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Design as healer, innovator, and gamechanger

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INNOVATORS OF DESIGN From left: Rhea Matute, Emi Englis, Joseph Javier, Haraya del Rosario-Gust, and Butch Carungay during the State of Philippine Design roundtable event

Design Week Philippines 2023, the country’s national design festival, concluded a week-long celebration of the power of design to heal, innovate, and transform. The event featured over 116 main and partner events nationwide, including talks, workshops, tours, and exhibitions, all showcasing convergence of creativity and community.


Under the theme #OnTheEdge, Design Week Philippines 2023 brought together over 7,000 participants, including designers, architects, entrepreneurs, and students. The event provided a dynamic platform for networking, learning, and collaboration, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of creativity and innovation.


This year’s festival highlighted the role of design in addressing the challenges of our time. From sustainability to social justice to economic development, the event provided a platform for cross-cultural exchange and collaboration and inspired participants to use design to create a better future for the country.


At the State of Philippine Design roundtable held at The Astbury Makati, Design Center executive director Rhea Matute emphasized that, for leading changemakers in the country’s design and creative industries, design embodies malasakit or compassion—a force that propels one into action.

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DESIGNERS OF THE FUTURE Design Week Philippines participants during the Designing Your Career workshop


Matute emphasized the Design Center aims to foster a design-thinking mindset, enabling individuals to transcend superficial solutions and delve deeper into the root causes of problems, crafting sustainable and impactful solutions that truly address the needs of society.


“Our ambition is to really make design a national competency. We believe that the whole tool kit that is with the designer can be something that becomes a skill, even for people in the business world or in public service,” said Matute. “ It allows them to become critical thinkers, system thinkers, and problem solvers. It’s about creating a system that can genuinely address real needs and issues and not just surface solutions. That’s what we want to be able to include in Design Center’s portfolio.”


Sharing her thoughts when asked about the urgent mission of design today, Haraya del Rosario-Gust, the CEO of StraightArrow Creative Process Outsourcing, remarked that in a world inundated with conflict and seemingly insurmountable challenges, designers are uniquely positioned to envision solutions before they come to pass.


“Design has a unique power to solve problems,” said Del Rosario-Gust. “As designers, we possess the ability and capacity to visualize something before it becomes reality. So before people design the solution, we help them understand the real problem.”

Some of the highlights of Design Week Philippines 2023 include workshops, such as Folio Reviews, Pottery Workshop, Co-Designing with the Community, and talks like Designing Your Career, Design & AI, and Designing with Joy, spearheaded by 45 speakers all over the country.


Multiple design-week-related activities and events were also held in participating cities and provinces nationwide, including Tuba in Benguet, Oton in Iloilo, Cebu City in Cebu, Sorsogon City in Sorsogon, Siargao in Surigao del Norte, Sagay in Negros Occidental, and Taytay and Antipolo in Rizal.


Design Week Philippines 2023 concluded with a sense of inspiration and hope. From the insightful talks and workshops to the captivating exhibits and installations, Design Week showcased the immense talent and creativity of the Filipino design community.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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