Exciting new collections launched at Singapore Design Week 2018
Although new to Singapore, the brand was started in 2012, by Yuichiro Hori, a former furniture designer from Japan, who decided to move his factory to Shanghai, as he was impressed with the city's large-scale furniture factories with new machines and highly skilled workers.
Mr Hori doesn't design anymore, but he works with leading design firms such as Neri&Hu, Space Copenhagen, and OEO Studio.
Mr Hiro says Stellar Works was started as a way to bring ideas together: East and West, heritage and modernity, craft and industry. "By drawing together a unique combination of heritage, craft skills and production expertise from Europe and Asia, we have created an international design brand with cross-cultural resonance," says Mr Hori.
In Singapore, Stellar Works chairs can be found in The Warehouse Hotel and at the Straits Clan, and elsewhere such as Lady Bund in Shanghai and Ted Baker's Penthouse in London.
P5 Studio, 213 Henderson Road, #01-08
When it comes to designing furniture, designer Nathan Yong's go-to material is usually wood. Occasionally, he uses velvet, steel and brass.
His latest collection is a move away from all that, as he uses Forescolour, a high-density MDF board that has been impregnated with organic dyes.
The result is P.O.P.U.P, a collection of shelving systems, modular screens and chairs that Mr Yong designed in collaboration with Superstructure, a build lab that explores new digital fabrication techniques and material systems management.
The pieces are good for retail spaces, offices and homes. Their modular design allows for flexibility of use, particularly the shelving system, which comes in four sizes. Stack them up to create different permutations, or use them as a side table, a coffee table, a counter or a shelf. Manufacturing the pieces require zero labour, as the pieces are all cut to size using machines, and there is no manpower needed to sand or shave them.
"P.O.P.U.P is a system that is easy to customise, assemble and transport, just like a pop-up store," says Mr Yong. The name also refers to how the pieces are assembled and disassembled without nails and screws – just a push of the hand to pop it in or out.
Mr Yong adds that P.O.P.U.P is a reaction to Singapore's scarcity of land, labour and materials, with the innovative use of technology and new materials for small and transitional spaces.
Available from July, from Grafunkt, Millenia Walk, #02-34, and Keepers, National Design Centre, #01-01
Local furniture and accessories brand, Ipse Ipsa Ipsum, turned to Singapore's history for inspiration, when creating its second collection.
"I wondered how Singapore's story could be told to the world," says its creative head Saurabh Mangla. He found his answer at the Peranakan Museum, where he decided that the second collection would be Peranakan-inspired pieces for the home but with a modern touch.
Ipse Ipsa Ipsum's first collection, which was launched in 2017, was inspired by his birth country, India.
For the second collection, he roped in veteran local designers Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul to help him "make Peranakan culture more relevant in today's context," says Mr Mangla.
The Peranakan Moderne consists of three design lines: Straits Reflection, Magnetica Mixgrid which were designed by Mr Sun, and Diantara, designed by Mr Mangla and Mr Paul.
Straits Reflection comprises a desk vanity mirror and a floor-length mirror. The brass mirrors' four-leaf clover design were inspired by Peranakan tiles, according to Mr Sun, an industrial designer and director at Orcadesign Consultants.
At the back of each mirror is a Peranakan-inspired handcrafted bone-inlay motif, modelled after a bedspread seen at the museum. The motif is an amalgamation of varying cultural influences, including Chinese, Indian and Peranakan as seen in the phoenix, the tree of life, birds and flowers, and the use of a Javanese-inspired blue and red colour palette.
There's a high tech touch to the mirrors: Each comes equipped with an air quality sensor and an ambient temperature display. The mirrors are priced from S$198.
Magnetica Mixgrid, priced from S$599, is a series of storage units that come in different configurations. They all come with a dotted bone-inlay, and the dots are inspired by a Nonya kebaya. What makes the collection special is that there are no knobs or handles. Instead, the drawers can only be opened by a customised magnetic key.
The last collection is Diantara, which comprises a cabinet, a sideboard and a desk. Diantara in Malay means in-between, and Mr Paul, principal at Aretese, was inspired by the lines in-between Peranakan tiles. The pieces are not quite what they seem. For example, the desk has concealed compartments and the cabinet opens to reveal customisable storage compartments, as well as a 360-degree cocktail swivel shelf. Prices start from S$2,250.
Ipse Ipsa Ipsum, Tan Boon Liat Building, #11-02
FERREIRA DE SA
What is the quickest way to dress up a living room or a bedroom? How about throwing down a rug? Not just any rug, but one from Ferreira de Sa, a 72-year-old brand from Portugal. The company, which is still family owned, is one of the oldest companies in Europe still producing rugs using traditional methods such as hand-knotting, tufting and weaving, using manual wooden looms.
The brand supplies to luxury hotels, museums, and it also produces rugs for prominent brands in the furniture industry.
Clients can choose from the company's extensive in-house collection of designs, or from the designer collection, made in collaboration with renowned names such as architects Frank Gehry and Ana Aragao.
"But our real strength lies in being able to produce customised designs for our clients," says Fernanda Ferreira de Sa, its CEO. Clients can choose from a variety of materials such as wool, alpaca, linen, cotton and silk, and these materials can even be custom-dyed to exact hues.
The brand recently collaborated with Studio 216 on an exclusive collection. The Kusu Collection, named after the island off Singapore, is made of wool and botanical silk, and features a grid pattern to suit modern homes. A Kusu rug is priced at S$2,900.
Ferreira de Sa is also the first to introduce LED rugs. These rugs have tiny LED bulbs embedded in them, and need a power source to light up.