Discovered Singapore presents 10 hardwood creations by emerging APAC designers

The American Hardwood Export Council promotes the works of next-gen designers through Discovered Singapore exhibition happening from 16 to 22 May at Red Dot Design Museum Singapore.

  • Discovered Singapore presents 10 hardwood creations by emerging APAC designers

Text by Vanitha Pavapathi

Conceived by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)Discovered Singapore promises to reveal a visionary collection of furniture, objects and sculptural works in wood this May. Originally showcased in London, these creations offer the Asia-Pacific design community a unique opportunity to experience them firsthand.

Handpicked from a global talent pool, ten emerging designers from the Asia-Pacific region will display their creations at Discovered Singapore. Each has been fashioned from sustainable American hardwoods like red oak, cherry, as well as hard and soft maple.

Under the guidance of industry stalwarts Nathan Yong from Singapore and Adam Markowitz from Australia, these young creatives have channeled their experiences of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic into pieces that embody both function and emotion. From functional furniture to abstract sculptures, here are ten not to be missed at Discovered Singapore.

Discovered Singapore
luxta Me (Beside me) by Vivienne Wong

Melbourne, Australia

Seeking to foster strength, intimacy, and connection, Wong created a coffee table featuring interlocking forms, where functional joinery doubled as decorative motifs. The dancer-turned designer chose American cherry for its warm, pinkish hue, reflecting the desire for human closeness and connection embodied in the piece’s Latin name.

luxta Me (Beside me) by Vivienne Wong
Recollect by Tan Wei Xiang


Tan’s keepsakes cabinet was inspired by Singapore’s construction sites and zinc sheets. The cabinet’s outer shell crafted from hard maple mimic ridged zinc, while curved shelves made from red oak hold cherished items. A mirrored, polished brass circle inside also mimics the sun setting on the horizon.

Designer Tan Wei Xiang from Singapore with his creation
Discovered Singapore
Thought Bubble by Nong Chotipatoomwan

Bangkok, Thailand

Thought Bubble was inspired by the designer’s longing for travel and social interaction, transforming physical transitions into mental states. Focusing on relaxation, Chotipatoomwan incorporated a rocking motion into the chair to promote mindfulness. Red oak was chosen for its expressive grain and porous nature.

Thought Bubble by Nong Chotipatoomwan
Pari Pari by Kodai Iwamoto

Tokyo, Japan

Iwamoto employed traditional Japanese woodworking techniques like uzukuri and chouna to create new veneers out of red oak. Edges were cut and surfaces were removed to create jagged textured panels that form the base for Pari Pari, resembling an ancient tree trunk.

Discovered Singapore
Corners Lamp by Mew Mungnatee

Bangkok, Thailand

Form, light and shadow interplay in Mungnatee’s lamp designs inspired by pagodas. Utilising a complex grid composition with wooden slats and indented corners, her creations cast captivating shadows below. She opted for soft maple for its opalescent gleam when illuminated and American cherry for its stain-absorbing qualities.

Discovered Singapore
The Roof Stool by Trang Nguyen

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This collection of nesting stools drew inspiration from traditional Vietnamese roof tiles, reminiscent of their overlapping design. Influenced by temple architecture and Vietnamese dresses, the stools feature hidden joints with contrasting wood pins, revealed only when in use. Using cherry, red oak, and maple for their colour variations, Nguyen encourages users to explore the different timbers as they unstack the stools.

Reframe by Ivana Taylor

Adelaide, Australia

Reframe encapsulates the designer’s personal experience of solitude and reflection. Seeking to evoke contemplation on the complexities of human experience, Taylor crafted a sculpture with intricately carved layers that guide light. Exploring material depth, she experimented with American hard maple, cherry and red oak, carving each layer to reveal the grain.

Ikare by Taiho Shin

Seoul, South Korea

Drawing from the ‘IKEA effect’, which values partially created products, Shin designed a small table users could partially assemble to enhance their interaction with it. Using a glue-free joint system, the table can be multiplied into stackable shelves suitable for various spaces. Shin opted for hard maple due to its density, allowing the joints to move without damaging the wood fibres.

Shelter Within by Duncan Young

Adelaide, Australia

Drawing from studies highlighting nature’s positive effects, Young created a modern cabinet of curiosities. Made from American hard maple, it features discreet joinery and a moiré-effect shelf, symbolising nature’s theatre. Handmade glass sculptural elements refract light, evoking a canopy of trees. Young chose hard maple for its gentle grain, aiming to soften the piece’s form and enhance its connection to nature.

Winding Stream by Yunhan Wang

Zhuhai, China

This compact table is an alternative to the ‘winding stream party’ ritual in China. Inspired by Hakka round houses, the table features concealed storage in its legs, a central slit for trays and cups, and a drainage system for disposing of water through the twisting gully. Hard maple was chosen for its light colour and spray-painted to prevent rot, ensuring durability for domestic use.

American Hardwood Export Council

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