Vito Selma (Philippines)
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