Singapore Furniture Designers

Singapore, Furniture Design –

Singapore has a community of creative, savvy furniture designers who recognise the demand for high-quality, eco-friendly products that relate to the popularity of smaller interior spaces

 

JULIAN KOH OF COMMUNE

“I travel frequently around the world to gain inspiration from design shows.”
The quiet modernity of the Weiland Writing Desk crafted in solid walnut
Black powdercoat metal meets seamlessly with oak in the Tusk Dining Collection
Geormani Sofa – Soft touch leather and tropical wood pyramid legs create simple lines for this solid furniture item

 

Trained in industrial design in Melbourne, Julian founded contemporary furniture and accessories store Commune in 2012, and has been busy raising his brand’s international presence. Recognising the role of technology and the popularity of small homes, many of Commune’s products include space-saving, smart furniture designed to engage and enrich today’s lifestyle.

 Your products are mainly made of wood. Why do you like this material to work with in your furniture?

Commune was founded with the idea that sustainability has to underpin everything we do – from careful sourcing, production, our business practices and even in the communities we work. All our furniture is designed with the intention of minimising wastage, with wood sourced ethically from sustainably-managed forests in the US, Europe and Asia and lacquers and coatings with low lead content. Commune also works closely with craftsmen who specialise in woodcraft to realise our designs, which are inspired by mid-century modern or modern vintage trends and styles that emphasise the beauty of wood.

What is your signature selling point in your creations, and where do you get your inspirations?

I travel frequently around the world to gain inspiration from design shows. I also get inspiration from travel itself. I believe there is a universal standard for good design, and this can be made affordable. We have always been about crafting high-quality artisanal works for design-savvy individuals. Our designs are informed by international design trends and movements such as modern industrial, mid-century modern, Art Deco and Scandinavian. We focus on understated modernity and which unifies function, effortless form and intelligent craftsmanship.

What are young modern home buyers in Singapore looking for in furniture design?

As homes get smaller, young modern home buyers are looking for pieces that fit comfortably within the small living spaces typical of city life, without compromising on function, good design and reasonable price. With distinctive and form-fitting designs, our furniture – which encompasses the living, dining, bedroom, study room ranges – provides smart solutions for trendy working professionals, urbanites and apartment living. Our furniture is thoughtfully and reasonably priced to be accessible to a wide range of customers.

How do you sketch your ideas?

I use a sketchpad and pencil before transferring these ideas onto an iPad Pro.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at work? 

Beef noodles and prawn noodles.

 

JARROD LIM OF JARROD LIM DESIGN

“My first real experience of international design was in the studio of Patricia Urquiola in Milan.”
The Big Dragon recalls Singapore Housing playgrounds
The Hinika Collection created a buzz at the International Furniture Fair with its sleek combination of American oak, stainless steel and leather
Winner of the Singapore Furniture Design Merit Award the Koi chair inspires a visually tranquil, delicate form that incorporates a traditional Asian fish scale pattern into the welded structure
Century Table – A beauty of Form and Function as you can hang your umbrella or bag on the clean-lined table as you enjoy a cup of coffee
Orion tables are a fusion of stylistic influences ranging from mid-century modern furniture through to Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, the Guggenheim in New York.

 

Born in Australia and now calls Singapore home, Jarrod appreciates artisanal products of quality with unique graphic elements. Jarrod Lim Design develops highly regarded concepts for furniture and lifestyle products as well as award-winning spatial designs for interiors, exhibitions and public locations. Jarrod has previously worked with brands as Herman Miller, Royal Selangor, Oasia Hotels and Bonaldo, Alessi and B&B Italia under Patricia Urquiola in Italy.

What materials do you like to work with for your furniture and why?

I’m happy to work with any materials. I approach each material differently looking at the various charactersitics and how I can enhance those qualities. I’ve been working a lot in wood over the past few years but much of that is due to the fact that it is so common in this region. There are so many factories in Southeast Asia that are set up to work with wood so I just ended up working with companies who specialise in that material. I like designing in different materials as each one provides me with new inspiration and a new direction.

What is your signature selling point in your creations, and where do you get your inspirations?

I believe the signature style in many of my creations at is that I subtly blend a fusion of East-West styles. It’s neither totally Asian or totally European. I think this comes from my background of growing up in Australia with a Singaporean father and Australian mother. And then my first real experience of International design was in the studio of Patricia Urquiola in Milan. Finally my move to Singapore cemented this fusion of cultures that I feel is becoming my defining style.

