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Tips and Guides

Five Fabulous Pinoy Designer Chairs

These statement pieces from the recent design exhibits showcase Filipino creativity. Take a seat!

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Photography: Courtesy of Kenneth Cobonpue & Ito Kish

A chair’s main purpose is to be sat on. But in truth, a chair is one of the most challenging furniture pieces to design, as you have to combine comfort, ergonomics, durability, innovative materials, and cutting-edge form to create a humble seat.

Furniture fairs are the perfect creative venues to launch new chair designs. Here are some proudly Filipino-made pieces we spotted on design sites and at the recently concluded PIFS 2017 (watch out for more in the upcoming Manila FAME in April): 

Kenneth Cobonpue's Peacock Chair

The ubiquitous wicker Peacock chair was once the staple of many a lanai in the 1960s-70s, or was the seat of choice for beauty pageants (Manila FAME and PIFS even held a tribute to the Peacock, showcasing current reinterpretations of the design). Internationally renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue reinterprets the classic with his trademark flair for the unexpected—the form is deconstructed, and the base spirals up into its undulating back.

Ito Kish's mini-Gregoria

The Gregoria chair—a statement seat made out of numerous balustrade-like forms named after the Kish’s mother—won the Katha Award in Manila FAME when it was launched in 2014, and has been exhibited, celebrated, and featured many times since then. To celebrate the Gregoria’s fifth-year anniversary, ITO KISH released a miniature Gregoria, measuring 19cm in height. To inquire about this limited edition piece, click here.

Vito Selma's Alegra Chair

Cebu designer Vito Selma’s Alegra chair—a masterful seat made out of woven, macramé-like fibers attached to a frame, allowing you to “swing” gently as you sit—is the favorite of celebrities (see Solenn Heussaff’s own Alegra in her home here).

Other outstanding pieces seen at Selma’s booth at PIFS 2017 is his new Flora collection, wherein wood-framed chairs and sofas “open up” like modern flowers.

Dem Bitantes's "Plaid" chair

Furniture fair darling Dem Bitantes’s creations are always crowd pleasers (he has won multiple design awards here and abroad). The industrial designer has worked with Designs Ligna and most recently A. Garcia crafts, and at the recent PIFS special setting exhibited this woven wicker chair, which is a quirky combination of continental pattern (plaid) and local materials (wicker).

IDisenyo's Omnia Chair

As a special mention in this roundup, we’re including the IDisenyo 2017 grand prizewinner, the Omnia chair (designed by Paige Seven Bautista, Laarni Ortacio, Noelle Cacayan, and Anjeannette Cruz), which is a bentwood lounge made out of various laminated woods. Every year, the University of the Philippines Interior Design Alumni Association (UPIDAA) holds IDisenyo, a competition for design students. This year’s competition encouraged contestants to come up with creative furniture visions that were customized by some members of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP).

PHOTOS Kenneth Cobonpue’s Instagram, ITO KISH, Gio Oliva (Vito Selma, Dem Bitantes), Urban Abode (Omnia chair)

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