Age doesn’t matter, especially when you’re actively pursuing a dream. At 26 years old, Vito Selma has already made a mark for himself. Vito is a young furniture designer from Cebu. The df team first met him October of last year during Manila FAME’s exhibit. His designs got us really curious about him, to say the least.
We were actually looking forward to see his booth during our visit to the CebuNext exhibit. And, as expected, his collection of furniture and accessories are equally impressive. In fact, he bagged two Mugna Awards: Citation for Material Innovation for the Wrinkle Floor Lamp (below top), and Citation for Contemporary Furniture for the Geo Coffee Table (below bottom).
As I have mentioned before, Vito capitalizes on his creative impulse and whimsical ideas to come up with interesting, fun and partially quirky designs. His award-winning Geo Coffee Table and his Un-Deux-Trois Collection (below) were the results of a three-dimensional play of string art (my favorite project in elementary math!). For his Wrinkle Floor Lamp (above top), Vito wanted to introduce the idea of a “collaborative design” with his clients. The lamp is purchased/delivered with the flat layers of fine wire mesh sheets. It’s then up to the client to crumple it up whichever way he/she wants.
[Image via mocoloco]
Vito has a rich design background from which he has developed his design identity. His family’s firm (Stonesets) is one of the noted furniture companies in Cebu speciallizing in classical/period style furniture, so the industry is nothing new to him. In spite of this, he’s still very eager to learn and to develop his talent through formal and informal education.
“I took Interior Architecture major in furniture design in the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. Although I had a year and a half left to my degree, I decided to stop. I felt like the course was geared towards architecture and not furniture as they initially promoted. I came back home and decided to work for the company to gain hands on experience instead. From then until now (2007-2010) I worked as the design director in the company and focused on contemporary furniture as the company was a classical manufacturing firm. In the past four years as well, I have had three internships at different times in Johannesburg, South Africa with George de Haast (interior designer to Nelson Mandela, other prominent South African figures and Middle East royalties). It is in this internship where I learned most about aesthetics and the beauty of all things natural,” Vito shares.
”A few weeks ago, I got confirmation from my dream school, Scuola Politecnica Di Design in Milano. I am admitted to the Master Course in Industrial Design. Technically, I get to skip college and head to the masters! It is the same school that I was admitted to learn and intern under the Campana Brothers, but the Italian embassy declined my application,” he continues.
At a young age, Vito has made several achievements in his career. His furniture have made it to the homes of prominent personalities such as Nelson Mandela (most of Mandela’s furniture pieces are from his company), Penny Stein (publicist of Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, etc.), and royalties (read: prince and princesses) from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He and his works have also graced several glossies locally and internationally like in India (Better Interiors, Living Etc Magazine, Enhance Magazine), South Africa (Habitat Magazine), Brazil (Docol Magazine), and China (Furniture & Interior Design). On top of that, Vito was nominated for Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 2009. Whew!
But all work and no play makes [Vito] a dull boy. And a dull boy he’s not! What keeps him busy apart from designing beautiful furniture? Here’s a rundown:
1) Photography. “I recently had a solo exhibit/fundraiser last March 3 where all proceeds of the photo exhibit went to the orphanage of children who are orphaned from parents with aids in South Africa, Johannesburg.”
2) “Extreme” sports. While in South Africa, Vito tried the “Big 3” all in one afternoon: Skydiving, Quad biking and Sandboarding with Desert Explorers.
3) Traveling. He wouldn’t call himself a wanderlust if not for his love for traveling!
As for future goals, Vito says, “… just KEEP ON KEEPING ON. Finish my masters and see what comes next.”
To know more about Vito Selma, his designs, and his daily musings, visit his website here and his blogs here and here. His designs are available in Manila at Kish in LRI Plaza. [Thank you so much Vito!]
*Photos courtesy of Vito Selma
Tags: cebu, cebu next, furniture, furniture designer, geo table, south africa, stonesets, vito selma
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