Kenneth Cobonpue

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Brief Background[edit]

Born a proud Cebuano, Kenneth Cobonpue, is a world renowned, multi-awarded, industrial designer known for his signature designs in natural fibers and materials. Being born from a Chinese family who was business oriented, he was greatly encouraged to take up a business course at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Realizing that it wasn’t for him, he applied in the Fine Arts program, which at that time offered Industrial Design. He failed the entrance exam saying that he couldn’t draw well enough. His luck was changed and better opportunities came his way when he attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he took up Industrial Design in 1987. While completing his degree, he worked for a leather and woodwork shop in Florence, Italy. In 1994, under a state and private scholarship, he studied furniture marketing and production at the “Export Akademie Baden-Württemberg” in Reutlingen, Germany and soon afterwards worked in Bielefeld and Munich. Cobonpue’s brand incorporates locally sourced natural materials such as seagrasses, rattan, buri, bamboo, and abacca with innovative handmade processes which make his brand unique and globally recognize. His aim is to redefine the Philippines industry and to spread the notion of sustainable design to a global audience.


Interior Crafts of the Islands, Inc. (I.C.I)[edit]

After a series of further studies and apprentices abroad, Kenneth moved back to Cebu in 1996 to help manage their family business founded by his mother in 1972. Upon managing the business, Kenneth discovered that by the use of natural fibers and materials as a medium, modern design could have a new face. His mastery of techniques was challenged by the abundance of the country’s raw materials and skilled craftsmen. He slowly started creating new pieces from that idea, thus forming the collection today. From that he launched a revolution to the Western definition of modern design.


Affiliations[edit]

Hive[edit]

In partnership with Interior Crafts of the Islands, Kenneth Cobonpue and Celso Advincula Jr. founded Hive, back in 2001. A group of friends envisioned of producing exceptional lighting and interior accessories at which they acted upon on. It developed into a facility of design and manufacturing for different artist where they can create new objects of design under one roof. From then on, they have been producing a growing collection of lighting and living accessories both stunning and versatile. Hive forms an environment of creative freedom with a strong sense of aesthetics and functionality. Designers and artisans can create a variety of original forms, textures, and ideas in ingenious and invigorating expression. This partnership between the two complements one another allowing Hive to become an impeccable collaboration of design excellence and innovative manufacturing. Hive has found its niche by depicting and finding inspirations from nature and combining it with handmade production techniques. The preservation of traditional hand-made working methods allows Hive to preserve a component of culture for future generations.


Movement 8[edit]

“To put a face on Filipino design” was the dream. It started in 1999, composed of the country’s finest and excellent designers, such as Al Caronan, Kenneth Cobonpue, Carlo Cordaro, Tony Gonzales, Milo Naval, Ann Pamintuan, Tes Pasola, Luisa Robinson, and Renato Vidal with Budji Layug as curator, came together to establish the Philippines as a competitor in the world’s high-end consumer market. That dream turned to reality thanks to Ely Pinto-Mansor, former executive director of the Centre for International Tarde Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and Budji Layug. Since much of the Filipino designers we’re not taken seriously as they were known for the lack of formal training in design and having limited exposure to the international market. Movement 8 helped promote and transformed the image of Filipino designers. The number 8 signifies eternity. Which is what Movement 8 is design is meant to be: Timeless in its elegance and sophistication. It also represent the Filipino designer’s eternal search for excellence.

Timeline of collections[edit]

1980 – Lotus (patented)

1998 – Yin Yang – Kenneth Cobonpue's first design. The two opposing elements take center stage. The combination of geometric and organic, pliable rattan with rigid steel and solid form with transparent volume. The collection is an integration of material, function and form.

1999 – Balou

2000 – Pigale, La Luna

2001 – Voyage

2002 – Yoda, Croissant, Kabuki, Lulu

2003 – Tilt, Matilda, Amaya, Dimple, Lolita, Terra

2004 – Chiquita, Lolah, Wave, Pirouette

2005 – Stitches, Retaso, Suzy Wong, Kawayan

2006 – Dragnet, Dimsum, Link

2007 – Kawayan Too, Manolo

2008 – Oasis, Noodle, Bouquet, Operetta

2009 – Bloom, Harry, Hagia, Freya, Nobu, Vaña

2010 – Rapunzel, Ima, Juniper, Ziggy

2011 – Cabaret, Papillion, Mermaid,Dream Catcher, Pebble, Giza, Enoki, Tria

2012 – Eclipse, Tropez, Zaza, Kaja, Parchment Table, Annika

2013 – Parchment, Calyx, Adesso, Trame, Papillion Swing

Awards and Achievements[edit]

