Outofstock Design is a very special collective conceived by a team of international designers anchored in Singapore and Barcelona and always delighting audiences with the beautiful work they are doing. Aside from designing toys—we’ve featured their Animo range for Biobu—they have designed furniture for a range of brands. Sensitive, is how I would describe their aesthetic. And also, the skill of marrying classic lines with a very current mood.
So, some news: the Prologue Collection, a 12-piece set of teakwood furniture created specifically for the Japanese market and manufactured by Singaporean furniture manufacturer Scanteak has just garnered a President’s Design Award ‘Design of the Year’ accolade. Scanteak’s base influence is Scandinavian design. What has Scandinavian design got to do with Singapore? From the popularity of the clean aesthetic, it seems that in our busy lives and small homes, we greatly desire a good dose of simplicity and also, plenty of of nature’s touch with the trend’s penchant for natural materials.
After Prologue, comes Holm (the word is adapted from Holmr, the old Norse word for ‘islet’), the second collection designed by Outofstock for Scanteak under its Designer Range. Designed for the Singaporean way of life, the profiles are rounder, giving them a youthful and playful flavour. They are compact, and multifunctional or multipurpose for the smallish home. There is, in the upholstery, the choice of the colour of the sky on a good, cloudy day—a gentle, tranquil, soft blue.
There is the Island Daybed, one- and two-seater sofas, the Nest dual-coffee table set, the Reflection Cabinet with a sliding mirror, and the Valet table. The Reflection Cabinet, in particular, is cleverly designed for both housing and checking out one’s footwear before leaving the house. The beautiful part about the collection is the material. Teak connotes such a local taste, and local memories.
Playground has a quick chat with Jamie Lim, Scanteak’s Regional Director, about the Holm collection.
How does the Holm range marry the heritage and expertise of Scanteak with a new aesthetic for a different Scanteak consumer?
At Scanteak, we pride ourselves on providing our customers quality, Scandinavian-design teak furniture that is simple, durable and functional. With Singaporeans being more well-travelled and more design-aware, we saw the need to introduce a new design range that not only looks different from our usual pieces, but also stays true to our values. This time, like our previous collaboration with Outofstock, we placed more emphasis on research, to find out exactly how the Scanteak customer interacts with and uses his or her furniture. The result is a range that pushes the limits of teak furniture in a new partnership of form and function. We’ve gone with curved, rounded edges (something still uncommonly seen in Teak furniture), more cushions, and even new, refreshing colours.
Why did you decide to work with Outofstock for your special collections?
It started with a thought, that the items from the Designer Range should be priced within the average consumer’s reach. We’ve always believed in supporting local talent, and the Singapore-based Outofstock has a very impressive portfolio of designs that resonate with the core of Scandinavian design: simplicity, beauty, and functionality.
This is the second collection after Prologue. How did the first collection fare and how does the brief of the second collection differ from the first, if it does?
Prologue is still doing very well, and demand increases year on year. It is also increasingly popular in Japan, and is now also available in Taiwan. Prologue set the precedent for local brands and local designers, and proved that products designed in Singapore are worthy of standing on an international stage. We’re very happy to share that Prologue has won the Good Design Mark in Singapore as well as in Japan (also known as G-mark), and will be on exhibit at the Good Design Exhibition in Tokyo later this year.
Prologue was designed to cater to smaller spaces, in view of increasingly dense cities with smaller homes. Each piece needed to be as multi-functional as possible—such as the Swivel bench that can face either direction, or a dining table that functions as a study table—so that small spaces can be maximised in terms of usability.
For Holm, we wanted it to be a tribute to Singapore. We studied Singaporean families to find out their preferences and behaviours at home, and designed our furniture around these findings. Of course, as with all our products, we needed to consider comfort, flexibility and quality. The Holm collection fits nicely into any Singaporean home, no matter how big or small the size.
As a mother of two young children, what to you is a home that is both functional, safe and also a source of inspiration for young minds?
A functional home is one that not only strongly showcases my family’s personality, but is durable, and easily maintained. Especially since I have toddlers, my home needs to be one that can be cleaned up and made presentable very easily, without me having to worry about our lives revolving around a certain furniture’s needs. For example, machine-washable covers are great, just in case my children scribble all over my sofa. A safe piece of furniture would mean that it is resistant to my child’s home adventures—I don’t want to worry about sofas or coffee tables breaking if my children want to do some jumping around.
Please complete this sentence: Play to me is…. whatever is fun!
+ images courtesy of Scanteak