We have the results of this year’s official accolade of design excellence. Eight pieces of furniture have won the coveted DEmark Award for outstanding design for 2018. Among the winners: a water hyacinth chair beautifully crafted on a metal frame, a neatly packed kitchen cabinet, a chair inspired by tea tree topiaries, and a set of chairs that come together as table legs.
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Every year, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) gives out the Design Excellence Award, DEmark Award for short, as an acknowledgement of outstanding merit by Thai designers from across the country.
The ultimate official accolade seeks to increase direct presence of Thailand’s creative products in the world marketplace. Successful candidates will participate in international trade events, such as the Gmark Award competition in Japan, as well as DITP’s exhibition tours throughout Europe and Asia.
This year’s DEmark Awards were given to eight pieces of furniture for impressive achievements in blending craft skills with modern manufacturing techniques.
Every year, the DEmark Awards are given out in six categories — Furniture, Lifestyles, Fashion, Industry, Packaging and Graphic Design – as an acknowledgement of outstanding achievements by Thai designers and manufacturers. Not all of the winners are listed in this report.
The Singapore-based designer brand “ipse ipsa ipsum” has unveiled one of the finest collections of Peranakan-inspired home décor and accessories.
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Bold and beautiful, Peranakan design is the product of Chinese migration into the Malay archipelagos of centuries ago. Making its world debut at last year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, the new product line called “Straits Reflection” included a tabletop mirror and a floor-standing mirror that told stories of a fascinating amalgam of Chinese, Indian, and Malay craft traditions.
The designer brand was launched in 2016 as an initiative of “Sam & Sara”, an established Indian silverware business headquartered in Singapore. Combining ultramodern materials with traditional craftsmanship skills, the new brand aimed to create original designs under the slogan, “The extraordinary for the ordinary”.
“Straits Reflection” by Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul was the result of collaboration between the designer brand and the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Peranakan Chinese, or Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese who migrated into the Malay archipelagos form the 15th to 17th centuries. Over time, their cultural heritage, architecture, design, and cuisine have become prominent landmarks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of southern Thailand.
“Straits Reflection” is evidence of an artistic ability that has evolved through on-going interactions among Chinese, Indian, and Malays. Its design aesthetics combine Indian floral patterns with traditional Chinese bird paintings, and Malay-style bold colors.
A curious mix of the old and the new, “Straits Reflection” includes a tabletop mirror that displays temperatures and air quality values, and a matching floor-standing mirror that reflects on the Peranakan experience.
Perfected over time, the chaise lounge paired with triangular-shaped pillows offers a fascinating glimpse into Thai culture. As time goes on, the design is sliding into obscurity. The chair with a lengthened seat for leg rest and reclining differs from the European-style sofa in that the former is a short-legged, backless couch. The absence of a backrest is compensated by a set of wedge pillows.
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The Thai-style chaise lounge is a traditional appraoch to reclined seating. One way of sitting comfortably in one is to sit with your feet up. The wedge pillows serve both aesthetic and functional purposes and can be made from a variety of textiles. The traditional chaise lounge set is designed for side-lying and semi-reclining positons.
Reviving interest in the design that’s quintessentially Thai, designer Ath Supornchai has debuted a chaise lounge set that mixed strong traditional values with the Thai Modern concept. Winning enthusiastic praise at this year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, the sofa set called “KIRI” is selling under the brandname “Mobella”. It is also furniture of choice in the reception room at Line Chat App’s Thailand office.
Star Wars X Nathan Yong, home décor articles and sculptures inpired by the instruments of war from the epic movie series.
In collaboration with Disney, Singaporean designer Nathan Yong has unveiled a new collection of marble home décor articles that got their inspiration from some of the most important Star Wars scenes. His powers of invention will continue to wow those with a lifelong love of the epic motion picture series.
Besides Jedi knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, and the greatest villains of all time, it’s the weapons and vehicles in Star Wars that have captivated millions of viewers across the globe. The same was true for the newly released Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi.
