We speak with Urban Foundry's Felix Low about the Foundry Collection – an international collaborative project
Can you tell us a little about Urban Foundry?
Urban Foundry was founded in 2003 with the intention to bring high quality, versatile contemporary furniture to Singapore.
Its collection of sofas, chairs, storage and tables were designed in-house or through collaborations with Singapore-based architects/designers.
Today, besides its own collection, it also undertakes special commissions and recently designed and produced the furniture used during the APEC Summit in 2009.
Most recently, a family of benches (Leaves) was introduced and is now installed in the Central Piazza of Terminal 1 in Changi International Airport.
How did the Foundry Collection come about?
The Foundry collection came about as I thought it would be timely to explore a different aesthetic and concept. I also thought it would be interesting to introduce a Singapore label to an international audience.
With this goal in mind, the aim was to work with people who share the same design philosophy to develop a new collection based on an entirely different concept. This led to a conversation with the members of Outofstock in 2009, and subsequently more designers were added to the fold.
With products envisioned by design talents across the globe, made into reality by the finest craftsmen from Singapore and Peninsula Malaysia, Foundry made its debut in IMM Cologne 2010.
How would you describe the Foundry aesthetic?
Timeless, contemporary and with a strong emphasis on craftsmanship.
At Foundry, we believe that designs that can stand the test of time amidst changes in trends, tastes and lifestyle, do not have to be uninteresting. Similarly, experimental designs do not equate to being transient, incoherent and disconnected to our roots.
With this ideology, Foundry seeks to forge timeless traditions with innovation. This is grounded in traditional craftsmanship and materials chosen for their longevity.
Crafted with meticulous pride, each piece is intended to be a lifelong companion with a character and soul.
We also scout beyond our shores for adventurous new voices, looking out for forthcoming designers who constantly aim to challenge the limits of function, form and material choices.
Could you describe your favourite pieces from the range?
The truth is I like all of them for them for it to be included in the collection. It would be a difficult choice but to name a few would be Hug - the idea of layering to combine a stronger structure, using different materials and colours and then displacing them slightly to create a visual interest within a simple form is amazing.
The simple and assymetric fom of Stalker and the wonder and child-like surpise Rack Your Brain evokes is another. Then, there is the gracefulness of Glide.
‘Rack Your Brain’
What is your impression of Singapore Design as a whole?
It is definitely becoming more vibrant! There are now many designers from varied disciplines and it’s certainly encouraging to see many designs and products with roots in Singapore.
What has the response been from your customers to the new collection?
The response has been fantastic so far. Our customers are generally impressed by the workmanship, intricate details and designs. We often take pleasure in the reactions of our customers when they realized that Foundry is in fact a Singapore-based label.
The international response has been encouraging as well. It is amazing how prevalent the internet can be. We have been receiving a lot of inquiries about the collection from different parts of the world – from countries around the region to distant countries such as the United States, Canada, parts of Europe and even Israel.
What’s next for the Foundry collective?
We are currently working hard to develop the 2011 collection, working with new designers and on new product categories. We are also working on building the retail and distribution network.
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