What we especially like about CebuNext is the organizers’ effort to include young designers in their shows. Personally, I find it admirable for the pillars of the Cebu furniture industry like Kenneth Cobonpue and Debbie Palao to support and mentor students and up and coming designers and showcase their works in a big show such as CebuNext. Last year, they started an apprenticeship program wherein interior design students from San Carlos University and industrial design students from UP Visayas were partnered with Cebu’s furniture manufacturers to design and produce a prototype furniture pieces for the show.
For their 2011 show, CebuNext had this Kagikan Project (‘Kagikan’ is Cebuano for origin or roots) featuring five young furniture designers who are based abroad. Interestingly, each designer had his/her own unique interpretation of the theme ‘A Return to the Source’ resulting to a range of designs that are fresh, creative and inspiring.
While waiting for Lilli and Ana (who flew to Cebu right after their visit to Manila Now), I had the chance to chat with the designers of the Kagikan Project namely Stanley Ruiz, Martha Cech, Jinggoy Buensuceso and Wataru Sakuma. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Daniel Latorre Cruz who wasn’t feeling well that afternoon.
It was a treat talking to them and listening to their points of view as designers. Frankly speaking, it’s not all the time that I get good and profound answers to the questions ‘What is your design philosophy?’ and ‘What sets you apart from your colleagues?’
For this post, I’ll just breeze through their works for CebuNext. We’ll share more about them in future posts, probably in our next Designers Under 30 (or maybe 35) series.
I was first introduced to Stanley Ruiz, an Industrial Design graduate from UP Diliman who is based in Brooklyn, New York. His designs are often unexpected yet very nostalgic. He usually starts with common natural objects, forms, and ideas and develops them into designed pieces that give a new meaning and interpretation to ‘familiar object archetypes’.
above: an armoire inspired by religious structures (you can look at it as a church/basilica or a mosque) as a representative of the Filipino’s religious values and traditions
above: super-sized handicrafts like vases and a birdcage
above: contemporary application of the woven texture and pattern of the Yakan fabric on this white chair
The youngest of the bunch is Filipino-Austrian industrial designer Martha Cech, who just recently graduated from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2010. Given her background in industrial design, Martha designs all sorts of products. That’s probably the reason why her design approach is more geared towards an exploration of the functional features of traditional furniture pieces. Her ‘Corner Tables’ (that can be used as 4 individual corner tables or as one square table when put together) follows a similar concept as Daniel Latorre Cruz’s ‘Split Armchair’, both of which demonstrates how developing a piece’s functionality could lead to a new form.
(Sorry, I have to cut this post into two. I might be late for a meeting! Second part later when I get back! ) -ardel
Tags: cebunext 2011, funriture, i saw design, martha cech, objects of design, stanley ruiz
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