Industry Seminars

Meet and learn from the best industry experts

Industry seminars with industry shaping topics

The MIFF Industry Seminars are back with a range of topics that are shaping the industry. Meet and learn from industry experts on what you need to know and ask the questions you want. This is another great opportunity to network and catch up with the professionals to build the right connections. All seminars will take place at The Gallery, Level 1A, MITEC.


MIFF Design Forum: 2024 What’s In What’s Out

2 March 2024, Saturday • 11:00am – 11:45am

Various (see below)

Synopsis: The MIFF FDC panel of judges are going to discuss about the in-coming and out-going design trend for 2024 and also to discuss the swift of the furniture design market from Gen X to Gen Z at the same time to discuss the potential challenges in serving the Gen Z market. The panel of judges will discuss the above topic from different perspectives which from the point of view Architect, Furniture Designer, Interior Designer, Media House and University Professor.

Dr Eric Leong • Chief Judge of 2024 MIFF Furniture Design Competition, Malaysia

Malaysia’s most celebrated art & design educator and designers – Dr Eric Leong also known as DREL. 

With more than 30 years practising in the design industry and with a number of popular home makeover TV series and lifestyle radio shows aired on Malaysian television & radio has left DREL crowned as the “King of Design” of Malaysia. 

DREL is also the regular judge for many local and international design competitions, he has been involved in MIFF design competitions for more than two decades.

Tul Lekutai • Co-Founder & Principal, Deco Moda Studio, Thailand

Tul graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University in 2002. In 2003 he founded the design studio; Deco Moda Studio, established Thailand visual practitioners spearhead team called Pictures Talk in 2017. He is involved in diverse creative fields from architecture to product design, festival design and visual practitioners both locally and internationally. Currently, he is serving as member in Board of Directors IFVP (International forum of Visual Practitioners) based in U.S.A.

Philip Yap • Founder, CDN-Worldwide Limited, China/Malaysia

Philip Yap is a renowned designer and experience consultant, Founder of CDNW (Central Design Network Worldwide). Brought up in a cultural hot-pot that is Malaysia, Philip was accustomed to versatility and diversity. Integration is his forte, challenging different styles is his long suit. It is no wonder that his designs hints accents from various cultures across the world. His aspired passion in the home living industry has also brought him to greater heights. Besides designing interior, system-storage, office and home and furniture, Philip is also playing important roles in strategic corporate planning, brand building, as well as marketing consultancy for most of his clients.

Walter Tan • Managing Director,  Elemental Republic, Malaysia

Walter Tan is an industry veteran with 29 years of experience. He designs and develops a variety of furniture for market all over the world. Elemental Republic is an ESG wooden furniture maker using reclaim woods, drifter woods and plantation teak. Walter is now working with several factories in Malaysia on Circular Economy Furniture Designs.

Shinichi Mitsuki • Fellow, Executive Creative Director, Mitsui Designtec Co Ltd, Japan

Director and supervisor of interior design. As an interior design expert, Mitsuki has written many columns and books, and received recognition and awards in hotel competitions in Europe, as well as in office design in domestic and international competition.


Carbon Footprint: What Furniture Manufactures Need to Know?

2 March 2024, Saturday • 11:45am – 12:30pm

Professor Dr Jegatheswaran Ratnasingam, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Synopsis: The subject of ‘carbon footprint’ is gaining importance throughout the world, and almost all sectors, both manufacturing, agriculture and services and coming under scrutiny. To what extent the activity undertaken contributes to climate change? Specifically, the amount of green-house-gaseous (GHG) emission is the primary question that must be answered.

This presentation on carbon footprint for the wood products and furniture sector, provides preliminary data on a limited study conducted on evaluating the carbon footprint for several types of wood products. It provides valuable information and insights that must be known not only to manufacturers, buyers, and also policymakers. It is the first such study on the wood products industry in the country, is part of a long-term research project by the team of researchers led by Professor Jegatheswaran, at the Faculty of Forestry & Environment, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Professor Jegatheswaran Ratnasingam, Ph.D. is a member of the Faculty of Forestry & Environment at Universiti Putra Malaysia. 

He was in the Asian furniture manufacturing industry, holding positions at various capacities for more than a decade, before venturing into academia. He also regularly consults for manufacturers, regional development agencies, in both technical and policy matters. An established researcher with almost 250 publications to his credit, he is also a regular speaker at seminars and conferences. He is also a recipient of three Honorary Professorships, from leading Forestry universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, and South Africa, for his outstanding work on furniture industry’s sustainability and value-creation. He presently leads a large internationally-funded research project on ‘ESG, Carbon Footprint, and Circular Economy for the Wood Products Industry’. He strongly believes that ‘learning is a life-long journey, and it starts with sharing information’.


ASEAN & Global Market Expansion for Chinese Enterprises

2 March 2024, Saturday • 2:00pm – 2:45pm

Philip Yap, Founder, CDN-Worldwide Limited, China/Malaysia

Synopsis: China's manufacturing process has evolved, resulting in the creation of high-quality products and the development of experiential shopping hubs. Within the home furnishing sector, an integration of diverse elements provides comprehensive solutions, with a keen eye on global market prospects. Chinese enterprises are venturing overseas, actively pursuing collaborations and streamlined business models, presenting an enticing opportunity to formulate a sustainable business strategy.

