City News congratulates members of City Harvest Church who were recent winners of three prestigious awards in the marketplace.
Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
Titus Shu scored big recently when he won the Silver award at the Furniture China 2011 design competition in the Custom-Made Furniture Category, and was placed among the top 100 in the iF Concept Design Award 2011.
One of the biggest international furniture exhibitions, Furniture China is held annually in September in Shanghai, while the latter is one of the most important and largest student and graduate design awards in the world, attracting 8,000 entries from 52 countries this year. Only the best 100 win an award, decided by an international expert jury.
Currently based in China as a product designer at Novah Office Furniture Systems, the 28-year-old received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Product Design at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Fudan University this year. Shu explains the winning concept behind his Wave bench—“The project brief was to come up with a contemporary public space seating solution. My concept began with an exploration of the theme ‘transformation,’ which brought out other key ideas such as ‘movement’ and ‘rhythm’. The design aims to fit into both indoor and outdoor public spaces. Subtle transformation of the bench profile creates a sense of rhythm and life. A single unit of Wave will fit into a tight room while aligning multiple units create a spectacular ‘domino’ effect. Eventually, the overall form and structure mimics a DNA strand. I was watching a documentary on it and was inspired by how it represents life itself and also how the shape of multiple DNA strands, when combined, gives that sense of pulse and movement.”
For his iF Concept Design Award entry, Shu designed the Marilyn Eyedrop Bottle, which increases the ease of eyedrop application—an outer skirt of silicon layering, when flipped upwards, becomes a “cup” that can rest comfortably along the eye frame to achieve greater accuracy in application (see picture). The silicon cup also helps create a more comforting view of the eyedrop tip for more confidence when applying eyedrops, especially among younger children and elderly users.
Fresh off its naming as one of the 38 winning brands by Superbrands, the internationally-renowned independent arbiter of branding in June this year, V.Hive has again been selected as one of the winners for the Singapore Prestige Brand Awards 2011 in the Established Brands category. As a yardstick for small and medium enterprises to benchmark their brand equity against their competitors, the stringent selection process includes a presentation by the entrants to explain their brand strategy and positioning before a panel of judges.
“How we know it’s not just talk, that the brand is really doing well, is that our overall sales has increased over the past five years,” says Felix Song, co-owner of V.Hive with his brother Michael. Additionally, it is enjoying its best ever sales performance this year. Song credits the success of the business to its practical and affordable approach, which translates into offering quality products bundled with complimentary delivery and assembly services.
The company has come a long way since it was officially set up in 1990 after overcoming rocky beginnings. When a devastating fire burned down its warehouse in 1999, two of V.Hive’s account books miraculously survived the fire, allowing it to claim full compensation from its insurance company and start over.
Since June this year, V.Hive has expanded from 10 to 12 outlets and undergone upgrading to revamp its shops. It has also broadened its product offering to include office-grade and orthopaedic chairs in order to better cater to the needs of a growing clientele.
Business aside, V.Hive has provided free furniture to many underprivileged families, churches in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as an orphanage in Thailand. “We give praise to God, apart from whom we can do nothing,” says Song.