Developing talents of furniture designers

Awang Tengah (second right) being briefed during the online meeting. Also seen are Assistant Minister of Urban Development and Resources Datuk Len Talif Salleh (right) and Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais (partially hidden).

KUCHING: A second batch of nine trainees of Sarawak Young Designers (SayD’SignersSarawak), have graduated from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) under its Pool of Young Designers (Poyod) training programme.

The programme is based on furniture design, following the syllabus and curriculum developed by ITB.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the training programme was adjusted accordingly and most classes were conducted online in addition to extending the training duration.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan was briefed virtually on the programme by Dr Imam Santosa, former Dean of Faculty of Arts and Design (FSRD) at ITB in Indonesia today.

The Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) has collaborated with ITB, Bandung since last year to develop and implement a one-year fully customised furniture design training programme for SayD’SignersSarawak.

SayD’SignersSarawak is a two-year training programme developed by STIDC in 2017 for fresh graduates from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) with the first intake of six trainees in 2018.

To date, STIDC has trained 21 graduates and 15 of them have undergone training at ITB. The first batches of six have completed their training and are now employed by furniture companies in Sarawak.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development and STIDC Board of Management chairman, was pleased that the training had been successfully implemented, especially in instilling and developing the graduates’ talents towards becoming successful young designers.

The customised training provided by ITB has further moulded the young designers to gain more exposure while strengthening experience in designing and producing furniture designs, with the ability to produce furniture for the international market.

“This training is very unique and special because of its focus in developing the skills and knowledge of fresh graduates in furniture design.

“Our collaboration with ITB, a prestigious university in Indonesia, has added value to our training programme through their thoroughly researched customised curriculum for SayD’Signers Furniture Training Programme.

“I have seen the designs and the prototypes produced by them and indeed I am very impressed with the outcome,” said Awang Tengah.

Upon completion of the two-year SayD’SignersSarawak Training Programme, the young designers will be ready to serve as furniture designers in the timber industry in Sarawak.

Under the programme, STIDC in collaboration with ITB also participated in international exhibitions, including furniture and design fairs in India, Australia and Dubai. This aims to provide greater exposure and widen the experience of SayD’Signers while building branding, networking and rapport with international designers and communities around the world.