Blog, Designs I like, Furniture Design, Industrial Design, Sculpture

Documenting the Filipino Design Aesthetic – Handcarved Motif

I’ve been trying to document objects commonly found in Filipino households with the aim of defining motifs that contribute to the aesthetic of “Filipino Design.” One recurring theme I’ve found is a variety of handcarved design patterns on furniture, doors, and sometimes architectural pieces, like churches or sign posts.

I’m documenting these carvings to match them with the plants and flowers that inspired them. The following images were taken from the 3 regions of the Philippines – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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Branding, Creative Direction, Critical Thinking, Furniture Design, Home Furnishings, Industrial Design, Strategy

Design and Pricing Strategy

2017 brought a lot of career clarity for me. Have I shared that I aim to be the Designer that will define what the modern Filipino Design aesthetic look like?

I’ve been spending more time in the Philippines in order to have a more intimate relationship with its culture as I try to solve its issues through Design. From my observation two very significant part of the Filipino Culture that I need to address as I move forward in designing my products are – brand recognition and piracy. I need a good pricing strategy to address these issues.

Brand Names not Branding:

Filipinos care about brand names more than what the brand stands for. This is a country where Marketing is mainly done by celebrities, and people purchase based on which celebrity is endorsing what product, rather than if the product is actually a good product.

Piracy Culture:

I believe this is the child of the above phenomena. Most of the population can not afford to buy authentic products, so piracy culture is big here. Copies are labeled ‘Type A,’ ‘Type B,’ and so on based on how authentic the fake product looks like.

What’s a Designer to do?

I don’t like paid celebrity endorsements. I want my products to be bought because they are good not because I paid a celebrity to endorse them. As much as I would be flattered if my Design was copied, I would also see it as a problem as to why I wasn’t able to address that market in the first place. I think Design should be universal.

My Brand as a Lab.

I’m currently working on a Furniture and Houseware line to be launched by Fall of 2018. These two things have been on my mind when thinking about how to design the products so they are accessible to all Filipinos without cutting corners on quality and design. I’m not lacking on inspiration when it comes to designing something truly Filipino. The streets of Manila is full of color and inspiration. The biggest hurdle that I have found is how to make my Designs affordable to Filipinos.

I don’t think I can truly be the defining Industrial Designer of the modern filipino aesthetic if my market are rich westerners. I need my products to be enjoyed and treasured by all Filipinos. From the farmers in the provinces, street vendors in Manila, to the residents of Forbes Park. It’s a big problem, but it’s a challenge I’d like to meet.

My Case Study for a Pricing Strategy:

I am using the financial aid system of college education in the US as a source of inspiration and my first case study when thinking about my pricing strategy. I’ve personally gone through the system so I know its strengths and weaknesses. Is it something that can and should be done when purchasing furniture and housewares? I hope to have an answer to that 5 years after I’ve launched my furniture line.

So watch out and send me your thoughts if you find this intriguing.

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Blog, Critical Thinking, Wayfinding

Strategy and Lessons from Noted Pop-up

Every month at Capitol Cider a one-of-a-kind retail experience happens. It’s the brainchild of my good friend Ashley Allbritton, the fierce female behind Rive Collection.

We transform the Ballast Bar of Capitol Cider into Noted – a pop-up shop featuring Female-led brands with meticulously curated pieces from Rive Collection, and handhewn pieces from my own brand – Stuff by Ana

Having a pop-up shop have several challenges. Marketing being the biggest one. Our location presented an unusual opportunity because we’re at the basement bar of Capitol Cider, so walking traffic would be very difficult to get. In order to catch attention, we turned the cage/ lobby of the building into a teaser of what’s downstairs and used the grates as a canvas for some sort of installation.

The front side of the building also got beautiful flower arrangements with eye-catching Pop-up sign.

100 Pinwheels
Flower and Balloon Arrangement

To create an ambience, we had a live piano player that added an unparalleled touch of sophistication for a calm and enjoyable shopping experience.

Jeremy Dupea Live Piano Music

 

My Display Strategy:

Stuff by Ana is my minimal but cheeky line of products, so their retail display needs to be cheeky and minimal as well. I used stacks of 8.5×11 sheets of white paper as the platform for each of the product. This is a trick I learned from one of my colleagues before. It’s so easy but very clever. You can literally print graphic assets anywhere and anytime incase you have some accidents.

 

Jay Collection - Washable Paper Bags Stella Mini Parol/ Christmas Ornaments

We’re just going to keep improving every month, so keep us in mind as you start your holiday shopping!

Noted will be held at Capitol Cider every Second Weekend of the Month. For October, Stuff by Ana will not be there as I am traveling but Rive Collection will have a great collection of things, so make sure to come by!

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Design Art or Science?
Blog, Critical Thinking

Design is Greater Than Art Plus Science

Web Designer Magazine is something I buy every month. They keep me updated since I’m a self-taught Front-End Developer. I found this article from the most recent issue. I almost didn’t read it because the title pissed me off a little bit, but I couldn’t come up with the words on why until now. And I hope these words accurately express what I think.

What bothers me about the question of “x design – art or science?” is that it minimizes design to be defined by just either Art or Science. Design is the combination of both. It cannot be just either or. When discussions about this are published, we end up dividing the creative community into scientists and artists, when in truth designers are neither but also both. And I don’t think we’re doing the creative community any favors by splitting up Designers into Engineers and Artists/Designers. At the end of the day aren’t we all solving a problem together with different skill-sets on how to execute an effective solution?

After reading this article, I concluded that I wish they used a different title. The article’s content was more of a discussion on which is more important in designing websites – The scientific part or the artsy part.

If website design is just art, it would be a poster or illustration, there wouldn’t be links or interactions. Conversely, if website design is just science, it would just be links that work, that may or may not be readable. 

The beginning of my future Grad School Design Statement:

I think it’s time to give proper credit to Design. It is bigger than Engineering and Art combined. It is the combination of something that works properly that users want to use. Let’s not question whether or not Design is Art or Science. It’s neither but it’s both.

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