Philip Yap is a renowned designer and experience consultant, Founder of CDNW (Central Design Network Worldwide). Brought up in a cultural hot-pot that is Malaysia, Philip was accustomed to versatility and diversity. Integration is his forte, challenging different styles is his long suit. It is no wonder that his designs hints accents from various cultures across the world. His aspired passion in the home living industry has also brought him to greater heights. Besides designing interior, system-storage, office and home and furniture, Philip is also playing important roles in strategic corporate planning, brand building, as well as marketing consultancy for most of his clients.


Furniture Testing for US Market:  BIFMA Standard Requirements

2 March 2024, Saturday • 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Cik Siti Zaliha binti Ali, Head of Furniture Testing Laboratory, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Malaysia

Synopsis: Malaysian furniture suppliers to the North American market no longer have to send samples overseas for testing as the service is available locally at FRIM.

Through its Furniture Testing Laboratory (FTL), FRIM has become the first laboratory in Malaysia to obtain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from the Malaysian Standards Department through the standard test scope American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) X5.1, X5.4 and X6.1 on November 17, 2022.

Since Feb 1, 2023, FRIM is listed on the BIFMA website as a third-party testing laboratory for those standards.

With the current low exchange rate of the ringgit against the dollar, the cost of testing is very economical and local companies are eligible for double tax relief as stipulated in the Income Tax Act 1967 Section 34b. The United States is the largest market for Malaysian furniture with a share of 52% in 2022.

Cik Siti Zaliha binti Ali’s area of expertise is furniture testing and she is experienced in determining the testing requirements of various types of furniture.


Canadian Perspectives in Interior Design

3 March 2024, Sunday • 11:00am – 11:45am

Various (see below)

Synopsis: Presented by the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), the seminar will offer a brief introduction by Enrico Cleva on the buyers’ mission to MIFF, some information about the association by IDC’s CEO, Trevor Kruse, followed by presentations by IDC members, discussing award-winning interior design projects from Canada’s culturally rich and diverse design landscape.

Enrico Cleva • Founder & Founder, EC&CO, Italy

Enrico G. Cleva is a registered architect, a professional member of IDC and an international business development consultant. Alongside architecture and interior design, he is specialized in building international business networks, with a special expertise on the Canadian Market. 

Besides being Enrico principal and founder of his architecture firm ec&co. based in Milan, Enrico is representative of Fiera Milano in Canada and UK, active as an ambassador on strategic partnerships with industry associations and media for some shows in the Fiera Milano portfolio. He is also President of the Milan Chapter of NEWH, the Hospitality Industry Network and consultant on International relations for IDC – Interior Designers of Canada.

Trevor Kruse • CEO, Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), Canada

Trevor Kruse is the CEO of Interior Designers of Canada, the national advocacy association for the interior design profession. He has enjoyed a 35-year career as a professional interior designer along with nearly three decades of volunteer service on provincial, national, and international boards, including the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the Society of British Interior Designers (SBID), and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI). 

He has forged strong relationships with academia, government, media, industry partners, and design trade shows and events, along with IDC’s allied associations such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) and the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).

Abby Aiyeleye • Co-CEO, Clavis Studio, Canada

At the forefront of women’s advocacy and innovative product design for niche markets, you’ll find Adetoun Abby Aiyeleye. Her 15+ years of community work and business footprints trail across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and North America.

Abby’s lived experiences and qualifications continue to fuel her drive to deliver undeniably fit-for-purpose products and this is reflected in her multiple honors and awards. As Co-CEO of Clavis Studio, Abby is redefining the approach to interior design using immersive technology and driving tech adoption to promote a tech-driven economy.

She contributes to the ecosystem through board and volunteer positions including: VP of Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, Innovation Growth Council Member at Innovate Edmonton, Ambassador Board Member at The A100, and Mentor for Women & Youth in Tech.

Ann Squires Ferguson • CEO, Western Design+Build, Canada

Ann Squires Ferguson is a true cross-pollinator, raised off the grid in Northern BC on the banks of the Stikine River. She spent her childhood homeschooled in a log cabin, transiting the winter snows by homemade dog sled. She has twin degrees in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and Interior Design, coming to the design industry via the Canadian Navy, where she specialized in shipboard weapons and the audio engineering field, with a focus on the Asian Karaoke market.

As CEO and owner of Western Design+Build, and a LEED Accredited Professional, Ann relishes both the creative and the technical.  

She is past Chair of the Vancouver Island Society of Interior Designers, has twice been elected to the Board of Directors for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and sits on both the Ambassador Committee and the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advancement Committee.

Daniel Meloché • Interior Designer (RID), Daniel Meloché Design, Canada

Daniel Meloché  is an award winning, Professional Registered Interior Designer (RID), originally hailing from Calgary, AB, relocated to Vancouver, BC over seventeen years ago as an up-and-coming interior designer. Shortly afterwards, he enrolled at The Art Institute of Vancouver’s Interior Design and Foundations program and graduated top of his class. With more than fifteen years of work experience under his belt, Daniel has made a lasting impression in the competitive design industry. 

In recent years Daniel has accomplished what most designers only aspire to over a lifetime career in the industry. He has focused and specialized in the hospitality and restaurant industry heading projects for distinguished brands such as Glowbal Group, Infinity Enterprises Group, Sutton Place Hotel, Moxie’s Grill and Bar, Chop Steakhouse, Shark Club Sports Bar and The Sandman Hotel Group; while still focusing on multiple residential and unique commercial projects. 

Daniel’s design aesthetic is functional, conversational and playful. His designs cater to each client’s unique requirements through careful space planning and highly detailed execution; down to the final curation of the environment.