Several Asian talents have proven their extraordinary skills in the world of art, from photography to cinematography. As for the world of furniture and design, here are some of the leading brands to know at the moment.
Furniture is like elements that adorn an enclosed space with four walls in a house. Just changing the position of furniture or adding a few new ones can make your abode look completely new and fresh. And designer furniture adds a touch of sophistication to your home that makes the space more comfortable and dynamic. So, we have compiled a list of some of the leading Southeast Asian furniture designer brands that will make your search for the best items easier.
Although Western furniture designer brands have made their mark in the industry, many Southeast Asian furniture brands have immense potential and have made a name for themselves in the industry with their craftsmanship. , their unique style, utility, durability and elegance. And now you can be proud to own and display their work in your home.
Some of the Renowned Southeast Asian Furniture Designer Brands You Should Know About
Based in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, E.Murio is a second-generation family-owned furniture workshop. They are experts in making handcrafted furniture in neutral materials like tropical woods, bamboo, fiber and glass weaving. However, designers are also experimenting with different materials like leather, metal, bone, and synthetic weaves.
Travel, adventure and friendships deeply inspire their work. The modern designs, quality and fine finishes of the units will catch the eye of any furniture enthusiast. The brand also creates custom furniture according to your requirements. The unique equipment will surely provide you with comfort and pleasure. Crossing the borders of the Philippines and the SEA, E. Murio exports its custom pieces throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and the United States.
One can easily recognize Schema’s unique artistry through the metallic thread work. The Filipino brand uses corrosion-resistant and strong galvanized iron wires to weave excellent handcrafted works of art. Each of their pieces is uniquely handcrafted, which is easily noticeable in each artful piece.
Celia Gamboa Jiao, the founder of Schema, was previously known for founding Kalikasan Crafts, a holiday decoration company where she used metallic threads and fabrics as primary raw materials. Amazed by the flexibility of wire mesh, she began experimenting with the idea and eventually founded Schema by Kalikasan Crafts with Anon Pairot, Ségolène Aebi-Faye and Antonio Layug where wire mesh is still the hallmark of all craft designs. the brand.
Another Filipino talent, Kenneth Cobonpue is one of the biggest names in the furniture design industry. The award-winning designer uses his expertise in traditional craftsmanship with a blend of nature and technology to create unique aesthetic pieces. Many Hollywood celebrities, including Brad Pitt and Lucy Liu, have shown admiration for his work. Famous Hollywood movie sets like Ocean 13 and the set of the television series ITUC also present his creations.
After graduating from New York’s Pratt Institute in Industrial Design, Cobonpue began learning marketing and furniture production. He has won numerous awards, including the Japan Good Design Awards, the Singapore International Design Competition, and the American Society of Interior Design’s Top Picks selection, and has collaborated with many world-renowned designers. Every year, people are eagerly waiting for the new designs which he presents at different design fairs.
Akar by Nissim is a Singapore-based designer furniture brand that celebrates its Asian heritage with minimalist styles and exceptional craftsmanship. The European and Asian blend in their designs is one of their distinguishing qualities. Cross-cultural references translate into distinct designs and their mastery of craftsmanship brings the furniture to life. Modern furnishings with sleek designs quickly grab customers’ attention.
The Iris coffee table and the Pavillion lacquer box are among their thoughtful creations and bestsellers. According to Jasmine Ng, COO of Akar de Nissim, artisans hand polish each piece to ensure they radiate a luminous shine. Buyers deeply appreciate the hard work of craftsmen and the harmonious collaboration of Eastern and Western craftsmanship in woodworking.
Singaporean designer, Hans Tan takes a holistic approach to creativity and practicality when creating his new designs. It won the 2009 Martell Rising Personalities Award and Design of the Year at the President’s Design Award – Singapore’s highest design honor – twice. During the autumn edition of Maison et Objet 2012 in Paris, Hans Tan received the title of “Les Découvertes” (best innovative product). The designer always prioritizes the development of materials and the manufacturing process. Heritage, consumption and waste are the main contexts he tries to tell through his expressive art.
Several of his exclusive works are presented in the National Collection of Singapore; M+ Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong; the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; and the National Ceramics Museum Princessehof Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. This honorary designer also actively participates in numerous conservation works. Changi Airport Group and Nirvana Memorial are some of its valued customers. The multi-talented artist is an Associate Professor in the Division of Industrial Design at the National University of Singapore.
Studio Poh Sin
Pamela Poh Sin Tan, the founder of Poh Sin Studio, is an exceptionally talented architectural artist-designer whose work blurs the lines between art, design and architecture. The creative concept and the ambiguity of art in his creations please the eye of the beholder. His mesmerizing installations are complex, yet they easily captivate viewers. His work is sure to stay in your heart for a long time.
A Masters in Architecture from the University of Greenwich, UK, Pamela Tan had the chance to exhibit her thought-provoking work Mappa Mundi: a mapmaker’s dream at the Royal Academy of Arts London Summer Exhibition 2015. She won the fifth and final round of the Tan Sri Chan Sau Lai Architecture Award in 2016, and the Bronze and Merit awards, respectively, in the 2020 Design for Asia Award for her work. Eden and Throwing kite, respectively. His extravagant works range from murals, space installations and models to sculptures.
What started as a rattan furniture workshop of a husband and wife team has now become one of the most prominent furniture design workshops in Southeast Asia. Based in different districts of Metro Manila, the brand is famous for manufacturing exquisite furniture for hotels, restaurants and offices, as well as residential properties, bedrooms and living rooms. The unique harmony between design and utility with pleasing aesthetics makes them special.
Philux uses Ash and Walnut wood as raw materials with trusted Filipino craftsmanship to craft each of its pieces with excellent quality and durability. From classic to contemporary, they work with a wide range of styles. Currently, the brand is led by the new generation. The couple’s eldest daughter, Stephanie, works as the company’s COO and the youngest daughter, Jessica, is the company’s design head. Much like their company, Philux aspires to craft masterpieces that can be passed down through generations.
Tan Wei Ming, the founder of Aureole Design, practiced graphic design early in her career. She discovered her passion for designing furniture and lighting when she joined a design collective in 2007. This opportunity gave her the skills and platform to create Aureole, her own brand. She also learned woodworking and ceramics to further develop her skills.
The brand name, Aureole, is often used to represent a circular light around a head or a halo in art. Her background in typography and graphic design continues to help her create lamps and draw inspiration from geometry, proportion and balance.
Ock Pop Tok
Ock Pop Tok is an odd but worthy addition to the roster. The brand had humble beginnings in 2000 at the hands of Englishwoman Joanna (Jo) Smith and Laotian Veomanee (Veo) Douangdala. All the employees of the brand are women and this works for the development of women.
It is not a typical brand of furniture manufacturing. Here you will get a selection of home decorations, bags, wall hangings and clothing. They also offer a stay where you can enjoy the hospitality of Laos and learn the textile work first hand.
(Hero and featured image credits: Kenneth Cobonpue/Screenshot)