3 Singapore Design Duos You Should Know
We can't wait for the rest of the world to know these design duos who made waves at Singapore Design Week 2016
This design duo met as graduate students at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands; Francesca Lanzavecchia studied product design in Milan, Italy, and Hunn Wai studied industrial design in Singapore. Since their initial collaboration during a Danish Art Workshops residency in 2009, they have run Lanzavecchia + Wai from both Italy and Singapore.
These walking canes integrated into furniture are part of Lanzavecchia + Wai’s No Country for Old Men mobility products launched at SaloneSatellite during the Milan Furniture Fair in 2012. This was the year that the duo made their international splash, and caught the attention of furniture manufacturers for their thoughtful, disability-sensitive design approach.
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Over the two-year creative process, Lanzavecchia and Wai also travelled to Indonesia several times to source the appropriate sustainable timber. While there, they also worked with craftsmen on prototypes – “We rarely get to do factory work with our European clients,” Lanzavecchia says – and did quality checks before the launch.
Lanzavecchia + Wai, as part of their work on this collection, have been demonstrating the dual-purpose pieces – which were designed for Singapore’s small spaces (Pong is a dining table that transforms into a proper ping pong table, for example) – and explaining the Southeast Asian-inspired colour palette, at various international design shows.
They are launching PLAYplay internationally during Milan Design Week at Palazzo Litta.
Although they have yet to launch designed-for-retail pieces, prototypes of this design duo’s furniture for the National Gallery Singapore filled the public lounge space at Maison&Objet Asia’s exhibit halls.
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“We’re talking to Lanzavecchia + Wai about something we can do together, as they had designed a collection for the elderly, and we now have experience with learning disabilities,” says Comaroff.
The Hermes Secret Garden was a ‘scenographic landscape’ set at the open-air atrium of LaSalle School of the Arts, for a one-night party that Hermes hosted.
Jessica Wong, a trained architect, and Pamela Ting, a former banker, make up the homeware and furniture design brand Scene Shang. The two met while living, and working in the industries they’ve since left to open up their company, in Shanghai. After moving home to Singapore, they decided to combine forces to become Scene Shang.
In 2014, their Shang stacking system – a side table, drawers and tray – received a special commendation at the President’s Design Awards (Singapore’s top accolade for design), encouraging this design duo to create a bigger collection.
Wong indicates the form and proportions of the Jia Ju chair, for example, as being inspired by the Ming Dynasty. “We’ve lightened it up in terms of colour and material, but you can tell from the shape that it’s Chinese,” she says. “Then we incorporated the plastic straw detail on the backrest, which is a material that will be very familiar and nostalgic for Singaporeans.”
Which designer duos’ work best suits your decorating style? Share your thoughts in the Comments.
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