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MIT wins sofabed design contest
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

The Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) showed exemplary form in their design entries  - XED and Prism - to win the top two places in the recently concluded CLC Collegiate Sofabed Design Competition.

For 19-year-old winner Ivan Cedric Fabia, art is more than just an expression of craftsmanship and regards it a masterpiece of his life. Currently a junior Industrial Design major at MIT, his dream is to make a global impact through designs featuring Filipino craftsmanship and artistry. With his XED sofabed concept, winning the competition could just be the start of bigger steps in reaching his goal.

His concept, albeit compact in design, gives the utmost comfort as one could readily feel upon sitting or sleeping on it. His creation is comprised of a sofa, a bed, a food tray, and a drawer combined with a movable table. XED is all about comfort, relaxation, and compactness. The design concept promises to bring people to another dimension in rest and relaxation with its endless possibilities.

Second placer Stanley Richard Angsanto, another Industrial Design student from MIT, loves creating simple yet captivating designs with purpose. He firmly believes that form should follow function. Without it, there would be no purpose to a design. With his Prism concept, he created a sofa bed that was not just that but also served like an art piece in a showroom as he played with geometric forms to alter the fixture's basic framing. His design also aimed to give maximum comfort and relaxation, while providing compactness for easy placement.

The third place went to a team from the Philippine School of Interior Design, comprised of Jerinae Chua Ching, Kristine Tiu-Oyek, Sarah Salvador, and Jen See-Sohu. The group was inspired to team up in creating design solutions that are not only stylish but are also completely functional. Their Catalyst concept was an interpretation of Art Deco design elements and material finishes, transforming their sofabed into a work of art by blending aesthetics and functionality.

Honorable mentions were given to Flick, Geonelle Anne Lim Ong, UST; VerHo, Patricia J. Buendia, UST; and Ilala, Marc Leo C. Dolotina, UP Diliman.

"This competition is a 10-month journey. We wanted to have the search as early as 2006 but the prototype and other resources were not yet ready. After 35 years of successful business, CLC wants to show its gratitude by giving back to society; in this instance, to five schools. Winners in this competition will receive P50K, 30K, and 20K in descending order.

"CLC would also like to show its humility, being recognized as a global player in the metal furniture business. We also celebrate our collaboration with industry leaders like Uratex. And throughout all these, we resign ourselves to the mercy of a greater being," shared business development consultant Fernando Fajatin.

CLC launched this first-ever Collegiate Sofabed Design Competition in search for young talents where their conceptual design solutions for compact living spaces will be turned into actual furniture pieces. From 123 entries screened from top design schools in the country, six bright young minds made the cut: a team from the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), one from the University of the Philippines - Diliman (UP), two from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), and two from the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT).

"This competition launches the newest label to join CLC's ever-growing portfolio, the Sofabed Specialist, which will be available starting the third quarter this year. It will address space saving issues and concerns," revealed competition chairperson Carla Mae Leonor.

It has become a dream come true for the Top 6 finalists to see their concepts come out from the drawing board. But the winners will definitely have more doors opened to them, especially for the grand prize winner, whose design could be massed produced by CLC nationwide for an entire year, granting Ivan Cedric Fabia royalty fees - a break that not every design student, and certainly not practicing interior designers and/or industrial engineers can enjoy.

'Students, we hope that you've learned from us at CLC as much as we learned from you. This is just the beginning of your dreams' fruition," remarked proprietor Charles Lincoln Ching at the close of the awarding ceremonies.

The future of furniture design burns bright with the great promise showcased by these new generation of designers. After all, design should tell a particular story about every generation.


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