7 Filipino Furniture Designers To Know: Bea Valdes, Kenneth Cobonpue, And More
Who among these talented designers are on your radar?
Our lives happen around furniture. Every day, we are supported by sofas, coffee tables, bed frames, and dressers, often without appreciation to the people who made them. In this article, Tatler acknowledges a few of the many talented Filipinos who design furniture in the most creative way.
The name Kenneth Cobonpue is known in the furniture designing scene worldwide. His remarkable style and variety of rattan, bamboo, and abaca creations have received numerous recognitions and praises from Hollywood stars and design institutions in Asia.
Few of the awards he received were Hong Kong's Design for Asia Award, the Japan Good Design Award, the American Society of Interior Designers Selection, the French Coup de Coeur Award, and the first Asian Designer of the Year title given by the Maison et Objet in Paris.
In a Rappler interview, Cobonpue shared how honoured he is to bring Filipino craftsmanship to the global stage. “What I do is always a testament to Filipino craftsmanship. Not many young people do it now, but this is a tradition that we should be proud of. This is something passed on from one generation to another."
Internationally-renowned Filipina designer Bea Valdes knows a thing or two about clothes and accessories, but her never-ending experiments and self-discovery also led her to the furniture design industry. In 2018, she worked with brands like Philux to create home decors that espoused elegance and playfulness.
Designer Nix Alañon is always brimming with joy every time he improves people's lives by creating liveable indoor spaces. In 2006, he founded FTA Design, a studio comprised of equally dynamic designers, who all have an in-depth understanding of the different aspects of art and style.
Though more popular as an interior designer, Alañon creates stylish indoor accessories such as armchairs, coffee tables, sofas, armoires and wardrobes.
“Not everyone is given the privilege to create living spaces for individuals that make them feel happy, comfortable, and complete. This is something I value deeply, and I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I do," he disclosed.
Ed of Elou PH
Ed, the one-man-team behind Elou PH knows how to work his way with wooden furniture. Among his most notable works is the Stoolito, a chair inspired by offbeat, neat, and purist forms that compliment age-old and tested joinery techniques.
His works are typically designed to look light and straightforward with real attention to the details.
Furniture designer Jim Torres got his first break when he won the Red Box Design Talent in 2015 for his unique and creative technique in creating lighting pieces made of stainless steel.
Torres is the founder of Zarate Manila, a contemporary design brand consultancy and studio that makes bold and elegant interior accents.
Roberta Limjap and Anna Zavalla
There is nothing that empowered female designers Roberta Limjap and Anna Zavalla can't build. The two are co-owners of Raw.tura, a furniture design studio that boasts custom made accessories like wall cabinets, sofas, woven baskets, and more.
Budji Layug is considered to be a pillar in the Philippine interior design industry. His incomparable creativity and craftsmanship have been recognised by worldwide audiences. The artist is known for using bamboo as one of his primary mediums.
Layug continues to bring pride for the Filipinos through Budji + Royal, a design and architecture brand he shares with Royal Pineda. The company seeks to produce more output that highlights "modern organic" sensibility coupled with an innovative bold spirit, continuous research, and technical expertise.