  • Asian Designer of the Year Award

Maison et Objet Asia Exhibition March 2014

  • BEST OF THE YEAR AWARD Furniture: Outdoor Seating by Interior Design

Cabaret Sofa, Best of the Year Award November 29, 2012

  • ORIGINAL PRODUCTS DESIGN AWARD

Modern Decoration International Media Award Phoenix, December 2012

  • TOP PICK AWARD for innovation by American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

Cabaret Sofa, Architectural Digest Home Design Show March 22–25, 2012

  • Prix D’Excellence Coup De Coeur

Bloom Easy Armchair, SIDM Montreal, 2011

  • Coup de Coeur Award by Home Magazine

Bloom Easy ArmChair Maison et Objet 2009, Paris, France

  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009

Innovation Entrepreneur Award Shang-ri La Hotel, Makati, 2009

  • Outstanding Quality and Design Innovation Award

Lolah Easy Armchair Decorex 2008, London, UK

  • Microsoft Special Award for Most Dynamic Entrepreneur 2007
  • Entrepreneur Magazine’s 10 Most Outstanding Entrepreneurs 2007

Manila Peninsula, November 6, 2007

  • 13 Mugna Design Prizes for Exhibition and Product Design

Cebu International Furniture & Furnishings Exhibition Cebu City, Philippines

  • 5 Katha Design Awards for Product Design

Philippine Furniture Industries Foundation Manila, Philippines

  • Outstanding Design Prize

Balou Outdoor | High Point Show North Carolina, USA 2005

  • Design Excellence Award – Best Seating for Lola Outdoor""
  • ""Design Excellence Award – Best chair for Dimple Outdoor""

9th Annual IIDA/ Hospitality Design Product Competition May 5, 2005, USA

  • Design for Asia Award 2005

Lolah Collection | Business of Design Week by the Hongkong Design Centre November 21, 2005, Hongkong

  • First Prize, Open Design Category

Croissant Collection | Singapore International Furniture Design Competition 2004

  • Good Design Award 2004 – ASEAN Design Collection

Pigalle Easy Arm Chair, Kabuki Cbinet, One Night Stand Sofa C-U-C-ME Screen Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization Tokyo, Japan

  • Good Design Award 2003 – ASEAN Design Collection

Voyage Bed and Yin & Yang Easy Arm Chair Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization Tokyo, Japan

  • Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines
  • Perlas Award for Outstanding Cebuano

Achievement in the field of Arts & Design 2003

  • Golden Shell Award, Ideals of Asian Design

Citation given by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo 2002

  • Craftsmanship Award

International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2001 New York, USA

Further Reading & Special Appearances[edit]

  • International Design Yearbook 2005 (Lawrence King Publishing House of London) curated by Marcel Wanders ISBN 978-1-85669-435-3
  • International Design Yearbook 2004 (Lawrence King Publishing House of London) curated by Tom Dixon ISBN 978-1-85669-392-9
  • International Design Yearbook 2002 (Lawrence King Publishing House of London) curated by Ross Lovegrove.
  • Tropical Living and Tropical Interiors both by Elizabeth Reyes (Periplus Editions) 2002
  • New Bedroom Design, 2004 (Daab GmbH) by Marcel Wanders 2005
  • 1000 New Designs and Where to Find Them, 2006 (Laurence King Publishing, Ltd.)by Jennifer Hudson ISBN 978-1-85669-466-7
  • Tropical Interiors, 2002, (Periplus Editions HK) by Elizabeth Reyes. Pages 93–97
  • Design Now!, 2007 (Taschen GmbH) by Charlotte & Peter Fiell ISBN 978-3-8228-5267-5
  • Simply Material, 2007, (Viction:Workshop Limited) by Victor Cheung
  • Fork, 2007 (Phaidon Press) by Tom Dixon
  • Phaidon's new 2007 book, "& FORK," underscores his leading position in the industry.
  • Appearance in European television including Deutsche Welle and Dutch TV
  • “The Voyager” – “Never gonna leave this Bed” music video by Maroon 5 | January 29, 2011
  • International magazines:
  1. Wallpaper
  2. Newsweek
  3. TIME Magazine July 2006 ISSN 0040-781X
  • Newspapers: The Washington Post and Shanghai Daily News
  • “Ocean’s Thirteen”
  • “CSI: Miami”

Other Media Magazines featuring Kenneth Cobonpue

References & External links[edit]

Travel+Leisure Magazine (October 2009) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

  1. ^ ?*Kenneth Cobonpue
  2. ^ *Hive
  3. ^ *Kenneth Cobonpue: Designs on Nature
  4. ^ *Hollywood/
  5. ^ *Yin Yang
  6. ^ *Movement 8*