“We wanted to incorporate the essence of each Star Wars character into the designs, while staying true to our aesthetic and process of creating them by hand,” says the internationally renown designer Kenneth Cobonpue on what is likely his most exciting challenge as designer in recent years: a collaboration with the Disney Company Philippines to create a furniture and home accessories collection based on the beloved Star Wars saga. “We reimagined the Star Wars universe through the lens of the Filipino craftsman and creative. Finding the balance was a bit of a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun.”
Kenneth Cobonpue may just be the perfect designer to be tapped to do a furniture inspired by Star Wars. After all, many years back, he's already named one of his pieces, possibly his most copied one, Yoda, a wicker chair with the ends of its backrest left unwoven, like strands of wayward fur. The Cebuano has also designed many other pieces of furniture that, through the years, have earned the stature of iconhood—much like the characters of the Lucas films: the Bloom Easy Chair (yes, the one that looks like a flower that just opened), the Dragnet Armchair (weblike, made of fabric twisted and wrapped on steel), and the Chiquita stool which, if you think about it, recalls the form of R2-D2, but instead of a dome head, the stool has rattan poles that look like wine corks.
Known for his handmade, nature-inspired, and whimsical designs, Cobonpue under his eponymous company, used these pillars to give new functionality and life to the characters and symbols of the worldwide cinema phenomenon. With a focus on classic Star Wars icons, the KENNETHCOBONPUE design team led by creative director Cobonpue came up with three easy armchairs, a rocking stool, and a hanging lamp. The collaboration marks a milestone being the first-of-its-kind for the George Lucas franchise in Southeast Asia. "This collaboration is a fun way for us to bring our stories closer to Filipino fans,” says Veronica Cabalinan, Country Head of The Walt Disney Company Philippines, allowing them to connect with Star Warsin a unique way and to take their favorite stories and characters home."
Not only does this collab mean that all the grown-up kids this side of the planet can now live their Star Wars fantasies in their very homes but, on a more serious note, this means that when trusted to tell a a foreign narrative, using our own design language can be a heck of a powerful tool. Bravo, Kenneth!
You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away (sorry, we can't help it) to get these collectibles; they’re only available in the Philippines.
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The VADER Easy Armchair. Featuring a foldable swivel table and an open weave canopy, this mixes business and pleasure as an office and a personal nook in one, making the chair versatile in function. The seat cushion resembles Darth Vader’s mask achieved through meticulous stitching.
The SIDIOUS Easy Armchair. To embody Darth Sidious, this easy armchair’s backrest is raised higher to resemble a hood, and its legs are slightly curved forward. The silhouette is elegant, while simultaneously capturing the Sith Lord’s formidable presence.
The IMPERIAL WINGS Easy Armchair. Inspired by the symbol of the Imperial fleet, the Tie fighter. This easy armchair features handwoven polyethylene, which captures the agility and strength of the iconic starfighter.
The CHEWIE Rocking Stool. The microfiber strips are wrapped with a fabric belt to emulate Chewbacca and his bandolier. The playfulness of this rocking stool reflects the heart of the legendary Wookiee warrior and loyal comrade of Han Solo.
The LITTLE JEDI Hanging Lamp. Little Jedi is a sculptural composition of steel with salago fiber applied by hand to add volume and body. The miniature figurines are Jedi Knights holding lightsabers, the hanging lamp’s light source. The one red figurine symbolizes a Sith Lord the Jedis are battling against. The design's previous incarnation symbolized unity and it is echoed in this new Star Wars piece.