Design Week Philippines builds up on creative vibes and tribes


The Department of Trade and Industry’s Design Center of the Philippines (Design Center), the national agency committed to strengthening the design ecosystem in the country, wrapped up its nine-day creative festivity with a series of free creative workshops and an outdoor film screening of the award-winning live animation movie “Saving Sally” in Plaza Moriones, Intramuros, Manila.

Apart from the activities in Creative Environment Intramuros, Design Week Philippines partnered with key influencers, collectives, and their respective events to showcase the different facets of Philippine artistry and creativity from different creative hubs and destinations across the metro.

“More than a celebration of design and creativity, Design Week Philippines aims to raise awareness on the Philippines’ up-and-coming creative assets, whether these are people, spaces, or initiatives,” Rhea O. Matute, executive director of Design Center, shares. “As long as they and their activities contribute to the creative quotient of the country and encourage a mindset of innovation, Design Week Philippines is open to collaborate with them, and will be a platform that will amplify their vision.”

Matute acknowledges that there is currently a reinvigorated passion given to the local arts and creative scene, with young minds taking the lead in creative endeavors, new spaces opening up for collaborative work, and more creative communities growing together. “Given such context, Design Week Philippines and the DTI-Design Center want this movement to thrive, and we work on it by being one of the platforms where they can meet, build on ideas together, and grow their network.”

The National Commission of Culture and the Arts, through its Arts in Public Spaces program, showed its support to Design Center’s vision of more creative communities coming together by pooling resource speakers and workshop facilitators from various creative fields such as film making and poetry writing.

“[Our] partnership has brought different art workshops closer to the public, and promoted the integration of arts in the community. It also underscored the significant role of arts, artists, and other stakeholders in uplifting the nation’s spirit and utilizing art as a catalyst of values education,” Ronn Fernando, Special Projects Officer for Arts in Public Spaces, explained about the Design Week-NCCA partnership.

Abbey Sy, who has partnered with Design Week Philippines for several editions now, shared her knowledge and passion for travel journaling in a workshop at Casa Blanca, Intramuros.

She believes that art is an essential part of one’s life and environment, and sees her partnership with Design Week as a contribution to raising awareness on this. “I’ve always been an advocate of making art accessible to everyone, and through partnering with Design Week Philippines, I am able to do that by sharing my skills to a new audience, and to be able to educate more people with the fact that art is fun, exciting, and an interesting activity to do,” she shares.

Creative Environments across the metro

Design Week Philippines’ nine-day creative festivity was also celebrated in partner events in Pasay, Makati, and Taguig. The partner events highlighted the innovative mindset of Filipinos as exhibited through creative and design huddles, trade show, design thinking workshops, experimental weekend market, and art mart and festival.

“The idea is to have a network of hubs and spaces that promotes and nurtures a culture of creativity and innovation. We started the Creative Environment in Intramuros, but we want to go beyond the Walled City. We have partner events to bolster that network, and introduce these locations as creative hubs as well,” Matute explains.

Pineapple Lab introduces Hollow Block, a concept that turns their gallery into a retail space especially for enterprising artists and innovative entrepreneurs. Its debut exhibition is Ottomondi’s Inabel, a collection of functional streetwear made from Ilocandia’s famous woven textile

ASPACE Philippines considers everyone who passes through their facilities and events as part of a single, thriving community of innovators.

For their partnership with Design Week Philippines this April 2018, ASPACE hosted the the first ever _MIXER: Glug Manila, a “notworking” event that allowed the creative community to unwind, network with like-minded people, talk about collaborations, and discuss the future of local creative community.

“We believe that the innovation community (a global tribe of awesome) is a diverse, collaborative community who benefit from varied connections. We gave them an avenue to share their knowledge to thriving rockstars,” Arivn Lipae, event curator at ASPACE, commented.

Acceler8 CoWorking served as a venue for Eureka Series: Poblacion Re-imagined, where food and beverage brands from Makati’s old downtown area of Poblacion gathered as they discuss the regeneration of the area as an arts and food destination.

The On-Off Group facilitated a design thinking boot camp that emphasized the importance of identifying the purpose in order to create empathic design solutions.

The British Council held a three-day workshop focused on guiding creative businesses from setting up businesses propositions to exploring customer bases to developing sound financial plans. The workshop was held in the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.

The World Trade Center in Pasay showcased export-quality Filipino artisanal products through Manila FAME. The trade show featured unconventional use of local materials in the development of home and lifestyle products.

Another Design Week is coming up in Cebu on 16-23 June 2018. Echoing a similar vision of enabling creative ecosystems to thrive for inclusive progress, the Cebu Design Week is co-presented by the DTI, in partnership with the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF) and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

Design Center will be organizing a series of creative workshops in support of Cebu Design Week.


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