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Blending pinoy ingenuity with global modernity

By IMPY PILAPIL Published Apr 13, 2024 5:00 am

During a convivial dinner conversation with esteemed interior designer Eric Paras, the subject turned to his involvement in a mentoring initiative for aspiring designers. I was genuinely heartened to learn of ongoing efforts aimed at nurturing and elevating the standards of our industry.

Organized by the Philippine Trade and Training Center in partnership with the DTI, this endeavor underscores a commendable commitment among seasoned professionals to impart their wisdom and support the next generation of creatives.

Eric Paras

Alongside Eric Paras is Josef Crisanto, a seasoned furniture designer and Marseilles-educated creative director, who is at the forefront of this initiative. With a wealth of experience in product development, manufacturing, and curation, Josef is deeply committed to mentoring emerging talents.

Josef Crisanto

The program’s objectives are clear: to empower young designers by imparting knowledge of various manufacturing processes and innovative technologies. This comprehensive masterclass spans over three months, encompassing core skills training, developmental consultancy, prototype refinement, and market relevance assessment.

Savoir Faire workshop sketch models, giving 3D volume to conceptual ideas

Particularly thrilling is the phase where selected designs undergo prototype development in collaboration with specific manufacturers, allowing creators to witness their concepts materialize into unique, functional pieces.

Shop drawings for the Flower Petal floor lamp by Ken Torres

The inaugural Obra Design Masterclass debuted at the Philippine International Furniture Show in March 2023, led by the DTI, PTTC, and the Chamber of the Furniture Industries of the Philippines, who laid the groundwork for its establishment. Its ambitious mission attracted participants from diverse backgrounds, with mentors in designers like Josef Crisanto and Eric Paras, drawn by the opportunity of leading a charge to blend global modernity with the indomitable ingenuity that defines Filipino craftsmanship.

Shop Drawings of the Hexa End Table by Angelle Constantino

Throughout the masterclass, participants immersed themselves in collaborative creativity, navigating the challenges of the local furniture industry while yearning for mentorship and guidance.

Prototyping of QERV tables by Jeremiah Lazaro

Today, the masterclass stands as a beacon of mentorship, with seasoned veterans in the field offering invaluable insights to foster creativity. Participants experience profound growth as they cultivate connections that transcend traditional boundaries, embodying the intersection of tradition and innovation. Ultimately, the masterclass celebrates ingenuity and collaboration, contributing to the rich tapestry of design heritage that shapes our collective ethos.