Renowned Filipino industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who is known worldwide for his unique handmade, natural creations, has revealed a special design for furniture to be used in the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting on November 18-19 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Cobonpue was tapped to design the meeting table, wherein he reworked his iconic Yoda chairs by adding armrests and wheels. The Banaue Rice Terraces was the main inspration of his overall design, describing it in his Instagram account, as “a green oasis in the middle of the Arena, under a floating Anahaw-like canopy that changes colors.”
Cobonpue's design for the Economic Leader's table.
“I wanted to transform the whole space into a huge outdoor garden,” Cobonpue explains. “Part of the challenge was how to transform the coldness and immensity of the arena and turn it into something that’s warm and cozy.”
The overall design is perfect as it gives the 21 economic leaders an idea of what makes the Banaue Rice Terraces a heritage site in the Philippines. In addition, the overall design is proof that even in the 21st century, nature-inspired ideas still have a place for sources of inspiration. “[I want] to show that we are rooted in the past, but we are [also] right in the 21st century,” Cobonpue added.
In addition to the APEC Economic Leaders' meeting table, Cobonpue also took charge of designing the tokens called Sama-Sama. The sculpture, which is made from brass and finished in yellow gold, pale silver, and warm copper, showcases the unity of the APEC member countries in spite of differences in terms of cultural, social, political, and race.
Cobonpue's Sama-Sama sculpture.
While he studied abroad to further hone his craft, Cobonpue gives importance to his Filipino roots through his designs that embody the Filipino spirit: strong and united even in the toughest of times.