Culmination of a one-year design dev’t prog
From over 140 aspiring designers, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), introduces its 14 finalists in the Red Box Design Talents, a platform to discover and nurture young designers that aims to produce breakthrough Philippine design talents by 2017.
“To strengthen the Philippine’s reputation as ‘Asia’s Design Destination,’ we should continue nurturing and inspiring young designers to make great strides in showcasing their design ingenuity,” said Rosvi Gaetos, executive director of CITEM.
Under the mentorship of celebrated design icons Budji Layug and Lulu Tan-Gan, the 14 finalists were immersed in a unique design and development process involving in-depth industry exposure and close collaboration with manufacturers. The result is a renewed understanding and intimate knowledge of the process of design, material and craft techniques.
The Furniture and Home Accents finalists of Red Box learned the art of woodworking from Pampanga’s Betis Crafts Inc./ JB Woodcraft, Triboa Bay Living and South Sea Veneer. Ms. Leslie Bituin-Mendiola, owner of Betis Crafts, Inc., stressed the importance of knowing the target market in the design process, while Mr. Randy Viray, owner of Triboa Bay Living, explained the significance of discovering one’s identity as a designer, urging the talents to “live and breathe design.” At South Sea Veneer, they witnessed and learned about veneer cutting and application. The finalists also strengthens their metalwork skills at Venzon Lighting Manufacturing, Industria, and Prizmic & Brill.
“An artist creates for himself. A designer creates for another entity,” explains Mr. Jude Tiotuico of Industria of the difference between an artist and a designer. Mr. Matthew Brill of Prizmic & Brill emphasizes the importance of understanding the material and the designers to understand the production costs when collaborating with exporter-manufacturers.
The Furniture and Home Accents finalists acquired exposure to materials in Cebu from Bon Ace, Obra Cebuana, and Nature’s Legacy, and gained deeper understanding of the design process from Vito Selma, Kenneth Cobonpue, and Cebu Fil Veneer.
In Bohol, the finalists discovered how technology such as 3D printing can aid their prototyping process through the assistance of FabLab Bohol Team, composed of representatives from the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) -Bohol, local designers, and volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Josie Natori, internationally acclaimed Filipino designer and CEO and founder of The Natori Company, opened her doors to the Fashion finalists for an opportunity to learn about the production of high-end fashion garments, allowing them a tour on a large garments production house to witness the intensive labor and the different stages of manufacturing process.
To broaden their perspective on tradition, a recurring theme in design, and its inspiring adaptation into contemporary works, the Fashion finalists proceeded to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila to witness a prestigious showcase of indigenous and contemporary designs of French and other international artists at the International Festival of Extra Ordinary Textiles (FITE).
The Fashion finalists learned Discharge Printing and Wrinkled Pleating in a two-day workshop on Fabric Treatments and Manipulation, under Lulu Tan-Gan and Ms. Vie Alvarez, a textile expert and instructor under the Fashion Design and Merchandising (FDM) Program at the College of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. They also attended a Trends Briefing and Workshop on Decorative Finishing for Fashion Accessories, led by Design Center of the Philippines Design Division Head Luis Manalang and Resource Person Marilyn Munio.
The Fashion designers learned the handmade footwear production from Ai-She Footwear. This involves processing of raw materials, pattern-making, cutting, and stitching; shaping and lasting; and finishing and packing. The finalists also participated in the bakya making of RTC Woodcraft.
Apart from the workshops, The Red Box Design Talents attended seminars on Elevating Filipino Artistry in Modern Fashion by JC Buendia, Integrating Filipino Aesthetics in Contemporary Design by Felipe De Leon, Jr., and Reinventing Filipino Craftsmanship by Rita Nazareno.
“A most striking quality of Philippine ethnicity or traditional cultures is their great creative diversity and richness,” De Leon stressed during his talk.
The pioneer batch of Red Box Design Talents will exhibit their collections developed in collaboration with local manufacturers at the October 2015 edition of Manila FAME slated October 15-18 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. The showcase is a culmination of a year-long design journey. At the same time, it is a glimpse into a work in progress. A panel of distinguished industry experts and stakeholders will determine the winning designers from each category.
The finalists under the Furniture and Home Accents sectors are Viktoria Laguyo, Mariel Lazo, Edward Sibunga, Kristel Blancas, Diana Ramirez, and Jim Torres.
For the Fashion Apparel and Fashion Accessories categories, the finalists are Leby Le Morìa, Thian Rodriguez, JM Rosario, Vince Tolentino, Jeffrey Manahan, Jelvin Mujar, Micki Olaguer, and Michille Sabulao.
Organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of DTI, Manila FAME features finely selected furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories designed and crafted in the Philippines for the global market. It continues to inspire with a strong statement on what is design-forward, popular, artisanal, and soulful.