REKA 2022 Showcases Asia’s Top Design Minds

November 4, 2022

The Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID) successfully completed the 9th edition of the annual REKA Conference, Malaysia’s top conference for the interior design industry, with the event held on 29 October 2022 at the KL Convention Centre Plenary Theatre in conjunction with the RIX Design week.

Held annually since 2013, REKA Conference 2022 attracted over 360 local and foreign delegates who attended the knowledge-sharing session that featured some of the world’s leading and award-winning interior designers and architects showcasing their latest works and imparting cutting-edge ideas that will shape the future of the industry.

Guests of honor at the event were Professor Keat Ong, President of APSDA (Asia Pacific Space Design Association), along with MIID President IDr Lai Siew Hong and REKA Conference 2022 Chairman IDr Joe Chan. 10 delegates from the Society of Interior Designers Singapore (SIDS) were also special guests at the event.

This year’s conference was part of MIID’s REKA Design Week 2022 and revolved around the theme of “Resurgence”, with special focus placed on creative and innovative design ideas that were spawned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and which will play an important role in reinvigorating the state of the industry in the post-pandemic era.

“We are thrilled to have welcomed a star-studded lineup of speakers to grace the stage during the REKA Conference 2022, including Kenneth Cobonque, Johnny Chiu, Teo Yang, Ponwit Ratanatanatevilai and Eleena Jamil. So much has evolved within the industry over the past two years and the conference provided a valuable opportunity for our interior design fraternity to gain insights from these top minds into the latest trends and innovations, and apply these ideas to their works as we collectively aspire to scale new heights in Malaysian interior design,” said IDr Joe Chan, who provided the welcome remarks during the conference.

Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who has received numerous top accolades during his career, including being the first recipient of the Asian Designer of the Year title given in Paris and being dubbed “rattans first great virtuoso”by TIME Magazine, shared insights into his use of natural materials with innovative production processes, for which he is globally renown.  



Johnny Chiu, who was the first Taiwanese designer to win the WAF/INSIDE World Interior of the Year award and has appeared on the judging panel of global design competitions such as US’s International Interior Design Awardand INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, shed some light on his application of provocative and unconventional designs.

Seoul-born Teo Yang, who spent many formative years of his career in vibrant cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Los Angeles, and was the only Korean designer named in Architectural Digest’s Top 100 in 2022, showcased his unique thought process in translating traditional Korean heritage into modern design language.

Meanwhile, Ponwit Ratanatanatevilai represented Thailand’s most exciting new design collective PHTAA Living Design and offered his take on how his team of fresh and motivated team of architects, interior designers and creatives has been breaking boundaries and setting new standards with their sculptural, autonomous and ambiguous cross-cultural architecture and interior architecture projects. 

Waving the flag for the local industry was revered Malaysian architect Eleena Jamil, who is well-known for her thoughtful development of buildings that embraces local cultures and integrates social and environmental imperatives into her designs, such as the Desa Mahkota School and the Bamboo Playhouse project.

The conference also featured leading brands that support the interior design industry as sponsors, including Nippon Paint and Roca Malaysia as main sponsors, and AHB Technologies, Niro Ceramic Group and Consentino as event sponsors. A mini-exhibition featuring booths from all sponsors was held outside the Plenary Theatre during the event.

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