Vito Selma (Philip­pines)

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SPACES -

IN the gifted hands of in­dus­trial de­signer Vito Selma, wood show­cases its pro­tean traits and elic­its re­marks like, “Wow, is that re­ally wood?”

“Wood and its many vari­a­tions and re­it­er­a­tions ... let me ex­per­i­ment, cre­ate and ex­plore,” says Selma via e-mail of his favourite ma­te­rial.

Take his award-win­ning Geo cof­fee ta­ble, a sculp­tural yet func­tional piece. The Cebu-based de­signer uses ex­cess wooden legs and han­dles from his fac­tory to fash­ion dow­els. Then he ar­range the dow­els on wooden frames to cre­ate geo­met­ric pat- terns. It’s his take on string art, us­ing wood in­stead of coloured threads or wires.

“I like to work with shapes, tex­tures and forms that are of­ten in na­ture,” says the 30-year-old who com­pleted his masters in in­dus­trial de­sign at Scuola Po­litec­nica di De­sign in Mi­lan, Italy. Selma honed his skills with in­te­rior de­signer Ge­orge de Haast dur­ing a stint in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa, which led to the late Nel­son Man­dela own­ing some of Selma’s works. He cred­its men­tors like fel­low Filipino Deb­bie Palao, Haast and Ital­ian de­signer Raf­faella Man­gia­rotti as in­flu­ences on his de­sign ca­reer.

A cel­e­brated de­signer in the Philip­pines, Selma grew up with his par­ents’ fur­ni­ture fac­tory as his play­ground. “It was only nat­u­ral that I fol­low their foot­steps,” he says.

To­day, his works are sold in 29 coun­tries and fea­tured in pub­li­ca­tions like

Ar­chi­tec­tural Digest, Elle Dé­cor and Vogue Liv­ing Aus­tralia.

“Works like the Geo em­bod­ies the in­cred­i­ble ver­sa­til­ity of wood and ex­cep­tional Filipino crafts­man­ship. De­sign- wise, that’s what gives the Philip­pines an edge,” says Selma. (Web­site: vi­toselma.com.)

Geo Cock­tail Ta­ble

Con­stella lamp

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