The epic moments of the story of a long time ago have inspired the Singaporean designer to create a new collection of marble home décor articles called Star Wars x Nathan Yong. Nathan, who owns the independent, foreward thinkingh brand Grafunkt recently unveiled his latest inventions at the 2018 International Furniture Fair Singapore. The collection included side tables influenced by the design of four machines and vehicles from Star Wars; namely, the Millennium Falcon, the TIE-Fighter, the all-terrain armored transport AT-AT, and the Sandcrawler. For each model, only tree pieces were made.
Why Star Wars? Nathan puts it this way. “I am stoked to have the opportunity to collaborate with Disney on this collection as Star Wars is very much a part of me and my generation’s life with its imperative pop culture impact and influence. Being a classic film while its contemporaries fade into obscurity, Star Wars remains timeless, accompanying us from boyhood through adulthood.”
His latest collection of semi abstruct sculptures debuted alongside leading European brands featured at this year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore, which took place from March 8-11.
Indonesia is home to a wealth of decorative arts and crafts, from the fascinating world of batik to the iconic noodle bowl, aka chicken bowl.
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The latter invokes fond memories of Chinese migration into the Region in the early 1900’s. Over the years, social interactions have inspired many beautiful works of art by Indonesian designers, including Alvin T, and the fashion house Sejauh Mata Memandang.
One of the legacies of Chinese culture is the noodle bowl that’s ubiquitous throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The round ceramic dish tells stories of Chinese experience as they migrated into Southeast Asia not so long ago. Interestingly enough, the iconic rooster design varies from one country to another.
The fashion house Sejauh Mata Memandang recently unveiled a fascinating fabric collection, aptly named Noodle Bowl. Its colors, and handcrafted patterns are inspired by the stories of social interaction that is a building block of Indonesian society.
Product designer Alvin T took the power of artistic storytelling up a notch. He made the rooster design more exciting for people who like to hang things on the hook. He called the new invention Ayam Hook, literally translated as Chicken Hook.
When people hear the recommendations of design analysts at a world-class fair such as Maison&Objet each year they sit up and take notice. In 2018 all these analysts are in agreement that the power of digital technology is dominating lifestyle trends, turning living spaces into showrooms.
/// GLOBAL /// Story: MNSD /// Photography: Maison&Objet
“Digital technology and Instagram’s popularity have changed consumer behavior. Now everyone can be a trendsetter. Consumers don’t want to talk about brands, they want to experience the product itself.”
A team of design trend analysts led by Vincent Grégoire, of the world-famous agency NellyRodi, finds that financial crises and the digital revolution have had an enormous effect on consumer behavior. Where brand loyalty was once given without question, now consumers themselves control the discussion and influence sales through the internet. They can get product data, compare prices, make comments, rate with stars, and become marketing partners the brands are unable to ignore.
Home Becomes Showroom
When one such consumer wants to share data or pictures of products, they do their posting from their own home, making it the place where inspiration is born. The consumer becomes art director, designer, architect, merchandise display department, marketing department, and possibly an ambassador for the brand. Music is added, spots within the home are on display as the home becomes a social media showroom for launching product reviews.
This showroom trend is a sign of our growing willingness to open up our private lives to the public. Maybe we want to create a beautiful picture, and after the creation it’s already obsolete when you’ve told it. People would rather touch it, experience it, actually living the story as it’s happening: “story-living” instead of storytelling. This is what we call “showroomisation”: every space becomes a showroom. What moves the consumer nowadays is not a brand or product, but those consumers themselves, from their participation in product and brand creation.
In any case, people react in opposite ways to this gradual trend of sharing private space through online social media, Some completely turn off the digital world, living life anonymously in a secretive way, a phenomenon called “digital detox.”
Hanger Bar, Shelf, Mirror – Furniture for the Reviewers
This showroom trend directly affects modern life. Since it involves internal design, it’s often made up of showcase-like items: hanger bars, glass backdrops, shelves, mirrors, maybe a walk-in wardrobe, clothes, etc., all artistically arranged.
Very often transparent materials are used to highlight the work. Walls are used to hang pictures, dishes, or other ornaments. Humanity becomes the subject, with portraits, puppets, and masks. Even carpets and lamps have personality, as the Facebook experience draws them in to become part of our the home.
