A sustainable furniture line that makes use of local materials and handcrafted by Filipino artisans — this is the vision of local architect Jed Yabut, who brought that idea to life in the hopes of advocating for true Filipino artistry and sustainable design choices.
Conceived at the height of a pandemic, Jed Yabut Furniture & Design is more than what meets the eye. It’s a product of Jed’s experience of managing multiple projects, including high-rise commercial developments and luxury hotels, and traveling to many places to learn all that he could about designing social spaces, and his fervent desire to place our local furniture craftsmanship on par with the best there is around the world.
In essence, Jed’s brand is described as contemporary Filipino furniture reimagined to showcase what he calls the “beautiful chaos” of our local design aesthetic — one that blends seamlessly with nature, where elements are assembled and formed spontaneously and yet altogether makes perfect sense.
“When I design, I hold firm to my design philosophy — and this is how I differentiate my collection from the others,” he told When In Manila in an exclusive interview. “The pieces are a modern interpretation of Filipino furniture aesthetics – emphasizing random patterns, lines, and varied textures as an homage to the Filipino sensibilities of “beautiful chaos” and of resourcefulness. While it could seem chaotic, the general look remains visually cohesive, light, and clean.”
Each design also takes inspiration from varied Filipino festivities, flora and geographies, architecture, and cultural icons, according to Jed. But what probably makes his collection so unique is his decision to make use of 100% local, green raw materials — with Rattan as the primary component — all sourced from homegrown suppliers and individually handcrafted by highly skilled artisans all over the Philippines.
“I wanted to create a new furniture collection that is unmistakably Filipino, both in material and in aesthetics. And I believe rattan has a very distinct tropical and rustic charm that’s readily associated with Filipino sense of style,” he shared with us.
“More than ever, we are seeing a shared global agenda and awareness towards minimizing waste, decreasing carbon footprint, and simply caring for our planet by doing small serious changes at home. For homeowners, the growing trend of choosing natural and eco-friendly furniture is simply not just being thoughtful to the environment, but also ensuring better health for our families while adding stylish personality to the spaces we live in. For furniture makers, when we create furniture using natural products, our chemical waste (as compared to plastic and synthetic furniture) is staggeringly lesser.”
Adding to this, he said, “Having conceived this project during the height of global quarantine, I vowed to support local economies, talents, and products first before anything else. And using rattan, collaborating with local makers and artisans, and crafting the furniture locally, I believe I am fulfilling my personal mission.”
Currently, Jed has 22 pieces in his first collection comprising of chairs, tables, shelves, a divider, mirrors, and lamps. Each is designed to be compact, practical, and multi-purpose to elevate any living space, from small condo units to family homes.
“My personal favorites are Anahaw lounge chair as it was the first chair that I designed back in July 2020 when I was tinkering over the idea of creating a furniture shop. Another favorite is Kagubatan, a bookshelf with clustered rattan spokes as its side panels. This is a very memorable piece because it was the toughest piece we have created, but also because it is an elegant architectural piece in my opinion. Pugad (floor lamp), and Buwan (divider) are also 2 of my favorites because they gave me the biggest surprises when I saw them completed. Many a time, a designer will never know how paper sketches will come out until you see them right before your eyes,” he shared.
All these can be viewed on his online catalog, which you can view here.
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Truly, Jed Yabut Furniture & Design delivers an impactful message through its wide array of simple yet exquisite creations of how Filipino artistry should be celebrated and championed — and this is only just the beginning.
“We are a small homegrown business with big visions for success. We have just started with our first line of collection, but there will be new collections and few limited editions to delight the public as we go along,” said Jed. “Of course, collaborations are in the pipeline as well, including participation in furniture fairs and expos. And who knows in the nearer future, we will not only be known as a furniture store, but a ‘design integrated’ company that promotes and pushes Filipino creativity and modern aesthetics to a higher level.”
Jed Yabut Furniture
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