Exchanged Forms


    The exhibition springs from an experiment of “propagation and indigenization of culture”, a process where design students from Kyoto Institute of Technology and the National University of Singapore exchanged pictures of objects, places and sceneries that are typical of their own countries.

    On the basis of this exchange, students designed objects where the suggestions received are filtered through their own cultural and social background. The result of this process looks very interesting since it connects two distant realities. At first glance, these two Asian cities are opposites, in culture, landscape, weather, language, crafts and tradition. The image of Kyoto brings forth an overwhelming sense of tradition, precision and craftsmanship. Singapore, on the other hand, is a city that is in a constant metamorphosis, in a constant process of tearing down and rebuilding. The typologies of the objects designed by the students are strongly related to the domestic environment: stools, vases, lamps, tables, containers, space dividers. This design direction is definitely looking at the Milan fair as a strategic arena where these young designers will soon have to confront the real world: the international design industry. Exhibited at Ventura Project Università, the 18 works designed by both students will be mixed together. This is an intentional choice that aims to provoke and challenge the visitor to find out the origin of each piece.

    Curators: Patrick Chia and Eizo Okada
    Guest Curator: Paola Bellani
    Project Coordinator: Yuta Nakayama
    Production Team: Willie Tay, Naroth Murali, Colin Thiam, Chen Chee Keong, Shin Yamashita
    Graphic Design: Ricky Ho
    Photographers: Tomoki Hashidume, Eri Horii, Eunice Er, Shen Fang Yu, Tracy, Teng Yan Wen