Home owners are collectors and curators at the same time, as they mix and match products of various brands in personal forms and styles and arrange them around the home as if they’re just waiting to be an Instagram picture. This is part of how identity is created in the online world. Products and brands are presented in a way that’s easy to understand. The brand is right there, speaking for itself, and that gives it more influence.
Retail Shops that Inspire Passion
“These days business needs to build passion quickly. Shops aren’t just places to set out merchandise. Customers want to actually experience products, so they can write and share their own reviews with each other.”
Design trends that pump life into businesses are making shops more homelike. because customers want spaces where they can relax, experience products, and talk about them with friends right away. The fashion currents of the world have already changed direction: no more are there such things as good or bad taste. High-priced design work often intentionally has the look of cheap bric-a-brac. Business should connect with the spirit and feeling of these fashion trends, for a sensation of surprise and the new directions that are here.
And this will be made tangible in Inspirations Space at the Maison et Objet Fair from 19 to 23 January in Paris, France.
Inspirations Space will present these trends in a place that encourages relationships among visitors through fresh experiences. The exhibition area is packed with tables filled with examples illustrating these currents of change, trends that are coming on strong. This won’t have much in common with the peace and quiet of traditional exhibitions. Here’s your chance to step back and get an overview of what it’s like and give your own opinions. Why do you love or hate this trend or that? Hey, it’s what all the cool social network kids are doing!
The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has announced the winners of the DEmark Award 2017. A big round of applause goes to those who received the honor for their achievements.
The coveted Design Excellence Award (DEmark) was established in 2008 as a mark of recognition for outstanding design of Thai products. It is given in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Export Award under the auspices of Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce.
Winning products receive the DEmark logo, which can be used for promotional purposes on the international market.
Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, and Tokyo redefined in photo collage: today Living ASEAN chats with Pariwat Anandachina, who has infused an Agoda tourism campaign with lively, colorful imagery.
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Agoda.com (of Agoda Company Pte., Ltd.) is one of the largest online booking networks, its more than 100,000 hotel offerings spanning the globe. In collaboration with Singapore’s Saatchi & Saatchi agency, Agoda has created “Agoda Base Camp,” a vibrant and innovative Indonesian tourism ad campaign designed to attract foreigners and Indonesians alike. Pariwat, known for his iconic photo collage art work, was a natural choice to present the campaign to viewers worldwide.
Base Camp features three staples of Indonesian tourism– Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali – adding perennial favorite Tokyo, Japan, with pictures of buildings, houses, and people representing local culture and lifestyles from every corner of those cities. The images were cut, mixed, and laid out in Agoda’s five primary colors to illustrate each destination’s highlights and character, as shown here.
Jakarta stands out for its mix of old and new. Here old and new architectural styles appear almost as reflections of each other, different, but fitting together in a charming way.
Yogyakarta/Jogya stands out for its mix of old and new. Here old and new architectural styles appear almost as reflections of each other, different, but fitting together in a charming way.
Bali is highlighted by nature itself, with its gorgeous beaches and healthy activities. This pictorial representation of the island also illustrates ghost worship, animist ceremonies presided over by shamans in colorful robes, and a native fascination with the occult.
Tokyo shows a mix of contemporary life and technological progress with a powerful sense of cultural preservation. This collage is presented in the uniquely Japanese “manga cartoon” style, split into viewing panels as in a comic book.
Pariwat spoke with us about how this four-city promotion came to be represented in his work. “We did extensive research on the highlights and character of each city, looking for ‘what’s hot and what’s not,’ to see what would get folks hooked on going there. Scheduling was a big challenge: we only had half a month to fly everywhere and take our pictures, so had to be creative, sometimes using pictures taken by others, or hotel pictures from Agoda, and these were often hard to match and balance with what we already had.”
The Base Camp campaign will use both printed ads and key visuals in video footage taken by Agoda and enhanced with animation.
Anon Pairot has unveiled the latest in a new series of 3D cement printing based on the concept “Fluctuation of Precision.” The masculine outdoor design with a softer touch is developed in collaboration with SCG, a leading cement maker in the ASEAN.
