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The PDP is determined to rock the house – again

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The PDP international designers.

The stellar results of the first edition of the Professional Designers Program (PDP) – presented in the last edition of the EFE in March, have been so noteworthy that the Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC) has committed to renew it by launching the 2016/2017 Edition of the Project, in close cooperation with Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).
The PDP 2nd Edition 2016/2017, or PDP2, will rely on the same trustworthy team of Professional Designers of the First Edition, which will put their skills in action for four new Malaysian furniture manufacturers. These companies will receive a creative support to develop new products by the PDP team, comprising established designers worldwide and local rising stars coming from the well-known MTIB’s TANGGAM initiative, supplemented by the operative knowledge of the in-house designers of the companies.

Malaysia and its furniture industry
The Malaysia furniture industry is continuing its march towards excellence. Even during 2016, it is still one of the ten major furniture exporters of the world, with 80% of its production going towards the Asian and USA markets.

This performance has been a success which is fueled by several distinguishing factors of the industry: the good workmanship, the quality and the abundance of natural resources, and the ethical work conditions. The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has set an ambitious plan to reach RM53Billion of sales for wood-based furniture in 2020, and PDP is one of the major initiatives it is investing into to achieve this lofty goal.

One of the main directions it is following is to raise the level of the furniture design, so to create the brands that will compete in the flourishing Asian market of the future: and the PDP aims to deliver products but – more importantly – support the culture of design and its marketability, locally and globally.

Highlights of the PDP2
It will debut on the 30th October 2016, with an intense week of work together with the companies. The first results of this activity will be shown on early January, in occasion of the second trip of the Professional Designers to Malaysia, during a press conference that will be held in the new Tanggam Design Center, in Kota Damansara (KL).
The Programme will run its due course to present its final results during the EFE, from 8th to 11th March 2017, in Kuala Lumpur.

The expected results of the Second edition of the PDP program are going to be:

  • 20 new products made by the participating select Malaysian companies;
  • 8 Original designs by the Professional Designers to be approved for registration by Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO);
  • 12 local furniture designers who will cooperate with the Professional Designers to present a range of new products for the participating companies;
  • An enhanced product value to compete internationally;
  • A better focus and knowledge of applied ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) and OBM (Original Brand Manufacturer) business models.

This Second Edition of the PDP involves 4 top Malaysian Manufacturers, 4 International Professional Designers, and 12 Local Designers coming from MTIB’s TANGGAM initiative.

The companies will manufacture an array of designs – 2 each from the Professional Designers and 1 each from the TANGGAM Designers, for a total of 20 products to be realized and exhibited.

The International Professional Designers and the Marketing and Communications Consultants managing the Programme will input all their skills and experiences to help the internal design departments of participating companies to develop the product line created for the Programme, from the very first concept to the finalization, so to manufacture finished products for the final exhibition and, after that, to help engineer them for the operative production and local and international distribution.

The leading thread of this Second Edition of the PDP program is the creation of new products, based on the use of local materials, and the diffusion of the “design thinking” as an important tool for manufacturing higher priced products. These new designs will become new products, sold through traditional sales channels as well as new, advanced e-commerce, with new marketing and distribution strategies designed to add value to the single products.

Mr. Azrizal Aziz, Marketing Manager at Malaysia Furniture Promotion Council and PDP Project Leader, so commented;

“I am both excited and proud that we are running PDP again. The First Edition has been a breakthrough, a real turning point for the Industry and its Players. Some participating companies to the First Edition have, in fact, proceeded autonomously, and created other design lines together with their assigned Professional Designer. This shows us that our main goals have been achieved, and demonstrates that design is a force and a commitment, and it actually sells: it is not a futile exercise or just only for its aesthetics. This is an experience that a majority of the furniture Manufacturers and local Designers in Malaysia are beginning to understand, and I am sure, they are going to further exploit this experience as a driving force in their future operations.”

The four Professional Designers taking part in the Second Edition of the Programme are the same team of the First Edition. They possess an impressive background in furniture design and production, and now, after one year, also a very specific knowledge of the local Asian design trends and needs. Giorgio Biscaro, Manolo Bossi and Filippo Mambretti are from Italy; Stefan Schöning is from Belgium.

