Davao holds promise for young interior designers

Subscribe Now June 13, 2013 at 07:06pm

Creativity in design has long flourished in the Philippine south, so it is quite surprising to learn that Mindanao's first exhibit on interior design was held only last month.

Design Trends in 4 x 8, held at the Abreeza Ayala Mall Atrium in Davao City from May 28 to 30, was organized by the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers as part of the World Interiors Day celebration.

The event aimed to build and strengthen linkages between design professionals, furniture designers and manufacturers, construction materials suppliers, decorators and design enthusiasts, students, and the general populace.

It also served to commemorate Republic Act 10350, or the Philippine Interior Design Act of 2012, which mandates compliance with the country’s existing building code standards and at the same time offers a mutually beneficial protection program for interior designers and their clients.

One of the exhibitors at the event was John Matthew B. Librando, an up-and-coming young designer from the region who spoke to GMA News Online about being an interior designer in Mindanao.

What is your opinion on the viability of working in Mindanao as an interior designer?

Projects and new developments have flourished everywhere in Davao in the past few years and it has brought opportunities and chances for the designers, especially the young ones like us, to become active in practicing the profession. I think Davao has become a place where designers would settle and not think of working anywhere else.

Is there enough of a market in the region for young interior designers?

People have become more aware of our presence in the region in the past few years and it's fantastic that people here identify the work we render and have become more aware of the importance of interior design in improving the functionality, comfort, and aesthetics of the space they occupy or use.

As a result, it makes Davao, for us young designers, a good place to practice our profession and [we] find no need to go to any other cities in the country or even abroad.

Does the region favor a certain style/look that is distinct from other regions in the country?

Majority of the people here have become more aware of the trends of our time, heading to the minimalist, clean, and modern look. The good thing about being in Mindanao is that the island is rich in culture and tradition. We have materials made by the locals, patterns and colorful prints that are originally, genuinely ours. Our indigenous artistry and culture, when infused with modern influences, will give you a style which is uniquely Mindanaoan, a style unlike any other.

Tell me more about your experience in the recently concluded Design Trends in 4 x 8.

The making of the 4 x 8 exhibit was amazing and memorable. Coming up with a design for the exhibit was a fun yet challenging experience because we were required to come up with a concept in such a short span of time. There were problems encountered in terms of our funds; it wasn't easy to raise a specific amount of money and support to make the event happen.

All of us were also busy taking care of our respective work and business-related responsibilities and it was not simple to find time in such a hectic schedule to organize an event like this. We were able to pull together 4 x 8 in such a way that it made us understand the entire process we have to go through in making an idea like this materialize.

The 4 x 8 exhibit made us, designers, closer together, as there's only a handful of us here in Mindanao. We learned that regardless of the limitations we have as a professional community, if we have the drive and motivation to raise the understanding of the local community about the importance of interior design in our lives, events like this would not be uncommon.

It’s also surprising that a lot of people in Davao have embraced our presence. Considering it's the first ever interior design exhibit in Mindanao, I can confidently say the event had been truly successful.

Source: gmanetwork.com

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