AHEC presents Discovered Singapore, showcase of emerging design talent from Asia-Pacific

Winding Stream by Yunhan Wang, made with hard maple (Image: Winston Chuang)

This month, Red Dot Design Museum plays host to a showcase of the next generation of design talent. A curation of designs from the original London Exhibition, Discovered Singapore presents a visionary group of young creatives in an extraordinary showcase of furniture, objects and sculptural works in wood.

Conceived by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Discovered Singapore aims to provide a platform for new creatives and an opportunity for talented emerging designers to showcase their work to the public and the industry at Singapore’s premier design venue.

Selected from the original global line up of 20, the 10 designers exhibiting in Singapore this May worked alongside design mentors and AHEC’s global manufacturing partners to each develop an object made from their choice of four sustainable hardwoods: American red oak, cherry and hard and soft maple.

Throughout the project, designers were supported by AHEC’s technical specialists, and mentored by established designers Nathan Yong (Singapore) and Adam Markowitz (Australia).

Thought Bubble by Nong Chotipatoomwan, made with Red oak (Image: Winston Chuang)

“The original iteration of Discovered was conceived to engage and inspire the next generation of talented young designers. After a successful exhibition in London and then Milan, it is wonderful to have the opportunity for the 10 designers from the Asia-Pacific region to exhibit their work closer to home in the design hub that is Singapore,” said John Chan, director South East Asia and Greater China, AHEC

The collaboration was initiated during the pandemic. Selected designers were invited to think freely about their experience of living and working in isolation, responding to themes of touch, reflection and strength, and to channel their own experiences into a piece that represents our functional and emotional connection to everyday objects. The designers considered ideas such as identity and cultural heritage, family and social ritual and the inherent comfort of touch.

“This project has not only enabled us to provide young designers with valuable learning experience on product design and development with sustainable hardwoods, it has also been an opportunity to work again with established design mentors and the best manufacturers in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. They are leading the way in making efforts to ensure sustainable design is also sustainably made,” commented Rod Wiles, director Oceania, AHEC.

This collaboration has resulted in a selection of objects, ranging from functional furniture such as cabinets, tables and seats to more abstract, sculptural works that inspire reflection.

Taken as a whole, Discovered hopes to represent how experiences of a changing world have impacted each designer’s personal and creative journeys.

Iuxta Me by Vivienne Wong, made with cherry (Image: Tim Robinson)

Discovered Singapore will be held from 16-22 May at the Red Dot Design Museum. Entry is complimentary.

The 10 designers to be featured are: Nong Chotipatoomwan, Kodai Iwamoto, Mew Mungnatee, Trang Nguyen, Taiho Shin, Ivana Taylor, Yunhan Wang, Tan Wei Xiang, Duncan Young, and Vivienne Wong.