’s debut show opening the week, and the International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS) closing it, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council teamed up with the DesignSingapore Council to pad up the decor and furniture fairs with events like Singaplural and the 48 Hour Challenge.

The highlight for me, though, was the opening of the National Design Centre on Middle Road. Taking off from the original structure, a convent school, design firm SCDA adapted the building into the offices of the DesignSingapore Council, complete with prototype lab, design appreciation lab, exhibition galleries, event space and cafe/retail space.

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Currently on exhibit are the finalists and winners (shown here) of the Furniture Design Awards, which are held in conjunction with the IFFS.

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Here are a few snaps of Maison & Objet Asia

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Singaplural: 30 LifeStories

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And the 48 Hours Challenge at Park Mall and Robinsons

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Design this and that

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.
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Few design highlights, like the FutureCraft showcase, made it to the Singapore expo (most of the newsy design events were at Scape).
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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).
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The packed-to-the-gills Dutch Design:20130312-144906.jpg

The edgy-on-the-outside Carezza:
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(I really just liked the studded metal shell of the booth — here’s a closer look)
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The go-big-or-go-home Villa Francaise:
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The delightfully tactile and colorful Sharda, which was one of my favorite booths:
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The quirky Sunbrella:
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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”).
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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).
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Platform, which used to showcase up-and-coming designers, was very small.
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So was the Mozaic designers collection
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(Cici and Honfay of Ciliconfaytory seemed like Mozaic brands’ flavor of the year)
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Here’s a couple more images from my favorite booths:
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…and THAT:
Two new shops opened the same week that IFFS opened. Toto Kitchen on Bukit Timah Road:
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And Timothy Oulton at Dempsey:
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