7 forward-thinking creations by Singaporean designers at Milan Design Week 2024

From furniture that absorbs carbon dioxide to heat-transferring ceramics, seven trailblazing designers experiment with technology, materiality and production at the Future Impact 2 showcase.

  • 7 forward-thinking creations by Singaporean designers at Milan Design Week 2024

Text by Lookbox Living

In an era defined by technology and sustainability, seven innovative designers from Singapore have been tasked by DesignSingapore Council to create positive and impactful solutions for a better tomorrow, with the creations to be presented at the upcoming Milan Design Week 2024.

The designers have either integrated a different technology or pushed the boundaries of production to develop a series of newly commissioned works that minimise environmental impact, reconsider current production methods, and enhance functionality.

These ultra-cool ideas will be shown at Milan Design Week 2024 from 16 to 21 April at La Rotonda del Pellegrini, in an exhibition titled “Future Impact 2”. Here’s a sneak peek!

#1 Christian+Jade

Milan Design Week 2024

Design duo Christian+Jade will explore rubber production and material waste with the Para Stool, crafted from the Para rubber tree found in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The lesser-known rubber wood is usually burned after a 30-year lifespan of rubber cultivation, and Christian+Jade are repurposing the wood, together with the natural rubber, to spotlight the beauty and quality of rubber, bridging the gap between preconceptions of the material and its origin as a living tree.

The project is produced with support from Karimoku who is sourcing under-utilised rubber wood from Malaysia.

#2 David Lee

Milan Design Week 2024

Challenging the trend of complex design, artist and designer David Lee’s Monolith chair and table is fashioned from a single piece of material that is laser-cut and bent into final form. The design marks an unusual return to conventional production and manufacturing methods, which in turn minimises waste, human labour and material consumption. This departure from the norm not only addresses environmental concerns but also challenges the status quo of resource-intensive manufacturing practices.

#3 Faezah Shaharuddin

Milan Design Week 2024

Multidisciplinary designer Faezah Shaharuddin demonstrates the need for sustainable designs in our living spaces with furniture pieces, Unlikely Fragments, that remove carbon dioxide from the air. Using wood offcuts from her furniture production, Shaharuddin incorporates these with textiles treated with COzTERRA, a unique, cutting-edge formulation that absorbs carbon dioxide using artificial intelligence technology, founded by Singapore-based material engineers Xinterra.

#4 Gabriel Tan

Milan Design Week 2024 Gabriel Tan

Gabriel Tan will present Strange Fruits – Hybrid Basketry, a pair of colourful table lamps that are handwoven around 3D printed resin structures using traditional basket-weaving techniques. The lighting designs seek harmony between digital fabrication and handcrafting methods to demonstrate the important role technology can play in preserving traditional methods of craftsmanship, by reducing human labour and increasing accessibility to amateur designers.

#5 Genevieve Ang and Interactive Materials Lab

Designer and artist Genevieve Ang and Interactive Materials Lab will collaborate on Reciproco, a pair of interactive ceramic wares that are capable of transferring heat from object to object. Activated by touch, the ceramics are formulated with glass waste and enhanced with thermochromic paint that changes colour when the surface is heated. Visitors will be invited to touch the designs and watch the technology come to life, as the work challenges boundaries between communication devices and bridges the emotional and physical gaps prevalent in our current digital communications.

#6 Tiffany Loy

Textile designer Tiffany Loy will collaborate with Italian experts Friul Mosaic on Mosaic Membrane, a material experiment that presents mosaic tiles in skin-like, three-dimensional forms that can function as pieces of furniture. As small pieces of off-cut stone, mosaic tiles are an inherently sustainable material choice. Loy takes this further by hollowing the three-dimensional form of the tiles, using as little material as necessary. The pairing between the duo celebrates the fluidity of textile and mosaic materials, while also drawing inspiration from the hollow arched structure of La Rotonda del Pellegrini’s vaulted ceiling.

#7 Zavier Wong

Zavier Wong’s Manifold Steel – Wall Piece No.1 is an art-like shelf formed from thin sheets of metal that are cut, folded, welded and finished by hand with the support of algorithmic and generative design tools. Integrating artificial intelligence into the design process, Wong invokes complexity while minimising use of materials and reliance on intensive production methods.

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