DESIGN CONFERENCE. Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning British design critic and author, speaks at the International Design Conference in Manila on Thursday (Sept. 14, 2023). The event ran until Sept. 15. (Photo courtesy of the Design Center of the Philippines)

MANILA – Representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Congress, and the World Design Organization, along with top global designers, discussed how the Philippines could be globally competitive through design innovation, during the opening of the two-day International Design Conference in Manila on Thursday.

The Philippines’ biggest design forum was hosted by the Design Center of the Philippines at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez, CCP Black Box Theater, CCP Complex from Sept. 14 to 15.

To celebrate the Philippine Creative Industries Month, Design Consciousness Week, and the 50th anniversary of the Design Center of the Philippines, the Design Center held the 7th edition of the International Design Conference with disruptive design ideas, immersive experience and top-tier speakers hailing from the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, and the Philippines.

DTI Chief of Staff, Undersecretary Ana Carolina Sanchez, and Pradyumna Vyas, board member of the World Design Organization, started the conversation on Design-Led Renaissance, this year's theme, examining the significant shifts

happening in today’s world and how design is reshaping economies and societies.

Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning British design critic and author of "Design Emergency & Design as an Attitude," and Filipino independent curator, institutional critic, and TAOINC founder Marian Pastor-Roces talked about how Filipinos could reframe their traditional perceptions of design and mindfully apply it to solve global challenges.

Pangasinan (4th District) representative and chairperson of the House Special Committee on Creative Industries Christopher de Venecia and Bureau of European Design Associations and Danish Design Center Program director Christina Melander explored the possible solutions on how design skills could drive economic development and create inclusive and sustainable growth in the country.

Expounding on the topic of design-driven leadership and purpose revolution, sustainability design pioneer in automotive design and professor at Umeä Institute of Design Daniela Bohlinger, together with Hacienda Crafts Co. managing director Christina Gaston, weighed in on ways to build a rewarding career that contributes to enhancing the well being of people and the planet.

On Friday, Senator Sonny Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, led a design, data, and digital discourse, along with DTI Undersecretary of Competitiveness, and Innovation Group Rafaelita Aldaba.

The second day featured PDR-Cardiff Metropolitan University’s (Wales, UK) head of design and policy Anna Whicher; Liveable Cities Philippines chair Guillermo Luz; and Singapore-based Sarah Mineko Ichioka, founding director of Desire Lines and co-author of "Flourish: Design Paradigms for our Planetary Emergency."

“By unveiling the transformative possibilities unfolding within nations, cities, businesses, and individuals, we have curated this year’s conference to elevate (the) Philippines’ design industry to a more prominent position and to challenge the participants to push the boundaries to what they thought was impossible,” said Rhea Matute, executive director of the Design Center. (PR)