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Sustainable space-saving entry wins Ikea Young Designer Award

Singapore — When Ikea decided to hold its first Young Designer Award in January with the theme Make Space Better, it was with the intention of engaging the local community and the designers here.

Singapore — When Ikea decided to hold its first Young Designer Award in January with the theme Make Space Better, it was with the intention of engaging the local community and the designers here.

“Design is the backbone of Ikea and we want to encourage good design that’s affordable and sustainable,” said Ikea’s Retail Manager Mike King.

Among the 10 finalists — out of more than 70 entries that poured in — were innovative and quirky creations like an elephant-shaped baby cot that can be used as a slide and chair after the baby outgrows the cot; a coffee table that becomes a side table when you fold it up; and blocks that can be configured in different ways to suit your storage needs.

In the end, it was Auradee Sae-Lin from Raffles Design Institute who took home the top prize of S$1,500 cash and a trip to Ikea in Sweden with her UNI Space-Saving Compact Table. Using WPC (a material made of recycled plastic and wood fibre) and made up of only seven components, the coffee table can be extended up to three tables’ length and be easily stored.

“We felt it was simple, achieved the brief, reflected our design ethos and easily made,” explained King of the winning design. While the UNI Space-Saving Compact Table will not be seen in an Ikea store near you (product design is handled by the head office in Sweden), King said the winner will get to meet product designers in Sweden to learn and exchange ideas, and also receive an Ikea internship.

King revealed there are plans to start a similar Young Designer Award in Thailand and Malaysia. All this is good news, said DesignSingapore Council Executive Director, Jeffrey Ho, one of the judges of the Young Designer Award, who added that he hoped there would be more of such competitions and events.

“All these awards and competitions are a great way to engage the young designers in the industry,” he said. “There’s definitely much more interest and awareness of the design scene now.” Serene Lim

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