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After many years of research, Thai cement maker SCG has developed robots capable of acting as large-scale 3D printers and new cement formulas well suited to a variety of uses. This year, the “Designer Collaboration Project by SCG” has come up with new ideas for outdoor furniture designed by nationally renowned designer and artist Anon Pairot.
“I try to create design that gives a softer, lighter feeling. Usually cement structures are very masculine, so I add feminine accents to the design and see what the final result is. The new process enables 3D concrete strips to be printed quickly in non-traditional shapes and textures. The concrete printing process is performed by machine, but the cement itself leaves some random effects on the surface, hence the name Fluctuation of Precision,” he explained.
SCG will present the entire cement furniture collection at Architect 17, the 31st ASEAN Building Technology Exposition scheduled for May 2–7, 2017 in Thailand. It will be the first time ready-to-sell 3D cement printing products become available in the Region.
World design is increasingly trending toward handicrafts and elegant craftsmanship, things practically written into the DNA of Southeast Asian designers. Here we give you 20 contemporary regional leaders who are reinforcing this wave, bringing traditional design into mainstream design.
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– Alvin Tjitrowirjo / Indonesia –
The dynamic Indonesian designer known as Alvin worked with prominent Dutch designer Marcel Wanders before setting up his own product design and interior decoration studio,collaborating with domestic producers of furniture and “alvin-T” decorative items that take a Western approach to Oriental craftsmanship.
– Thinkk Studio / Thailand –
The couple Decha Archjananan and Ployphan Theerachai’s Thinkk Studio is one of the most interesting sources of contemporary design. Their production processes unravel the secrets of traditional crafts, bringing them to utility in modern formats that always bear the marks of artistry and innovation.
– Korakot Aromdee / Thailand –
Korakot became well-known through his developing the local art of bamboo work, adapting techniques such as net sewing of Phetchaburi fishermen and ancient Chinese kite construction to produce inventive handicrafts under his own name. “Korakot” products are on display in residences and hotels all over the world, showing off endless variations of their characteristic elegance.
– Abie Abdillah / Indonesia –
Keep an eye on this designer, for sure! He specializes in rattan work, taking advantage of the worldwide importance of this material for Indonesia. The “Lukis” armchair is part of the 2016 collection for the famous Cappellini brand. Designer scout Giulio Cappellini previously has helped Tom Dixon and many other well-known designers debut on the world stage.
– Ito Kish / The Philippines –
“Gregoria Lounge”brought Filipino design work onto the world stage and gave world recognition to Ito Kish. As a child, Ito was fascinated by designs on the gift wrapping paper he used to repair family house walls in their tiny village outside of Manila. His business in decorative items has now morphed into a leading furniture store – with products bearing his name – which provides interior decorating services for his fans.
– Apiwat Chitapanya / Thailand –
A beauty of light and shadow born of intricate welded lines stands out in both structure and detail as an impressive representation from this modern craftsman and expert metal worker.
– Jitrin Jintaprecha / Thailand –
Jitrin’s works are continually in demand, most notably from his own rattan furniture brand “Corner 43,” whose trademark gentle curves are naturally suited to contemporary forms and which has evolved steadily over the fourteen years of its existence.
– Lim Masulin / Indonesia –
From his infatuation with the weaving work produced by Indonesian artists, highly valued in the West, Lim Masulin and his BYO Living Company collaborated with famous domestic architects to scale up the concept to an architectural level and produce fascinating “woven” coverings for buildings.
– Rush Pleansuk / Thailand –
This former designer for the teak wood furniture brand “Plato” became ever more interested in handicrafts, especially traditional Thai techniques of lacquer-coating and setting gold inlay on lacquer ware. He now has his own design studio under the name “Sumphat Gallery.”
– Hans Tan / Singapore –
In the colorful piece entitled “Spotted Nyonya,”Hans Tan presents a uniquely Singapore narrative. “Nyonya” refers to the Singapore heritage mixture off oreign and Malay Peninsula cultures, evident here in a contemporary design context.
– Budiman Ong / Indonesia –
“Ong Cen Kuang” is a brand of lamps from Bali founded by Budiman Ong, whose stellar career was founded on sewn forms of cloth and origami-style folded paper fashioned into contemporary articles that display warmth, gentility, and a delicate openness.