Designers from Singapore explore topics close to their hearts in the debut collection of furniture and products for Industry+.
14 May, 2014
Top image: Furniture collection by Studio Juju
Industry+ is a new Singapore-based production company founded by P.C. Ee, Creative Director of Exit Studio, and Yoichi Nakamuta, founder of internationally renowned design production company, E&Y.
For its debut collection, which launched in March, Industry+ presented works by eight contemporary Singapore designers from diverse creative disciplines, including Studio Juju, Outofstock, Hans Tan, Colin Seah (Ministry of Design), VW+BS, Jackson Tan (PHUNK), Olivia Lee, and Koichiro Ikebuchi (Atelier Ikebuchi).
The collection utilises experimental production techniques, and employs the use of industrial production as well as artisanal craft.
P.C. Ee explains that the designers were not given a specific brief, but that instead the idea was to look at what Asian designers, in their “subconscious”, were able to come up with. ‘We gave everybody the freedom to express themselves,” says Ee, “We wanted them to express something closest to their hearts. We [expected] that we would have more surprises [that way].”
Some designers responded with works that questioned identity – of national identity and also of self – while others responded with questions about the design process itself.
Studio Juju for one, created a series of furniture in primitive shapes that were also rather playful in nature. “We wanted to look at the construction of the chair, and inject a sense of humour to it,” says Timo Wong, co-founder of Studio Juju. He explains that the legs of the chair, which jut out at the back, are actually “pretty strong”, while the curve to the chair’s back offers greater comfort and adds character to the design.
Olivia Lee’s Float low table and Revere vase were inspired by observations of elements that were unique to the Asian home, namely water features and nature.
“I really like the illusion of a pond that is kind of floating in the middle of nowhere, it’s so surreal,” says Lee of her Float low table. “For me, it was a challenge to balance the structural elements well. I wanted as much as possible for it not to look like it was machine manufactured.”
She continues, “The vase is based on how Asian culture is very respectful. We’re always bowing, and this bowing element is something that I wanted to inject into the vase. A lot of vessels are concerned with stability, and I thought it was interesting to play on something that doesn’t necessarily have to sit still all the time, but still functions as a vase.” Revere is handcrafted in glass and ‘rocks’ easily as it does not have a flat base.
Others, like Hans Tan, approached the design brief with a question: What is the most graceful way for a fruit to ripen, without bruising? The design of a fruit bowl led to an exploration of 3D printing as a craft process. Then there’s Outofstock’s Luna light, an atmospheric contemplation of the spirituality of light, inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Castle in the Sky.
Ee says Industry+ looks to work with Asian designers from all disciplines. “The plan is to constantly look out for good designers, not only in Singapore but from around the region, or even Europe, as long as they are Asian.”
The first Industry+ collection is now available at Kapok.
Check out the next issue of Cubes Indesign for more on Industry+.
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