What are young modern home buyers in Singapore looking for in furniture design?

I think they’re looking for furniture that reflects their personality. Previously people didn’t pay much attention to the interior design of their homes as it was simply a place to sleep. Everything else happened outside the house. Now having a nice interior, even in a small apartment, is a must. But as the apartments get smaller and smaller the furniture needs to be designed to fit, and to often perform more than one duty.

How do you sketch your ideas?

I sketch a lot on my iPad but mainly because it’s an excellent way to keep track and organise all the sketches. In the office I still end up using a sketchbook or any old piece of paper that’s sitting next to me. But so often these get misplaced. So I try to use the iPad more and more. I don’t have a particular type of sketchbook that I prefer. I just use whatever.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at work?

I crave wonton noodles. In Joo Chiat there are several famous wonton noodle stores within walking distance of my office. So it’s simply a matter of choosing one I want to visit.

 

NATHAN YONG OF NATHAN YONG DESIGN

“I strongly believe that we have to put good thoughts into creation as a respect to the world and the people we live in.”
Elizabeth is an organic approach to the traditional wing chair evoking fluid lines of teak
Line Wine Bar
Flak Stools have a distinctly Nordic look, so fits harmoniously into any interior style
Pringles Chair, celebrates the purity of wood while paying tribute to local carpentry traditions

 

An industrial design graduate from Temasek Polytechnic, Yong started his career as a buyer where he learnt about the processes in production, craft and marketing. He founded furniture retail store Air Division that carried his designs made by Asian craftsmen. He received his master’s degree in design and won a couple of awards including Red Dot Concept Design, and the President’s Design Award 2008 Designer of the Year. Today, Yong runs Nathan Yong Design, his multidisciplinary design consultancy firm, and is also the co-founder of furniture retail store Grafunkt.

What materials do you like to work with for your furniture and why?

Wood, metal, upholstery, stones, weaving – because every material has its strength and beauty.

What is your signature selling point in your creations, and where do you get your inspirations?

I strive to make beautiful objects that have meaning and purpose, and make production sense so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible to make life better. I strongly believe that we have to put good thoughts into creation as a respect to the world and the people we live in.

What are young modern home buyers in Singapore looking for in furniture design?

Originality with good values.

How do you sketch your ideas?

Pen and sketchbook. I am computer illiterate.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at work?

Bak chor mee with tomato sauce.

 

IVAN HO OF TIZUMUKA

“Many of my creations for Tizumuka are centred around interesting detailing and finishes, things that evoke a pleasant surprise.”

Yodeesa Stool is an element in a four-part, flat-packed piece of furniture that plays on aesthetic and construction simplicity
Yodeesa Coffee Table
The clean yet playful form of Kin Armchair uses colour with intelligence

 

While working as an interior designer, Ivan came to love furniture design and started his multidisciplinary design studio tizumuka in 2012. His Yodeesa stool, received an Honourable Mention from the Red Dot Award: Design Concept in 2014. Ivan collaborates with furniture manufacturers such as Scanmark, and attends trade shows around the world to promote his designs.

What materials do you like to work with for your furniture and why?

I don’t particularly set constraints or parameters when it comes to working with materials. I strongly believe a sound designer should have all the necessary skill sets to handle and understand a variety of materials. The key is always attention to detail, and how us designers can solve design and construction issues masterfully with well resolved detailing.

What is your signature selling point in your creations, and where do you get your inspirations?

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources; it could simply be an experience, a ritual or something visual. There is no ‘instruction manual’ per se but it is largely intuitive. Many of my creations for Tizumuka are centred around interesting detailing and finishes, things that evoke a ‘pleasant surprise’.

What are young modern home buyers in Singapore looking for in furniture design?

Contextual design – since the vast majority of the population live in ‘shoebox’ apartments. We tend to favour designs that are aesthetically cleaner, with a lighter colour palate. Hence Nordic designs are relatively well received by young modern Singapore homebuyers.

How do you sketch your ideas ?

A clutch pencil on recycled photocopy paper – which I end up misplacing eventually.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at work?

Chicken rice.

 

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Commune, Nathan Yong Design, Jarrod Lim Design, and Tizumuka. Featured Image-The Big Dragon by Jarrod Lim