Manila FAME has always been a wonderful avenue of opportunity for aspiring designers to showcase their products, with each designer stepping up to the plate and showcasing their best creations. Red Box, a design development program under DTI and CITEM, is one of FAME's many allies in championing new talent, and boy, did we find a lot of interesting pieces from their roster of designers in the home accents category this year. Here are the talented visionaries behind some of the most remarkable home decor pieces we spotted at the 63rd Manila FAME:
1. Rachelle Dagñalan. From her beginnings via DTI’s One Town One Product (OTOP) project, which is focused on helping small to medium enterprises (SMEs), Dagñalan have come a long way but never gets tired of exploring new materials for her products, and helping locals with their livelihood. “I started from there, gained the knowledge, and explored all the different materials we have in the Philippines,” Dagñalan shares.
Her search for new materials led her to exploring the potential of marble, a material abundant in the island of Romblon. Explaining that the locals need help in making the most out of marble with their livelihood, she chose to use marble, along with rattan, to develop her “Ola” collection, in collaboration with Calfurn manufacturing.
“I pushed them a bit forward for this show because I wanted to create more than their usual materials,” Dagñalan recounts, adding that It was Calfurn manufacturing’s first time to use marble, as their products focus on using rattan. The combination of a flexible material like rattan and a sturdy material like marble resulted in a nature-inspired collection that can be used for both outdoor and indoor.
2. Kit Blancas. As the creative director of House of Vesta, Blancas’ vision for product design puts importance on doing collaborations with those working in other fields. “You merge two different fields and you come up with something new," she notes.
Likening her love for design with young girls’ love for doll houses, finding a design inspiration is easy for Blancas, adding that a quick exploration of Instagram led her to meeting fashion designer Hilder Demetrio, her collaborator for her “Cryptesthesia” light fixtures.
Described as “playing with fluid and spectral motions not ordinarily perceptible to the senses,” both Blancas and Demetrio reinterpreted the use of copper organza into lamps that have multiple curves and textures emphasizing the iridescence of the material. “We fit in terms of the design aesthetic we want, so we made the products using the plating Hilder does, then I came up with these lamps,” Blancas narrated.
3. Jim Torres. Torres made it clear early in his career that he wanted to focus on metals for his products. “I found myself in creating something metal,” Torres says, adding that he started off his career as an in-house designer for a company that's mainly focused on metal manufacturing
Managing his own metal workshop called Zarate Manila, Torres’ interest on metal manipulation and various metal fabrication techniques led him to realize that there is beauty even in shredded metal. “Nakita ko yung wastage, tapos naisip ko pwede itong gawin light [fixture] ito instead of throwing it away,” Torres recounts.
This idea is the inspiration behind his “Escapade” lighting fixtures, all which are made of stainless steel shredded to thin, paper-like pieces. Inspired by lush exotic gardens, Torres’ “Escapade” lamps give an impression of hanging greeneries once installed.
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Photographs from Manila FAME Facebook page