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Brass Chinese Chess Set.



Hide and Seek

Rice Bowl

ipse ipsa ipsum


Koi Gate Bench

Local flavour

Looking for new pieces for the home? Some homegrown designers launched these pieces at the recent Singapore Design Week.
Mar 25, 2017 5:50 AM

1 Brass Chinese Chess Set

S$1,590, Scene Shang, 263 Beach Road

Let's make board games great again. Scene Shang has partnered local design studio forest&whale to make a Chinese chess set with a difference. Instead of wooden pieces, this one is made of brass, machined and polished by local auto parts maker Hup Yick.

Each piece is made by hand by one of the last industrial craftsmen in Singapore. The parts are cut out of solid brass pieces and shaped for tactile memories of an age-old game.

2 PLAYPlay

From S$1,400, Journey East, Tan Boon Liat Building, #03-03

Singaporean designer Hunn Wai and Italian designer Francesca Lanzavecchia, who collectively make up Lanzavecchia + Wai, are back with their second PLAYPlay collection. The first was launched in 2016. As before, the pieces are fun, and they interpret "play" in a fresh new way, resulting in pieces that are accessible and versatile for compact homes.

Pieces in this second collection include the Polqa sofa with its plush cushions; the Gridlock shelves and console, which look like two separate forms have collided; and the Rail console, desk and side console, which all come lined with slim metal piping.

3 Ariake

Price upon enquiry, see

What happens when two leading Japanese furniture makers, Legnatec and Hirata Chair, come together? They start a new brand, called Ariake, meaning daybreak in Japanese.

The Ariake Collection consists of tables, storage and seating made from white oak, sumi-dyed ash, indigo-dyed ash, hinoki and burnt cedar.

Singaporean designer Gabriel Tan is one of five designers who worked on this collection. His pieces include the Ariake chair, bench and Sky Ladder Shelves with gently curved legs resembling rope ladders. He is also the creative director for Ariake.

4 Hide and Seek

Prototype, for enquiries,see

Most cat furniture pieces are designed for their feline users, but Hide and Seek aim to be different. Hide is the name of a coffee table, while Seek is a cat toy. Both are designed by local industrial designer Celine Ng. While Seek is meant for cats, Hide works well even in homes where there are no cats.

Made from sungkai wood and rattan, the coffee table has a built in hiding space under the top, for cats feeling anti-social. They can get in through a hole in the table top or through a ring at the bottom.

"For those who don't have cats, the space can be used for storage instead," says Ms Ng, who designed the compact table to fit any home.

5 Rice Bowl

S$159 for set of six, Scene Shang, 263 Beach Road

Scene Shang ties up this time with fashion label In Good Company, exploring the idea of making tableware out of the fabrics used in the latter's clothing line.

They chose the rice bowl - the must-have crockery in the Chinese home - to start with, and used different types of fabrics to create the form. Full needle knit material - which is malleable and takes the shape of whatever it is draped on - was wrapped around a porcelain rice bowl to cast the resulting shape.

The Rice Bowls are a collaboration between In Good Company and Scene Shang.

6 ipse ipsa ipsum

S$4,970, from Sam & Sara, National Design Centre, #03-14

ipse ipsa ipsum, is Latin for himself, herself, itself. It is also the name of a line of handcrafted furniture and accessories. The brand has partnered designer Nathan Yong for its latest collection, called The Nathan Yong Collection.

Mr Yong went to India to seek inspiration and the result is a collection of furniture pieces that are handcrafted in India using materials such as brass, leather and marble. The beauty of the collection is in its customisation options, not only in the choice of colours, but for example, the opportunity to add a mirror or a light to the end of the Udaipur Sofa.

7 Bubba

S$390, Onlewo, 129 Jalan Besar

This dining chair is a collaborative effort between industrial designer George Soo and fabric designer Mike Tay of Onlewo.

Mr Soo designed the chair, while Mr Tay created the upholstery. His fabric designs are inspired by Asian heritage and local landmarks and are used on everything from wallpaper and table runners to lampshades and cushion covers.

The collection also includes fabrics from other collaborators.

The design of the Bubba may evoke a sense of nostalgia, but it has renewed purpose in function as it comes with a handle in the back rest the chairs can be moved easily without touching the fabric.

8 Koi Gate Bench

S$980, Scene Shang, 263 Beach Road

Tattoo artist Joseph Siow, founder of Visual Orgasm Tattoo Studio is known for his freehand expressive illustrative style. He has used the koi and lotus as key illustration symbols for this collaboration, signifying good fortune, love and beauty. His illustrations are imprinted in gold on leather and upholstered on Scene Shang's signature Old Elm Wood Gate - a piece of furniture which is commonly placed at the entrance of a home.