    17 April 2018 – 22 April 2018; 10am to 7pm
    (10am to 6pm on 22 April 2018)
    Ventura Future UNIVERSITA
    (viale Abruzzi 42, 20131 Milan, Italy)
    Tan Sei Yee
    MATERIAL: Casted Resin
    DIMENSION: W1452 D951 H300 / W540 D449 H400
    Ridge is a set of low tables inspired by the patterns of Kyoto’s famous Zen rock gardens.
    The juxtaposition of wavy ridges and a heightened, flat surface amplifies the subtle
    graphical composition of the Zen gardens
    Lee Hsiao Fong
    MATERIAL: Corian, Maple Wood
    DIMENSION: W135 D346 H39
    Inspired by the handle of a Japanese uchiwa fan, Hirogari guides the arrangement of
    flowers and leaves in a fan-like display. Flowers can be composed asymmetrically, inviting
    viewers to complete the fan with their imagination.
  • TUBO
    Fong Sook Yin
    MATERIAL: 3D Print Nylon
    DIMENSION: W277 D215 H64 / W256 D123 H64 / W163 D163 H64
    Tubois a trio of lidded canisters for storing miscellaneous items at home. The lids are a
    graphical extraction of the linear, tubular tea aisles spanning across the mountainsides of
    Kyoto, emphasising its three-dimensional, lush quality.
    Aaron Chooi
    MATERIAL: Teak Wood, Acrylic Panel
    DIMENSION: W1079 D1079 H1790
    In Shinto, the torii gate separates the mundane and the divine, It physically and metaphorically 
    stands at the threshold of what is considered secular and sacred. In Kyoto, visitors to shinto 
    shrines and temples are led through these gates, and are often awed and amazed by the unique
    experience this act entails. This cabinet draws upon the act of this movement and attempts
    to bring this experience into the home, a place where most modern men consider sacred.
    Naroth Murali
    MATERIAL: Aluminium, Walnut
    DIMENSION: W20 D300 H12
    Tombo originates from the word “dragonfly” in Japanese, and is the semantic inspiration
    for this tobacco tray set, or “tabako-bon”. The ritual of extending a warm welcome to a
    guest back in the olden days with a short smoke takes a modern form with this set, with
    the added quality of being able to disassemble for cleaning.
    Cheryl Ho
    MATERIAL: Maple Wood, LED
    DIMENSION: W431 H412 D188 / W796 H497 D120
    Inspired by the way light filters through the lattice patterns of Japanese windows, these
    wall lamps serve to bring out the horizontal and vertical qualities individually. Together,
    Hori and Verti form a grid lattice when overlapped with one another, creating intrigue and
    a new dimension to the piece.
  • BOO & BAM
    Edmund Zhang
    MATERIAL: 3D Printed Onyx
    DIMENSION: W240 D240 H220 / W95 D95 H255
    Boo & Bam is a pair of 3D-printed carbon fibre vessels, with their components held
    snugly together by lengths of tied braided ropes, paying homage to the traditional 
    construction of Japanese bamboo fences.
  • OTA
    Jon Chan Hao
    MATERIAL: CNC Milled Anodized Aluminium
    DIMENSION: W602 D40 / W365 D60 / W440 D80 / W365 D40
    By drawing a similarity between the rhythmic patterns found on the walls of traditional
    houses in Kyoto and the banana leaf packaging used to wrap ‘otak-otak’ - a grilled fish
    cake commonly found in Singapore, Ota is a set of plates that celebrates this similarity -
    the patterns are displayed into a form reminiscent of the otak-otak packaging itself.
    Willie Tay
    MATERIAL: Carbon Tube, Aluminum Rod
    DIMENSION: L1016x B350 x H2400
    The term Kekkai originates from an ancient past of religious beliefs, and the common
    notion of Kekkai means “to limit access of a zone”. This notion has evolved to become a
    commonality in the spaces that we build around us.
    By utilising another lightweight and strong composite material – Carbon Fibre, the traditional 
    pragmatic and semantic value of bamboo has evolved to fit this modern piece of design 
    - Carbon Kekkai, thus, becoming a representation of a space divider that separates and connects; 
    a transition that allows exchanges.
    Tomoko Murakami
    MATERIAL: Wood
    DIMENSION: W1200 D200 H450
    What do you think are the colours of Singapore?
    Singapore is a multi-ethnic country where various cultures exist compactly. In some areas, 
    there are colourful scenes with highly saturated buildings. To me the colours in this
    collection represents multicultural Singapore. Referencing a Singapore handrail painted 
    in countless luxurious colours. I trimmed a part and made it into a bench that seems to 
    spread forever to the left and right.
    Aika Nishiyama
    MATERIAL: 3D printed PLA, Lacquer
    DIMENSION: W342 D342 H250
    A flower pot with extracted colours from Singapore train seats.
    The different colours of the seat represents priority seating (a chair reserved for people
    who need it the most). Priority seats were once called silver sheets in Japan.The shape 
    of the flower pot represents a state of viewing seat from the front. The product was 
    produced with a 3D printer and finished with Japanese lacquer to recreate colour and gloss.
    Kanta Nakano
    MATERIAL: Wood Textile
    DIMENSION: W1000 D350 H350
    “Showcase” is a bench that literally popped out of a ordinary supermarket shelf.
    In an age of excessive information,the designer explores new possibilities of photographs
    as a pattern or material through this piece.
    Emma Huffman
    MATERIAL: Silk Crepe
    DIMENSION: W1000 H2500
    The statue of the Merlion, a creature with a body of a fish and a head of a lion, is one of
    the best known symbols of Singapore. “Soft Scales” was inspired by the repeated overlays
    of the Merlion’s thick and soft looking scales which create shadow and light. The pattern
    and texture was delicately recreated through 3D modeling and printing of silk crepe.
    Toki Sakurai
    MATERIAL: Oak, Resin
    DIMENSION: W1400 D800 H700
    This table expresses simple grid of chinese chess on its surface. The partially cut out grid
    carries a specific meaning in Singapore culture.
    The relationships between the pattern and material is interesting as the grid pattern is
    expressed by focusing on the adhesive quality of epoxy resin with wood.
    Mayuko Okamoto
    DIMENSION: W600 D400 H400
    Sunshade is an agglomeration of shadow and light.
    Light shines out from the inner eaves, casting shadows on its surrounding. Using shapes
    found in everyday objects of Singapore, the four layers emphasize the shape of the eaves
    and it’s shadow to create a unique ambience.
  • ADD
    Mayu Noda
    MATERIAL: Plywood
    DIMENSION: W402 D706 H800
    This is a chair made by adding parts onto an existing stool.
    In a picture of Singapore, I found it interesting to see plastic signs attached onto old buildings, 
    changing these buildings’ function from residence to a visitor center.
    So, in my design, I use the same analogy. The old stool is like an old building with added
    parts, to create a new form.
    Takuji Yoshida
    MATERIAL: Concrete, Tile
    DIMENSION: W1050 D164 H300
    Candle stand covered with tiles. I was inspired by a tiled table and a stool which can be
    seen in the public spaces of Singapore and set the theme of tiled products. Excluding the
    idea of functionality, I designed a product constructed from tiles and blocks.