Whether you’re a professional designer, a furniture expert or a budding design enthusiast, there’s one event this year you should be looking forward to: FIND–Design Fair Asia.
Taking place in Singapore this September, it’s set to be the biggest and most important event in the industry, drawing designers, makers, visionaries and visitors from all over the world. We caught up with Mr Mel Shah, Vice President of dmg events, who has been working hard organising the fair and ensuring that it all goes smoothly come September.
Here’s what he had to say—and everything you need to know about FIND–Design Fair Asia.
SquareRooms: FIND promises to bring together designers from all over the world. What kinds of collaborations could spring out of these encounters?
Mr Mel Shah: We believe that all sorts of collaborations are possible, especially since borders are now more permeable. Our fair is conducted both online and on-site, so there’s great potential.
It’s truly a destination for a global exchange of ideas, which broadens designers’ horizons and allows them to come up with new ideas more easily. This allows cultural fusion to be translated into tangible furniture and decor, thereby conveying the underlying message of unity and teamwork even beyond borders.
Why Singapore? What makes it such a good setting for FIND?
Singapore has a commendable openness and is a conducive environment for business and commercial activities. We’re working with the DesignSingapore Council and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for the fair, both of which have been great partners. While the STB hopes to shape Singapore as a vibrant tourism and design destination, the DesignSingapore Council seeks to transform it into a liveable, loveable city by design.
This is the first new international design fair to emerge amidst the pandemic season and an important event on the Singapore Design Week calendar. It’s a golden opportunity for the design industry in Asia, Singapore being the heart of the Asian business network—it’s undoubtedly the perfect hub for such a collaboration, with FIND–Design Fair Asia being the ideal catalyst.
Many designers like to play it safe with their interiors. How can a space like FIND encourage them to shake things up?
We encourage designers to always learn about new styles and work with an open heart and open mind. By having a deeper understanding of new styles, they will be able to assess if they relate to them and find an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone.
We encourage designers and other visitors to attend FIND–Design Fair Asia with a muse in mind; a persona like an environmental activist or an avid traveller with a fondness for culture. Go where the muse leads you and create an environment surrounding that muse. It’s sure to introduce you to bold ideas and change your approach to design.
Let’s talk about you—what goes into organising such a momentous event? What has been your favourite part of the process?
My favourite part of the process is definitely forming meaningful bonds and connections with people from all over the world. Curating everything from the exhibitors to content is also an enjoyable process—being able to see our visions come to life is an inexplicable feeling.
There is so much to look forward to at this fair!
And finally, what’s the one event you’re most looking forward to at FIND?
I’m definitely looking forward to the keynote speeches and panel discussions about current topics and issues that are closely related to design. Tastemakers Tony Chambers and Yoko Choy are curating the fair’s content and will be joined by architect André Fu on the global advisory board, who will be another keynote speaker at the fair.
Interni magazine editor Gilda Bojardi will also come on board as a curator and collaborator of FIND–Design Fair Asia. It’s such a rare opportunity to have all these key speakers at a single event, so I very much look forward to the ideas they will be sharing and how they might bounce off each other.
FIND–Design Fair Asia
Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre
22-24 September 2022