Famous Furniture Designers and Their ‘Tatak Pinoy’ Masterpieces
World-class, uses materials that are sustainable and environment-friendly, and just uniquely amazing—this is what sets Pinoy furniture apart from the rest. Simple yet elegant, Philippine furniture pieces can stand the test of time because of their design and the quality of materials they are made of. Over time, these pieces have become popular not only in the country but in the international scene as well. Below are just some of the most famous Filipino furniture designers who have made it to the global market with their stunning pieces that are truly tatak Pinoy.
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5 Filipino Furniture Designers and Their World-Class Works
Equipped with the enthusiasm of the Philippine and international market, the furniture industry has always been a profitable one. The export-quality products Filipino furniture designers have always been exquisite. Below are jaw-dropping pieces from Filipino furniture designers that will prove that true.
Discovery Shores Boracay is almost synonymous to the popular Philippine vacation island itself. The blue-and-white interiors of this luxurious hotel were designed by none other than Antonio “Budji” Layug of Budji Collections Inc. The designer worked together with frequent partner Royal Pineda for Discovery Shores. Budji has made a name for himself with his furniture pieces that flaunt an exceptionally amazing indigenous design.
Budji’s medium of choice is bamboo, one of the most sustainable materials in the world. He was inspired after spotting two men skillfully creating a traditional bamboo outrigger canoe. From then on, Budji has remained committed to organic forms and materials found in the Philippines. Aside from being a pioneer in bamboo designs and rattan furniture, he has also made good use of the growing leather industry. Budji weaves local leather with materials like shells and coco wood to create stunning designs that are distinctively Pinoy.
Designer Milo Naval‘s showroom in Biñan, Laguna, is concealed by clusters of bamboo, palm trees, and shrubs. The exterior and interior of the showroom is a true reflection of Naval’s signature indigenous style. His precise and fuss-free furniture designs have been showcased at the Salone in Milan, Valencia, Maison et Objet in Paris, and ICFF in New York. Naval was notably a part of the Movement 8, a group of new-age Filipino furniture designers that spread awareness of local furniture and accessories.
As an environmentalist, Naval makes good use of recycled materials. One of his standout pieces includes an acacia table made from a solid wood piece that was salvaged from a devastating typhoon. To provide a unique modern touch, Naval added stainless-steel legs. Aside from this eye-catching piece, Naval has provided the furnishings for his personal office (pictured above). The pieces include a rattan-and-mahogany table, abaca woven chairs, and a mahogany slat cabinet used to store his personal belongings. All these materials can be found all over the Philippines.
As the founder of Industria Philippines, Jude Tiotuico‘s goal is to change the way people view steel furniture. His designs are a clear departure from the mainstream pieces created by other designers on this list. The so-called man behind the metal has become an icon for modern and contemporary furniture design in the Philippines. A notable piece from his extensive portfolio is Cyclo, a sofa that served as a centerpiece for the Philippine booth for the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile held at the Fiera Milano Fairgrounds.
The Tiotuico style of furniture design has a touch of local materials with an artistic interplay of indigenous wood and metal.
If the name Vito Selma is not familiar to you, then you may have already seen his furniture pieces around. Selma has gained the title “The Wood Whisperer” over the course of his successful career, and it is easy to see why. The young designer is basically a genius when it comes to crafting wood. In an interview with CNN, Selma proudly proclaimed, “Everything I do is Filipino.”
One of Selma’s most popular works is the Cara-Boo, a Filipino take on the classic child’s rocking horse. It features a carabao tied to a handy storage box, an idea that stemmed from Selma’s carefree days as a child. Today, the globally recognized artist is looking for more ways to innovate his signature aesthetic. He works with both local and international businesses to create experimental furniture pieces that truly stand out from a crowd.
Cebuano Kenneth Cobonpue was dubbed by TIME magazine as “rattan’s first virtuoso” back in 2007. His world-class designs have attracted prominent clientele from around the world, including members of the royal family and Hollywood stars like Ocean’s 11 actor Brad Pitt. To top it off, Cobonpue has earned a variety of international accolades. He continues to create his signature designs including the recent one, a car made using a bunch of materials found in the Philippines like bamboo and carbon fiber.
To conclude, the individuals mentioned above are just five of the top furniture designers in the country that have made a name for themselves and for the country with their truly Pinoy designs. More than anything else, these designers hope that the Philippine furniture industry will prosper and the world will get to know more of our creative and imaginative furniture pieces.