Based on our visit to CebuNext, I’m guessing that we’re in for a “romantic” decade.
Romantic, in the case of art and design, would refer to the predominance of human or natural qualities (emotions, impulse, organic movement, whim) as oppose to logical/mathematical/linear qualities (sorry for using big words!). If you go visit other design and decorating blogs and websites, you’ll find out that this appears to be an up-and-coming trend. A lot of people seem to have a renewed interest in everything that’s vintage/granny chic (especially the floral and lacey ones), everything handmade (the growing popularity of Etsy is good example), everything organic (biomorphic and sinuous forms), and everything antique/period style (but with an added contemporary twist, like a punch of bright color).
I have to credit Kenneth Cobonpue for somehow bringing up the term to my attention. He’s one of the first designers that we got to talk to during our visit to the exhibit. When I asked him about the concept behind his latest designs, he said, “I wanted to introduce the element of romance into my designs. For my latest pieces, I turned to handmade textiles like knits, crochet, and macramé for inspiration.”
The reference to traditional crafts and reinterpreting their intricate handmade details for his furniture defined the romantic aspect of his latest designs. “It’s like a comeback from the past decades’ minimalism,” Kenneth added. Adopting crochet, knit, and macramé details resulted to pieces with a softer and more casual look. Moreover, their fine details make you want to feel the texture of the pieces. I especially like the Little People Collection with little human figures that make up the form, and this white side table (above) whose patterns resemble a gathered crochet stitch. (Know more about Kenneth Cobonpue in a separate feature next week)
The use of sinuous, growing, and free flowing forms is another recurring feature that we saw among the displays. Clayton Tugonon’s designs for Classical Geometry feature these characteristics. His furniture’s free flowing linear patterns echo the organic form seen in nature. The emotive element of his designs is further emphasized by the design for the booth. Newspaper pages cover the walls and floor. A thin wash topped with drips of white paint finish off the graphic surfaces.
Nature and world cultures are also the inspirations for the designs of Accessoria and Detalia Aurora. Sisters Vikki and Paula Rodriguez are the young designers behind a number of the brands’ latest pieces. Stylized interpretations of stones, nautilus shell, and tree sections are supported by their use of indigenous materials and traditional craftsmanship, showing off detailed surfaces in a clean silhouette.
The nostalgic effect of finding inspiration in history and reviving period style pieces is also parallel with the romantic idea. Companies such as Pacific Traders, Mehitabel, and Obra Cebuana take this direction, reinterpreting period style pieces by adopting a more edited form to make them more relevant to contemporary aesthetics.
Obra Cebuana, however, took it to the next level, retaining popular furniture silhouettes but redesigned the rest of the components.
Designer Vito Selma capitalized on his creative impulse and whimsical ideas to come up with partially quirky designs. The exaggerated proportions and unfinished surfaces of his take on the Louis XVI commode (below, right photo) and the atypical design of his Nine Kiddie Chairs bookcase (below, left photo) clearly demonstrate his adventurous design approach. (Know more about Vito Selma in a separate feature next week)
Tags: cebu, cebunext, clayton tugonon, enpekei, furniture, hive, kenneth cobonpue, philppine designs
Posted in design trail, i saw design, objects of design | 10 Comments »