Roche Bobois x Furniture Designer Vito Selma: The Iconic Mah Jong Sofa Gets A Jeepney-Inspired Makeover
Cebu-based furniture designer and inventor Vito Selma is driven by the desire to solve problems. In the process, he redefines the limits of his craft, finding new ways to build, mold, assemble, and design. With his designs that are unlike any other, Vito is a talent who gives justice to the Filipinos' reputation of being world-class.
Hailing from a family who has been in the furniture export business for three decades and counting, Vito is a visionary whose veins are pumped with creativity. Previously motivated by an ambition to become a photojournalist, Vito switched gears in time for university, thanks to an impactful high school mentorship program where he trained under the likes of Kenneth Cobonpue, Debbie Palao, and Bernice Montenegro.
The discovery of his true passion led him to the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and most importantly, to earning a post-graduate degree in Milan's prestigious Industrial Design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in 2012.
Vito has since combined his education and formal training, inherent talent, commitment to hard work, and Filipino heart to create and grow his very own brand, Vito Selma.
The hugely successful company has quickly grown to become a local favorite and international contender, winning numerous awards and catching the attention of the most discerning in the industry. Well-known for geometric multi-functional designs that showcase broad strokes of Japanese and Scandivavian influences, Vito Selma pushes the limits of what materials, shapes, textures, and colors can achieve.
Most recently, Vito's innovativeness and dedication to producing high-quality products resulted in a collaboration with French furniture brand Roche Bobois. The high-end retailer is celebrating its fifth decade in the industry this year, and has chosen to partner with leading designers from different parts of the world to create one-of-a-kind pieces to remember the milestone by.
Local artists provided their own take on the brand's iconic Mah Jong sofa. For Vito, his take on the cult classic was influenced by the jeepney seat—a seemingly ordinary object, but one filled with beauty and versatility in his eyes.
Learn more about the collaboration and Vito's approach to design in this video:
Save the date for “Interactions,” Roche Bobois Manila’s Mah Jong exhibition launch on September 19 at Whitespace in Pasong Tamo (Chino Roces Ave.) Extension, Makati. The Roche Bobois Philippines showroom is located at 2100 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City and is open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM. For inquiries, call (+632) 5198240 or visit https://www.roche-bobois.com/en-PH.
Produced by Joan Ko
Videography by Berwin Coroza
Video editing by Jason Roque