Malaysia to Emphasise on Furniture Design

Held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) Kuala Lumpur, the National Furniture Seminar received overwhelming response from the Malaysian furniture industry. This was proven by the attendance rate of almost 300 participants at the seminar itself.

This event that was addressed to the furniture industry was officiated by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, YB Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui. Also present were the Deputy Minister, YB Datuk Anifah Aman, and the Parliamentary Secretary, YB Encik Ng Lip Yong, and a host of dignitaries and invited guests. Jointly organised by the MFPC and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), this seminar was an awareness activity focusing on furniture design

as the most important element that needs to be implemented by the Malaysian furniture industry in the years to come. Local furniture manufacturers were exposed to the different aspects of original design and innovation, and how these designs can be realised through the use of new technology and diversity of materials.

Founder and director of the world renowned John Kelly Furniture and Accessories, Mr. John Kelly, was the distinguished speaker of the seminar.  Labelled the Frank Lloyd of furniture design, Mr. Kelly has garnered himself a string of international awards, including the most recent Furniture Show/Cabinet Maker Magazine Award 2004 Award of Excellence from the United Kingdom. M.r Kelly’s expertise and experience has provided a resourceful insight to Malaysian furniture manufacturers on ways to keep up with the changing trends of the volatile environment.

“The optimistic feedback from the seminar is an indication that furniture manufacturers are now paying more attention towards design and material diversification. They realise the vital role of design in keeping up with the changing trends and demands of the furniture industry. This seminar explored the many facets of design and material diversification that were useful and beneficial to manufacturers and the industry in the long run. The success of our second seminar will be an inspiration and encouragement to us in organising future events that are able to contribute to the industry,” says Mr Paul Wang, Chief Operating Officer of the MFPC.

The seminar was organised in realisation of the MFPC’s Design Enhancement strategy, of which the objectives are to cultivate a designing culture within the Malaysian furniture industry and nurture the industry in becoming design-oriented. One of the main projects under this division is the Furniture Design Services programme, a flagship project by the MFPC dedicated to grooming young designers in order to develop world-class original furniture designs and making Malaysia a household name in the international design arena. Under this programme, freshly graduated and/or working furniture designers are facilitated by the MFPC for a three to six months period, working together with key Malaysian manufacturers to develop new furniture designs to cater to the medium-higher global market segments. 

The Honourable Minister renewed his message to the Malaysian furniture industry that having established Malaysia as the tenth largest furniture exporter in the world, a new direction must be taken to elevate our nation’s position in the world rankings. “We must now progress in a structured manner from Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) to Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) and then achieving Original Brand Name (OBN) status. The MFPC has drawn up a strategically designed road map for the industry on this matter and the government hopes that industries take heed of this necessity and come forth with their cooperation to make this national objective a success,” he added. 

As the specialised promotional council entrusted with the promotion and further development of the Malaysian furniture industry, the MFPC will continue to bring to the industry more programmes and activities that will facilitate the progress of the industry and enhance Malaysia’s image and position as a global player in the international furniture arena.