Deco&Design - Furniture

A boy and his play with wood - Vito Selma

Vito Selma is a Filipino designer who, although very young, can boast that his work has been purchased by the likes of the Princess of Malaysia, Saudi royalty and Nelson Mandela. Seemingly intricate but simple in essence, his designs are dynamic, flowing, linear or steep waves made of wood. Selma did not achieve these performances alone. As he states time and time again, he has developed a long-standing partnership with wood that allows him to experiment, create and explore, pushing the boundaries of the material with each creation.

partnership with wood

Wood always has something to say and must be allowed to express itself

Growing up in a family of traditional Filipino furniture makers, Vito Selma is strongly influenced by his craft practice. His art is a happy blend of tradition and knowledge gained in recognised design schools or working with famous designers.

It all started in his parents' factory where traditional furniture was made by hand. Because everything had to be perfect there was a lot of material that was considered waste. It was precisely this material that attracted Vito. He has always felt that wood has something to say and should be allowed to express itself.

Discovering her passion, Selma began her studies at the San Francisco Academy of Art. She went on to earn a master's degree in industrial design at the Milan Polytechnic School of Design. Years of working with renowned designers - Debbi Palao, George Haast, Raffaella Mangiarotti and Campana Brothers - followed, shaping her without compromising her originality. Vito has become a clear and distinct voice in the designer furniture industry, with his notoriety continually growing.

When asked about the geometry found in his work, Vito Selma says that it all stems from a love of mathematics that he has had since childhood. About himself he says he was even a nerd as a child. And now he believes that everything in the world is mathematics. And this love of mathematics is translated into design and helps him do all the calculations needed for a new work.

Vito Selma's creations are simple and inspired by the natural forms of wood, sometimes with unexpected lines. There are no ornaments or unnecessary additions, the wood is presented as it is. It is that partnership with wood that he always remembers. That partnership that comes down to a boy and his play with wood.

partnership with wood

partnership with wood

partnership with wood

partnership with wood

partnership with wood

Although his hard work and ingenuity have led him to numerous awards at home and abroad, Vito Selma has remained firmly rooted in his Filipino roots. He lives in Cebu, Philippines, and his creations are displayed in Ayala Center Cebu, the city's largest shopping mall.

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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