This design incubator programme energises Malaysia’s timber and furniture sector


Hip To Be Square Designer: Nor Azman Hashim, Arcradius TIMB3R DIP 2.0 The combination of symmetrical motifs and bold colours in this sofa set injects a sense of retro chic into any home or office. The design is enhanced by brass inlays of exotic woods such as Macassar ebony, zebrawood and rosewood, and finished with Japanese lacquer for a glossy look. Photos: MTC

As part of efforts to support the local design community, the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) – in collaboration with the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) and Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID) – has completed the first and second edition of the TIMB3R Design Incubator Programme (DIP).

Touted as a first-of-its-kind incubation programme for design and manufacturing of furniture and timber products, the event took place at the Reka Interior Exhibition (RiX) held in Kuala Lumpur at the end of October.

At the event, TIMB3R DIP showcased eight out of 28 furniture and timber products resulting from the programme to the public for the first time.

In line with the MTC’s aim of raising industry competitiveness, the TIMB3R DIP focuses on growing local brands in international markets.

“Being the first-of-its-kind incubation programme, TIMB3R DIP is poised to be a new thrust within the design, furniture and timber sectors. This initiative will give birth to original timber and furniture designs which are essential for our industry to remain competitive.

Ted PodDesigner: Tay Ei Ling, YoungbloodTIMB3R DIP 1.0The Ted Pod is a breastfeeding pod designed with the needs of nursing mothers in mind. The modular design allows the Ted Pod to be easily incorporated and installed in a multitude of public settings, providing the privacy and security nursing mothers deserve.Ted PodDesigner: Tay Ei Ling, YoungbloodTIMB3R DIP 1.0The Ted Pod is a breastfeeding pod designed with the needs of nursing mothers in mind. The modular design allows the Ted Pod to be easily incorporated and installed in a multitude of public settings, providing the privacy and security nursing mothers deserve.

“With the TIMB3R DIP, we look forward to seeing our manufacturers move towards value-adding and to shift from Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) to Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) and Original Brand Manufacturing (OBM)”, said MTC chief operations officer Noraihan Abdul Rahman.

The six-month programme will connect each participating designer with a manufacturer to work together to conceptualise, design and create a commercially viable furniture and timber product for the global market.

This programme also serves as a platform to develop the capabilities of local designers, profile home-grown brands as well as grow the local design community.

“For Malaysia to own good brands and products, we need to build the capabilities of our local designers. Through TIMB3R DIP, we are able to nurture Malaysian design talents in a holistic manner and provide a platform for both Malaysian designers and manufacturers to showcase their creativity and capability respectively,” added Noraihan.Bento & OnigiriDesigner: Siti Mawarni EmbongTIMB3R DIP 2.0Taking inspiration from a bento box, this design manipulates basic shapes and forms to create a dining table that is compact yet equipped with additional storage. Perfect for small spaces, the table comes with two internal compartments and three ‘onigiri’ stools. As opposed to the conventional four, the size of this product is shrunk to fit three individuals. There are only three legs too, representing a perfectly imperfect balance. Constructed mostly from timber, the tone of the local Semangkok wood and upholstery are kept muted and neutral to express a minimalist look.Bento & OnigiriDesigner: Siti Mawarni EmbongTIMB3R DIP 2.0Taking inspiration from a bento box, this design manipulates basic shapes and forms to create a dining table that is compact yet equipped with additional storage. Perfect for small spaces, the table comes with two internal compartments and three ‘onigiri’ stools. As opposed to the conventional four, the size of this product is shrunk to fit three individuals. There are only three legs too, representing a perfectly imperfect balance. Constructed mostly from timber, the tone of the local Semangkok wood and upholstery are kept muted and neutral to express a minimalist look.

All the final pieces will premiere at one of South-East Asia’s largest international furniture and furnishings platforms, the Malaysia Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE), in 2023.

The TIMB3R DIP, which began in 2020, has since empowered 12 designers, 14 manufacturers and nurtured the development of 28 unique timber products, ranging from furniture to building materials, lightings and decorative items.

The TIMB3R DIP is supported by the Malaysian Wood Moulding and Joinery Council (MWMJC) and the Association of Malaysia Bumiputra Timber and Furniture Entrepreneurs (PEKA).

For those interested in TIMB3R DIP 3.0, submit your application here.

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