This year’s International Furniture Festival Singapore presented new digital experiences, familiar international names and a tight showcase.
14 March, 2017
The annual International Furniture Festival Singapore (IFFS) took place from 9 to 12 March 2017 at the Singapore EXPO. With 428 exhibitors from 35 countries, the fair ran alongside co-located shows, 34th ASEAN Furniture Show (AFS) and NOOK Asia. The number of halls may have been reduced this year, but the experience of strolling through the fairgrounds was a feast for the eyes with more curated and engaging stands showcasing well-designed furniture.
Various methods of presentations were explored to lift the visitor experience. For one, visitors got to immerse themselves in Virtual Reality (VR) showrooms at the stands of Commune, Danovel, Resource Decor, and Sam & Sara. Conceived as a collaboration between IFFS and Singapore-based start-up Dimension 5 Technologies (D5T), the introduction of the new presentation format aligns with the furniture industry’s growing integration of digital technology in retail as well as evolving trade show models.
Apart from a variety of new technology-based showcases, tactile experiences continued to drive the fair. The White House by Nathan Yong served as the event’s curated zone. It featured suspended strips of white paper in varying lengths that both concealed and revealed the space. The White House hosted talks and displayed objects by key exhibitors of the fair. Each object revolved around the concept of ‘white’, which Yong associated with design values such as purity and honesty.
For familiar international names, visitors flocked to The Italian Hospitality, stylishly designed and put together by Giulio Cappellini. With an aim to capture ‘the Italian spirit’, Cappellini designed an elegant space that emulated a hotel suite with a bedroom, bathroom and library, inviting visitors to take a break from walking the long halls. The stand comprised furniture, lighting and culinary arts from the best Italian houses, and showcased a mix of advanced technological and artisanal techniques.
New furniture launches included ipse ipsa ipsum’s collaboration with Nathan Yong. The eponymous collection blends natural materials with ‘surprising’ touches that enable the user to personalise the pieces. The partnership between Journey East and Lanzavecchia + Wai continued with the introduction of six new furniture pieces, featuring new materials, forms and colours for the PLAYplay collection. Homegrown brand d-Bodhi celebrated its 10th anniversary with the theme ENLIGHTENMENT, and two new eco-friendly furniture collections made of reclaimed and recycled materials.
Recurring showcase Design STARS featured 10 up-and-coming global design talents. Of note was the stand by Japanese-based 24° Studio who introduced their new furniture series, Moku+. Another young talent, Hiroki Sakamoto was conferred the grand prize at the Furniture Design Award for his Yokan Chair – a colourful tribute to traditional Japanese confection.
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