By Kenza van Lerberghe for IROCO Design.
With the emergence of Asian markets, so are the talents in design. Here are six young designers from Asia who have won international acclaims with their creations...
Filipino Kenneth Cobonpue, studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute in New York City, during which time he also apprenticed for a leather and wood workshop near Florence, Italy. In 1994, Cobonpue moved on to study Furniture Marketing and Production at the Export Akademie Baden-Württemberg in Reutlingen, Germany under a private and state scholarship program, and subsequently worked in Bielefeld and Munich.
His designs are the fruit of his journey: modern design with a new face using natural fibers and materials as the medium. He integrates locally sourced organic materials with innovative hand-made production techniques, hereby offering an alternative to the Western definition of modern design.
Born to TV director Johnny Manahan and surface designer Tats Rejante-Manahan, Lilianna has been creating three-dimensional objects since she was a child. Her artistic talents and passion for shaping forms led her to pursue degrees in Industrial Design from Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, and the University of the Philippines.
After graduating from college, Manahan moved to Cebu to apprentice with the renowned Cebu-based designer Kenneth Cobonpue and his furniture and accessory design group - Hive.
Today, Manahan has made a name for herself as one of the country’s most promising young artists. In 2011, she opened her own design studio, Studio Magee. Named after a childhood nickname given to her by her sister, Studio Magee’s work is inspired by childhood memories, storybook tales, and her travels to many parts of the world.
Singapore-born Melvin Ong graduated with honours in product design from Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design, London, in 2010. Parallel to his collaborations with renowned designers and agencies, he exhibited his personal work in London and Milan.
He chose Singapore to open his own studio, Desinere, launching his first collection in 2012 at Tokyo’s Design Tide.
Denny R. Priyatna
Denny R. Priyatna’s pieces of furniture, lightings, tableware and bike designs have won him numerous accolades and awards in Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Singapore (two Singapore Furniture Design Awards in 2013) and even as far as Belgium. The Jakarta-based product designer studied product design at the Bandung Institute of Technology.
Hong Kong based designer Mike Makgraduated fromHong Kong Polytechnic University’sSchool of Design with a BA in Industrial Design in 2007, after which he began to work for Fang Studio as a designer.
Following that, Mike launched mikemak.com as a platform to share his design perspective – which is at once intelligent and quirky, and is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Hong Kong-based Mike Mak was invited to participate in the first Beijing International Design Triennial in 2011 and was selected as one of Asia’s rising talents at Maison et Objet this year in Singapore.
Currently teaching at the Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Yu-fen Lo has become a household name in design. Along with the brand she launched, Cuckoo, which has exhibited in Taiwan, Paris, Milan and London. Since 2012, Yu-fen Lo has been collaborating with the Taiwanese government to promote the local cultural and creative industry abroad.
One of the four members of the +Sense design studio whose furniture has been awarded several prizes in Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong, Sittichai Ngamhongtong is a Thailand-born designer. Ngamhongtong graduated from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in 2010.
Sittichai Ngamhongtong defines himself as a “Graphic, Industrial and Product Designer”, with a focus in the exchange of cultures, experiences, know-how, materials and methods, making things look simple yet interesting.