Furniture design competition returns for 11th edition

(From fourth left) Yap Wei, Walter, Dr Tan, Dr Leong, Goi and Wee at the launch of the Furniture Design Competition in Kuala Lumpur.

STRIKING the right balance between aesthetic appeal and marketability is the key to successful furniture design.

The 11th edition of the Furniture Design Competition (FDC) aims to unearth the next generation of designers who will keep this in mind when coming up with products.

Themed “Kids Wonderland”, contestants will be judged on their furniture designs meant for children aged four to 10 years old.

Twenty shortlisted finalists will have a chance to showcase their designs at the 26th Malaysian International Furniture Fair 2020 (MIFF) which will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, from March 6 to 9 next year.

FDC 2020 was launched at PWTC. A seminar was also held for 250 participants from 17 local universities.

MIFF general manager Karen Goi said the competition received more than 2,000 entries since it was first held in 2010.

“Many of our past winners have successfully launched their careers as furniture designers while some are working with local furniture manufacturers.

“The growing export of Malaysian furniture has increased demand for talented furniture designers,” she said.

FDC chief judge Dr Eric Leong said participants must ensure that their designs were practical.

“It is important that the designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also responsive to market demand,” he said, adding that safety aspects were also an important consideration.

“Participants must identify their target audience and their needs, which are the children while also paying attention to the target buyers, their parents.

“Keep your designs minimal, but impactful,” he said.

BSL Furniture Sdn Bhd marketing director Nick Wee concurred, adding that designers must be sensitive to the culture of their target markets.

“For example, European markets favour Scandinavian designs while in the United States, contemporary designs are popular.

“Matching the target audience’s culture with the design will ensure the furniture has high marketability,” he said.

Also present at the seminar were Zangtoria Design chief designer Victoria Pamela Yap Wei, Element Furniture design director Walter Tan and MIFF founder and chairman Datuk Dr Tan Chin Huat.

The competition is open to anyone under 40, including foreigners with valid permits. It will close on Oct 29.

Participants will be judged in two rounds after which 20 finalists will be shortlisted.

Winners will be announced on March 8 at MIFF 2020.

First, second and third prize winners will receive RM5,000, RM3,000 and RM2,000 respectively, as well as trophies, while finalists will receive certificates.

There are also special awards for instructors and participating institutions, namely “Best Mentor Award” and “Best Institution Award”.

Held annually in March, MIFF is a furniture trade show which attracts over 20,000 industry experts from 140 countries.

For details, visit

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