Cebu-Based Interior Designer Jun Paul To Hold His First Exhibit In Singapore
Cebu-based interior designer Jun Paul
“This will be my first time exhibiting under my name. It’s intimidating, but I’m trying to not overthink it. I just want to enjoy the process, and learn from this experience,” Cebu-based interior designer Jun Paul shares on his expectations for the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2018 (IFFS) to be held on March 8 to 11. IFFS is one of the most anticipated events in the design industry.
The designer will bring his revolutionary Bench Screen creation to the much-coveted show—a reinvention of the traditional bamboo screen and communal seating. The Bench Screen can be arranged in various ways to achieve its full functionality and to add dynamics to a room. With a tall backrest, the bench seat doubles as a partition with a screen that creates a degree of privacy in a public space, therefore eliminating the need for two separate functional pieces. A first of its kind, he further tells the story of his masterpiece and a few tidbits on how he found himself in the design industry in this Metro.Style exclusive interview:
How did you discover interior design? What urged you to pursue this track?
I used to work in an IT company, but I had enough and experienced burnout three years later. So I heeded the call of my right brain and signed up for an interior design course, but I never got around to finishing it.
What are your early memories that relate to design?
I grew up in Bohol in the 90s. Back then, we did not have the Internet or cable TV at home, but we had a steady stream of newspapers and magazines from my parents. They served as my window to whatever was going on beyond my hometown. What I loved about those reading materials were the images, particularly the ones with structures like skyscrapers, houses, bridges, stadiums, temples, and monuments. I was too young to grasp architectural concepts, but I could spend the whole afternoon marvelling at those pictures because of their visual impact.
How would you describe your design aesthetics?
In the fashion industry, the likes of Martin Margiela and Yohji Yamamoto are known for their deconstructed, unconventional, and sometimes rebellious approach to design. This "anti-fashion" aesthetic is something that I’ve always been drawn to, and I would like to translate that aesthetic into furniture and objects.
What are your influences and inspirations?
I love observing architecture and fashion. But generally speaking, I take inspiration from anything. I am fortunate enough to have worked with esteemed designer Kenneth Cobonpue. Under his guidance as a junior designer, I developed a better understanding of design. I am very grateful for his mentorship and influence.
What are your considerations when you’re doing a design?
Function is constant; the artistic side is something that must originate from a genuine inspiration.
How did the idea of the Bench Screen come about?
A few years ago, when I was back home around Christmastime, there was this old lady selling woven blinds to my mother. I was surprised by how inexpensive the blinds were, and it prompted me to reimagine the product, so that it can be sold at a higher price.
After numerous research and studies, those humble blinds evolved into a bench. The final concept of the Bench Screen was a basic merge of two functions: seating and screen/partition.
Making the prototype was very challenging since I don’t have the facility and had a very limited budget. It was physically, mentally, and financially draining, but I guess if it’s really your passion, your only option is to keep on going. In the end, it was a rewarding experience.
The Bench Screen envisioned in different spaces:
The Bench Screen
What’s your most memorable project so far?
The very first chair I made in school is sentimental to me.
Any ideas for future projects?
I am keen in doing art, since it’s something that I’ve never done seriously. You can view my works on my Instagram page @jpfl126. So far, I’ve been showing a series of photographs that resemble calligraphy.
Photos courtesy of Jun Paul