Anyone who’s been living here long enough will instantly recognise the new collection by Grafunkt and Onlewo as distinctly Singaporean, even at first glance. Featuring a stool and ottoman upholstered in a tile-pattern fabric, the collection is reminiscent of the tables, chairs, and benches which are an endearingly familiar sight at void decks and other public areas in Singapore.
This collection is the brainchild of local design-forward furniture label Grafunkt together with fabric design studio Onlewo. Both homegrown brands, they decided to collaborate for this collection that pays homage to Singapore’s spirit and heritage.
“The tile design is a celebration of the multi-cultural heritage of Singapore and the creative architectural designs our forefathers gifted us. Singapore today is the result of generations of cultural interplay which is reflected in our physical environment in the form of colour, form and texture,” shares Mike Tay, the designer and founder of Onlewo.
If you look closer, you’ll see an intricate floral motif in the design, too. Named Singa Flore, the motif was inspired by Mike’s interpretation of the diversity and vibrancy of Singapore.
Though the design itself was inspired by tradition and heritage, the silhouette and function of the pieces are most definitely modern. The stool and ottoman come in a simple angular structure, making them extremely versatile as a side table, seat, bench, or even a work desk. They can be standalone pieces, or arranged in a modular configuration for a greater visual impact.
It’s an apt tribute to the spirit of adaptability and resilience Singapore has embraced in 2020, and a clever reinterpretation of the furniture in our public spaces. On the subject of design in a post-pandemic era, Mike is optimistic. “[It’s] a big opportunity to re-invent through collaborative efforts,” he shares. “Our art and design community will be able to ride on this trajectory of opportunity to elevate our works and expand our audience.”
Nathan Yong, Grafunkt’s co-founder and designer, agrees. “I always believe that great works are born from necessity and that this pandemic is a true test of creatives in Singapore,” he says.
The Grafunkt x Onlewo 2020 Collection is limited edition, with the stool and ottoman retailing at $420 and $650 respectively.
For more information, please visit their website. Orders can be placed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit their shop in Funan Mall #04-01.