Kenneth Cobonpue 'Yoda' chairs used at APEC welcome dinner up for auction
On December 16, 2015 world renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue will auction off 6 limited edition Yoda chairs used by heads of state during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Welcome Dinner. This UNICEF Auction for Action will be organized by Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña-Paez. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit UNICEF’s 1,000 Days Campaign. (LOOK: Kenneth Cobonpue designs venue for APEC welcome dinner)
UNICEF representative Lotta Sylwander shares that the 1,000 Days campaign ensures for healthier children who are otherwise at risk from the moment of conception, by affording adequate health care and nutrition for mothers who they themselves, may have been left behind due to poverty and extreme living conditions. In a country where 30% of children are malnourished, Lotta further explains that the Philippines suffers a great loss when these children are not cared for properly because they do not meet their potential due to cognitive and physical deficiencies.
Cobonpue was commissioned to design the Mall of Asia Arena for the historic APEC Welcome Dinner this past November. He created a garden-like rice terrace design which featured a 360-degree program and inspired the modified Yoda chair design.
The slightly modified design was suddenly in high demand after the APEC dinner had concluded. Cobonpue received inquiries about the chairs that each of the world leaders used during the event. Initially, he thought the chairs would be a burden to sell because of their limited edition modifications, added armrests, shortened tops, and a cantilevered base resting on a stainless steel swivel to make it easy for each head of state to watch the program, but differed greatly from the original Yoda chair design.
The idea to contribute to the welfare of Philippine children came to Cobonpue after the calls started coming in. “But I think they are so much more than just pieces of furniture to be sold at face value. They’re part of our history that can serve a better purpose.”
The generous gift of history which will serve a better purpose was made clear when Kenneth called Auction for Action organizer, Daphne Osena-Paez to see if UNICEF would be interested in using the limited edition designs to raise funds for Filipino children. This Auction for Action will be the 4th of its kind and is an initiative that began in 2011 by Daphne Osena-Paez. The first 3 auctions which she organized for social action were able to raise over P8 million for different children’s programs here in the Philippines.
Each Yoda chair is adorned with a special plaque bearing the name of each state leader and a certificate of authenticity from Kenneth Cobonpue. Bidding for each individual limited edition piece will start at P75,000 on Wednesday, December 16 at 7pm.
The auction is open to everyone worldwide, and will take place in Cobonpue’s Greenbelt showroom. It will be live streamed on the Unicef website and bidders must pre-register by visiting unicef.ph. For more information call 02-758-1000.
Michelle Ressa-Aventajado is a Filipina-American who grew up in NY and now makes Manila her home. When she's not busy raising her four children, she enjoys teaching, reading and writing about her passions. Follow her blog Momma 'N Manila as she documents her adventures and growth in parenting.