Young designers are the future

KUALA LUMPUR: The local furniture industry must engage with young designers to stay competitive in the world market.

In making the call, Malaysia External Trade Development Cor­poration (Matrade) CEO Datuk Dr Noharuddin Nordin said more young designers were needed to sustain the industry.

“Young designers can provide better design and innovation that we need. This is so that Malaysia can compete globally,” he said at the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2011 prize presentation ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.

He said the furniture industry remained a major contributor to the national economy with exports of furniture last year amounting to RM7.9bil, a 4% increase compared with 2009.

“We see a lot of unique products in Malaysia but we can never be the cheapest,” he said, adding that the only solution was to offer the best value for money for local products.

Noharuddin said Matrade would help organise two international furniture fairs in Birmingham and in Milan.

“The primary goal is not sales, but to showcase our creative design and brands,’’ he added.

KBU International College student Bernadette Quah Paik Choo was named the winner of the Ideation Award 2011, with The One Academy of Communi­cation Design student Yong Chen Choong and Ng Yong Hui from the Malaysian Institute of Art placed second and third respectively.

Jemaramas Sdn Bhd received the Best Prototype Maker award while Uitm student Nurul Aini Abdul Jalil won the Most Deserving Designer award among 72 entries.

The Ideation Award which was organised by MIFF and ArcRadius Consulting Sdn. Bhd was done to find creative ideas from 13 local design institution. Their designs would be turned into prototypes by furniture manufacturers and will be showcased during the MIFF 2011 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.