Alice Rawsthorn, Award-winning Design Critic and Author, Design Emergency & Design as an Attitude
Christina Melander, President, Bureau of European Associations & Program Director, Danish Design Centre
Daniela Bohlinger, Sustainability Design Pioneer in Automotive Design & Professor, UMEA Institute of Design
Anna Whicher, PDR Cardiff Professor and Dead of Design Policy
Sarah Ichioka, Desire Lines’ Founding Director
MANILA, PHILIPPINES, September 19, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ —
The Design Center of the Philippines, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, has hosted the country’s largest and one of the most prominent design conferences in the ASEAN region.
The International Design Conference (IDC) at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, CCP Black Box Theater, CCP Complex, Manila, featured an illustrious lineup of renowned speakers and panelists from across the globe.
With over 1,000 attendees participating both in person and online, this event brought together the brightest minds in design, fostering innovation, creativity, and meaningful discourse.
IDC Day 1 began with the session, “Design as an Attitude,” focusing on the profound impact of design in addressing global challenges. Keynote speakers, Alice Rawsthorn, an award-winning design critic based in London, and Philippines’ very own Marian Pastor-Roces, an independent curator and institutional critic, set the stage for insightful discussions.
Alice Rawsthorn, in her thought-provoking address, underscored that design was too often dismissed as a shallow medium and confused with styling. She explained that a good design should be ethnically conscious, always aspiring to be a positive agent of change, and tackling contemporary issues such as climate change, healthcare and by providing support during natural disasters.
“Design has not traditionally been seen as a solution to droughts, mass migration, or healthcare crises; nor were independent designers expected to raise tens of millions of US dollars to do ocean cleanup. If design is to squash these stereotypes, and to fulfill its potential as an agent of change, we need to see significant changes in design practice.”
“Similarly, designers have to forge true collaborations with other specialists,” she added.
“It is also essential that the composition of the design profession should have greater inclusivity. We’re not going to get the best designers if they only come from one gender, one age group, one source of ethnicity, one heritage or one geography. Design must become more diverse and inclusive.”
Designing Inclusivity and Sustainability
The second session of the conference was a dynamic exploration of “Archipelago of Design-led Nations.”
The session probed into the critical question of how nations can leverage their design skills and assets to drive economic development while ensuring inclusivity and sustainability.
It was led by keynote speakers Christina Melander, Program Director of the Danish Design Centre and President of the Bureau of European Design Associations; and Congressman Christopher “Toff” De Venecia, Representative of the Fourth District-Pangasinan and Chairperson of the House Special Committee on Creative Industries.
Speakers explored how design shapes new value markets, sets brands apart, and ultimately contributes to improved profitability and higher gross domestic product (GDP). This session highlighted the pivotal role of design in a nation’s growth and competitiveness on a global scale.
During the enlightening Session 3 of the International Design Conference, keynote speakers Daniela Bohlinger, a Sustainability Design Pioneer in Automotive Design, and Christina Gaston, Managing Director and Senior Designer of Hacienda Crafts Company Inc., along with esteemed panelists, explored the realm of design-driven leadership and purpose revolution. Notably, both Bohlinger and Gaston have strong ties with the Design Center, with Bohlinger having interned there in the past and Gaston being a ‘Design to Improve Life’ delegate in 2022.
In a fitting tribute to the International Women in Design Day, the conference also highlighted the contributions of five remarkable women in design. This event not only showcased global design icons but also put a spotlight on local talents who are driving innovation in the Philippines.
Rhea Matute, Executive Director of the Design Center of the Philippines, stated, “The International Design Conference is a testament to our commitment to nurturing creativity, innovation, and design excellence in the Philippines. We are proud to host this platform that unites the design community, fosters meaningful discussions and propels our nation’s creative industries onto the global stage.”
Future Design Skills in the Age of AI and Planet Restoration
In the thought-provoking Session 4 of the International Design Conference, keynote speakers Peachy Pacquing, Managing Director of Hyper Island Singapore, and Wil Sarmiento, Director and Head of CRM for Consumer Business, Globe Telecom spearheaded a dynamic discussion on “Future Skills in the Age of Human-Machine Collaboration.”
The discussion shed light on the evolving landscape of design industry roles and the pressing need to bridge the gap between current practices and emerging trends, emphasizing the importance of upskilling designers to navigate an AI-driven world. As automation streamlines processes, the session also explored how designers can channel their efforts into enhancing human-centric skills such as emotional intelligence and problem-solving, ultimately creating more meaningful and impactful work.
In Session 5, the keynote speakers included Anna Whicher, a distinguished Professor and Head of Design Policy at PDR Cardiff Metropolitan University, renowned for her expertise in policy consultancy; and Guillermo Luz, Chief Resilience Officer at the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Chairman of Liveable Cities Philippines.
The session explored the pivotal role of design policy labs and design bureaucracy in effecting positive change on a global scale. Their discussion addressed how collaborative partnerships between humanity and technology can be harnessed to tackle contemporary challenges and drive innovation, all within the context of emerging technologies and a rapidly evolving design landscape.
Session 6 marked a compelling conclusion to the International Design Conference, featuring Sarah Ichioka as the keynote speaker. Ichioka, the Founding Director of Desire Lines and Co-Author of “Flourish,” shared her profound insights in the session titled “Design’s Next Promise.”
The session delved into the critical question of how design can lead the way in efforts to restore balance and harmony to our planet. With the complex challenges of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and social inequalities, merely reducing negative impacts is insufficient for humanity’s survival. Instead, a collective endeavor toward ecological restoration has become imperative.
With speakers hailing from six different countries, the International Design Conference remains at the forefront of thought leadership, pushing boundaries, and inspiring transformative change.
For more information about the International Design Conference and the Design Center of the Philippines, please visit www.designcenter.ph.
The International Design Conference was made possible by its partnership with the following: Kenneth Cobonpue, Triboa Bay Living, Industria Edition for the on-stage design furniture, Globe Telecom, and The Astbury, as well as media partners Vogue Philippines and Adobo Magazine.
Jumel Dela Rosa
New Perspective Media Group
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