Find – Design Fair Asia 2022: Southeast Asia’s top designers talk sustainability, locality and style for compact homes in Singapore, Lifestyle News


Part of Singapore Design Week, Find – Design Fair Asia is a new immersive furniture, interiors and design event that this year brings together a curated selection of independent international designers, galleries and global brands.

From September 22-24, 2022 at the Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre, the three-day event features experiences across six key pillars. They include cultural showcases Country Pavilions, Capsule of the future of Italian designa celebration of Italy’s creativity, craftsmanship and design thinking, and EMERGE @ Findwhich highlights more than 50 emerging designers from Asia.

For a preview of Find – Design Fair Asia 2022 and expert advice on designing compact HDB apartments or new private accommodations, we talk to three of the hottest designers showcasing their work at EMERGE@Find.

Alvin Tjitrowirjo: Imperfectly Perfect Natural Spaces

Building a solid reputation over the past decade by staying true to his place of origin, Indonesian-born product designer Alvin Tjitrowirjo currently runs his own furniture brand, Alvin Tand multidisciplinary design & strategy firm, Shape of thoughts.

Frustrated by the disconnect between designers, makers, materials and the environment, he believes that the pressure of profits and economic growth has led to a world that is too “perfect and manufactured, misinformed and soulless” – which , for him, diminishes the character of a space.


Linking design to that of the human being, Alvin firmly believes that our imperfections make us unique. He often humanizes natural and locally sourced materials like rattan, which are malleable by human hands, making each piece slightly different and unique to the buyer.

He explains, “to alvinT, we create products in limited quantities and above all, these parts are designed to be made only by humans rather than machines. Sustainability is not just about using renewable materials, but about producing less, but better”.


Along with decluttering stuff that doesn’t add value to your life, Alvin recommends considering the negative space that lets the room breathe and using lighting, which plays a crucial role when it comes to living. is focused on certain areas, to visually create more areas within the space.

Phuong Dao: A versatile alliance between tradition and innovation

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, furniture designer Phuong Dao will present its Cà Ràng collection at EMERGE @ Find, which uses waste in its construction and design.

Combining Vietnamese tradition with innovation, it draws inspiration from the Vietnamese cook of the same name – which was also traditionally a social space where families gathered and shared stories by the fireside. For most families, the living room has now taken over this spatial function, so she created a coffee table and stools for a modern setting.


Phuong enjoys working with waste because she believes materials should have multiple uses and purposes. “The best advice I can give is to treat waste as ordinary materials. The concept is new, but that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to use it.

People usually perceive waste as rubbish, but once you make the decision to accept the material as it is, you will find comfort and can really experience the material,” says Phuong.


Ahead, the designer expects a lot of changes in the way we view our living spaces as a home. Our homes should be able to cater to different occasions and functions, which is essential for small city apartments.

Investing in multifunctional furniture would be key, and Phuong agrees that Wabi-Sabi design will remain popular because it connects design and the flawed beauty of craftsmanship.

Incompatible elements make the design interesting

Similarly, keen to engage people with the idea of ​​innovation, recycling, social change and environmental stewardship, Filipino designer Jim Zarate-Torres fits perfectly with the materiality theme of Find – Design Fair. Asia this year.

Introducing his new collection which combines metal and coffee waste, the designer was fueled by the scarcity of solid wood supplies locally to creatively use coffee grounds poured from his own coffee shop in Zarate Manilaas a component presenting itself as an alternative to the wooden table top.


When it comes to integrating different materials, textures and styles to create a cohesive look, Jim says, “I think the importance of exploring with the mix of materials is that it makes the design innovative and more interesting.

By incorporating selections on textures and styles, the product becomes luxurious with its harmony and stunning effect. To enhance the refined look with its distinctive contrast, material combinations can be the unique feature of the product.


Her biggest tip for those looking to design an innovative space? Invest in well-designed products that will last. Beyond aesthetics, this also means choosing products that will withstand the wear and tear of daily use and manage to remain aesthetically pleasing over time.

Jim believes that “form and function must go hand in hand to create innovative and durable designs for everyday use. Designing compact living spaces means focusing on creating durable and functional products with contemporary appeal.

Statement pieces that speak volumes

Weaving a tale of heritage, consumption and waste into his creations, Designer and Pedagogue, Hans TanThe craftsmanship of is a visually appealing juxtaposition of beauty and utility. In his eponymous studio, the award-winning Singaporean designer creates striking works that are “quite small compared to paintings and furniture, but say a lot”.


Known for his focus on material and process development, Hans’ latest collection uses obsolete porcelain vessels from old shops and thrift stores. The collection takes a less technical approach to resist sandblasting creating a “fading” effect.

In an ironic play on ornamentation, he removes glaze and decorative elements from porcelain wares with aluminum oxide to create visual discourse and dichotomy. The parts then offer variable results when they are viewed from different angles: you can see the vessel as it was before the treatment, after or both at the same time.


Looking for more tips, tricks and expert advice? Head to Find – Design Fair Asia 2022 to get more information and inspiration and up your design game.

Meet designers from multidisciplinary and specialist studios who practice a wide range of design disciplines and absorb a myriad of design sensibilities, creative styles and trends at Singapore’s most exciting design fair to date!

Find – Design Fair Asia September 22-24, 2022, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956. For more information and to register, please visit their website.

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Rozella J. Cook