Designing for the New Normal: Outstanding Achievement in Furniture Industry Design Competition


By UOW Malaysia KDU

The AVOSeat design by UOW Malaysia KDU student Kelven Liew placed 2nd in the MIFF 2021 furniture design competition

UOW Malaysia KDU Department of Built Environment’s students recently participated in the Malaysian International Furniture Fair Furniture Design Competition 2021 (MIFF 2021). Widely regarded as a showcase of the best in furniture design that Malaysia has to offer, the MIFF Competition aims to celebrate the creative spirit of design and to uncover young talent to support Malaysia’s thriving furniture industry. Organised each year since 2010 in conjunction with the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), it offers the best platform for emerging designers to showcase their innovative ideas before a global audience of furniture manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, industry influencers and industry-focused media. MIFF 2021 Furniture Design Competition attracted 229 entries from 29 public and private higher learning institutions and organisations. The brief required competitors to design furniture that fits with the new social norms established during the pandemic for utilisation within residential, commercial, or public spaces.

One of UOW Malaysia KDU’s Diploma in Interior Design students, Kelven Liew, recently astounded the judging panel by securing 2nd place nationally in what proved to be an intensive competition. The panel of judges consisted this year of 3 judges drawn from Malaysia, 1 from Australia and 1 from Thailand. His design was comprised of creating a seat to assist users in public waiting areas to be safe and yet comfortable.  His design was inspired by the idea of creating social distancing through behavioural change instead of insertion of physical barriers, such as taping off restricted areas. The comments from the panel of judges pertaining to his design included “Original and creative”, that the “product concept is favourable for tall people too” and that the “design is fresh, chic and cute!”. Mentored by the winner of the 2019 best mentor award, Ms. Vanessa Serbastian, lecturer within UOW Malaysia KDU’s Department of Built Environment, this competition has persistently been a platform to showcase the best in UOW Malaysia KDU creative furniture design. Ms Vanessa commented that “Indeed, at UOW Malaysia KDU we view student exposure to various competitions as a vital component of a student’s holistic education, as this builds recognition of them as a designer in the early stages of their education.”

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10 March 2021

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Success Stories

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UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College



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