LOOK: Kenneth Cobonpue designs chairs, tokens for APEC dinner

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Kenneth Cobonpue has designed chairs and tokens for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Welcome Dinner. Photo from the APEC 2015 Philippines website

MANILA – Cebu-based internationally renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue is the creative director for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Welcome Dinner.

His role includes designing the set design for the dinner to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena, as well as creating souvenir tokens and special chairs for the 21 economic leaders.

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“I wanted to transform the whole space into a huge outdoor garden,” Cobonpue said of his vision for the set design in a statement released on the APEC 2015 Philippines website. “Part of the challenge was how to transform the coldness and immensity of the arena and turn it into something that’s warm and cozy.”

The chairs of the 21 economic leaders are based on Cobonpue’s Yoda chair design, which is inspired by blades of grass, but will have armrests and wheels.

The tokens, named Sama-Sama (together), are glass-covered brass sculptures finished in yellow gold, pale silver and warm copper, showing communities of people in island formations to symbolize APEC members.

“What I always find challenging… [is] to still use natural materials and natural themes, and to make it sophisticated – to show that we are rooted in the past, but we are [also] right in the 21st century,” Cobonpue explained. “I think it’s really important… to showcase the best of who we are and what we are – and we do that with the program, and all the little details that make up the whole welcome dinner.”

View the slideshow to see Cobonpue’s designs for the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Welcome Dinner.

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