Designer profile

A Taxi Driver Uncle's favourite Bean Bag chair

28 Nov 2018  •  10 min read

How do you add a touch of Asian culture to an iconic European design? Jarrod Lim Studio created one of the top designs at the recent Sacco Bean Bag for Design Showcase, organised by W.Atelier and Zanotta, and supported by the DesignSingapore Council, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Sacco Bean Bag chair. Jarrod Lim Studio’s design, titled “Shifu de Sacco”, is a bean bag cover made of wooden beaded car seat covers most commonly used by taxi drivers.

Jarrod Lim taking a seat on the Shift de Sacco, made of wooden beads

Close up of the handwoven beads

The theme of the showcase was “Urban Living the Asian Way”, and Jarrod and his team said, “we thought about what’s something that’s typically Asian that you experience in every modern city but probably don’t notice it. It wasn’t easy but we finally came up with the idea of the beaded car seat cover. Something we’ve all had the pleasure (or pain) of sitting on at some point. Almost always in a taxi! The idea fit the theme and the shape of the beanbag so perfectly. We had to go with it”.

The Sacco beanbag is a design icon that has withstood the test of time ... have added a fresh perspective with their designs through an Asian lens and context of culture, heritage and everyday life.

Jarrod and his team went to their contacts in Indonesia to help look for the beads or make them, but even after a month of searching, they couldn’t find anything suitable. Finally, they decided to look for the wooden bead seat covers in Mustafa Centre, and that’s where they found them. They took the seat covers apart, and re-threaded them into the cover for the Sacco bean bag chair.

Check out the time-lapse video here:

The Sacco bean bag chair is known for being able to mold to any position of the user, and Jarrod’s design gave a touch of Asian comfort to this bean bag chair. There were so many details to the design – the beads can give some form of acupuncture and the gaps between the beads provide ventilation in Asia’s tropical heat. Perhaps taxi drivers would love to relax in this bean bag chair.

Out of the 10 designs shortlisted for the showcase, Jarrod Lim Studio’s design was one of the top three that will be displayed in the Zanotta showroom in Milan, giving these Singaporean designers international exposure. The other two top designs were by Karyn Lim and Tiffany Loy. Named Gen Sacco, Karyn’s Asian touch to the bean bag was embodying filial piety – two bags can be zipped together to represent how different generations of families live under one roof and by joining together, the family becomes extended and connects people together. Tiffany’s specialty is in fabric, and the DesignSingapore scholar wanted to recreate traditional techniques in her own way, giving them a modern flair. She hand-painted motifs on cotton-linen yarn, and then hand wove patterns in the traditional ikat style, calling her design Pastiche. Tiffany is currently studying for her Masters degree in Textiles at the Royal College of Art, and she managed to complete her bean bag cover just in time before she left for her studies.

Karyn (left) and Tiffany (right) with their designs.

Designers: DAZINGFEELSGOOD, Gabriel Tan Studio, Imran Othman, Rockett, Studio juju, Superfat designs, tizumuka

Mark Wee, Executive Director of the DesignSingapore Council, said, “The Sacco beanbag is a design icon that has withstood the test of time. We’re proud that our local talent have added a fresh perspective with their designs through an Asian lens and context of culture, heritage and everyday life. This exceptional opportunity by W.Atelier and Zanotta will place three designs in the global spotlight in Milan – showing the world that Singapore Design can be creative, inventive and fun. We look forward to more of such collaborations between brands, designers and retailers.”

All 10 designs will be on display at the W. Atelier Henderson Showroom and House of W. Atelier at Bukit Timah until 31 December 2018. Then the top 3 designs will be showcased at the Zanotta showroom at Piazza XXV Aprile in Milan from 1 February to 28 February 2019. The designs will then return home and be on display at the National Design Centre at Bugis from 2 July to 29 July 2019.

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