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Defining Design


8 January 2014,

Good design has to take marketability, workability, production cost, safety and affordability into consideration. The five honorary judges of the MIFF Furniture Design Competition share their point of views and expertise with potential designers-to-be.

01.Student presents his concept and ideas to fellow judges.


Did you know?

MIFF FDC aims to nurture promising young talent for the future of the Malaysian furniture, Since 2010, this competition has honoured and showcased the finest young designers.

02.Student is given 10 minutes to demonstrate and explain his project.


The MIFF Southeast Asia’s leading industry trade show, Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) is celebrating its 20th anniversary next March with young designers battling to be the top three winners of the MIFF Furniture Design Competition (MIFF FDC). Opened to Malaysians and foreigners residing, working or studying in Malaysia, winners and finalists of the competition will stand a chance to walk away with exciting money prizes up to RM20, 000, and their prototypes exhibited in MIFF 2014.

03.Group picture of judges with MIFF chairman,Datuk Dr Tan Chin Huat.


04.Ar.Lim Wei Hong,Arkitek WHL


05.Philip Yap, Chief Judge


Chief Judge, Philip Yap from Philip Yap Design chose ‘Living Furniture, Leading Design’ as the theme for the design competition. Other judges on the panel include Tsutomu Suda from Infist Design Co Ltd, Japan, Chen Neng Xin from Ason Design, China, freelance designer, Marico Mulders from Netherlands and Ar. Lim Wei Hong from Arkitek WHL, Malaysia.latest investment strategies.

The Semi-Finals Judging process took place in Bilik Johor Kedah, Putra World Trade Centre on 31 October 2013 with 46 participants short listed. Each of the participants took turns to present their project before the judges, explaining their product concept and materials.

The MIFF FDC this time around isn’t just about finding the best designs; it is also about reaching the gap between manufacturers and designers. “Of course this competition is a scout for talent, but what is beyond that? We want to prepare a platform for designers to perform with the industry, and for manufactures to know about design management.” Chief Judge, Philip Yap comments.

06.Tsutomu Suda,C.E.O of Infist Design


“Both parties need to know where one another is coming from. For instance, participants often have good design concepts, but what they don’t realize is that concepts for manufactures are far from making money. So while it’s refreshing to see them deliver new concepts, I hope they will put more thought into translating the concepts into commercial products whereby it balances between creativity and material use, cost of making, as well as technicalities,” he adds.

Ar. Lim Wei Hong Architect on the other hand, felt that the participants could improve in terms of their knowledge towards material application. “A lot of participants tend to use the same materials, when there are actually a lot of new materials out there. They’re not exposing themselves enough. Also, for outdoor furniture, many of them made the mistake of using plywood and rattan when they should be looking at more durable materials like aluminum, stainless steel and bamboo.”

07.Marico Mulders,Freelance Designer


Apart from materials, Tsutomu Suda (who is judge for the third consecutive year) commented that he would love to see more participants focus on the marketability and workability of the product. “Especially if they plan to market their products in Japan, it is crucial for them to know the needs of the consumers because Japanese consumers in particular are very function-oriented, and they always know what they want.”

Overall, the judges were pleased with the enthusiasm that the participants showed, and they look forward for the Final Judging that will take place on 3 March next year. Marico Mulders from Netherlands encourages participants to keep going, “Don’t stop. When you think you are ready, look again. Stay focussed on creativity and marketability.”


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