The companies taking part in the PDP, Second Edition are:

The 12 TANGGAM Designers involved in PDP2 are some old and new faces of the Malaysian design industry;

  • Mohd Sujak Hasbollah,
  • Mohd Hazmi Zakaria,
  • Stephen Ting Eng Poh,
  • Sim Chia Yi,
  • Nasaruddin Shah Morani,
  • Stephanie Ng Hui Sien,
  • Shahril Faisal,
  • Abdullah Al Rashid Ab Hamid,
  • Ezran Zainal,
  • Vivian Shi Wei,
  • Eric Wong
  • Mohd Noor Aziah.

This programme has been developed through the assistance of Italian Consulting Pte Ltd (ICON), which is working as a marketing and communications agency to help reach the aims of the project.

About the International Professional Designers:

Giorgio Biscaro
Designer, art director, professor, design editor, entrepreneur, Giorgio Biscaro is regarded as one of the most eclectic players on Italian design stage. Since his graduation at Venice IUAV, and through his job at Foscarini, he deals especially with light design; an inclination that in 2012 led him to be appointed Art Director of world-famous and leading design light firm FontanaArte. Deemed one of the most prominent Italian designers of the noughties, in 2012 he co-founded SomethingGood, a design firm selecting, designing, editing and selling high-quality, handcrafted products locally made in Italy, to promote Italian design, traditional techniques and know-how.
Frequently showcased by many magazines and design exhibitions around the world, he has also taught in the most celebrated Italian universities, running workshops, holding lectures or MBAs. Many of his works and researches are listed as the best achievements in Italian design culture: for example, his Offset Stool has been selected as the main representative of furniture design craftsmanship during the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Italian Reign Unification in Turin, and four of his products are featured in the permanent collection of Triennale Design Museum.

Manolo Bossi
Self-taught designer, after a short course in industrial design at Domus Academy in Milan, he starts working at 28 years old, and designs his first ceramic and interior decoration products for Bosa and Progetti. In 2006 he begins his collaboration in furniture design with SpHaus, Caoscreo and Skitsch in Italy, and in 2015, after the First PDP, he starts a collaboration with DEEP Furniture for the South East Asian countries.
Since 2001, he has worked as a freelance designer for different companies within the fields of homeware, appliances and bathroom, as well as in the lighting sector for the worldwide renowned Italian company FLOS. From concept to product and project development, he has gained a deep knowledge of different materials, production and manufacturing processes. His products have been featured in the most circulating and renowned international design magazines.
Manolo Bossi lives and works in Verona – Italy.

Filippo Mambretti
Filippo Mambretti attended a high school with a focus on arts, and there he had the opportunity to meet the notable Italian designer Bruno Munari. It was here that Filippo’s passion for design took its roots. After a few years of study, Filippo gained a Master Degree in Furniture Design from Politecnico di Milano.
He currently works as a product, furniture, and interior designer, as well as being a lecturer at SSS_AA and CSIA, two schools which specialise in design and applied arts, located in Chiasso, Switzerland.
Thanks to an active and continuous collaboration with some important Italian manufacturers, his Mambrò Design Studio, founded in Chiasso in 2011, is a significant player in the flourishing European market. For Mambrò Design Studio, rediscovering and reinterpreting tradition in a contemporary climate are achieved through morphological, technical and functional innovations.
Filippo believes ‘the design process can enrich people’s lives through the possibility to connect humans to objects via an aesthetic and perceptual bridge.’

Stefan Schöning
after graduating in product development at the henry van de velde institute in Antwerp, stefan schöning founded his multidisciplinary studio in 1994. folder, a chair which is cut and folded into existence, attracted worldwide attention when it was released in 2001 and has become a design classic. soon after he received commissions from an increasing number of international furniture manufacturers. in 2005, the new corporate identity, designed & developed for the belgian railways, was the first assignment in public design and received several international awards such as ‘if product design award’, the ‘reddot design award’ and the ‘henry van de velde Award’. Furthermore, the studio was awarded the restyling of the traffic lights for the flemish government. In 2008 stefan schöning received the title ‘designer of the year’ from the interieur foundation and several partners. in 2010, the belgian television broadcasted a 50 min. documentary on stefan schöning in a successful series about design. in 2011 he designed the scenography for the exhibition ‘belgium is design’ at the prestigious ‘pinacoteca di brera’ in milan during the salone del mobile. lately he has been designing the furnishings for several public spaces & natural parks.

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