Southeast Asian Master craftsmen can look forward to a more vibrant design movement and market after undergoing an observation tour in Milan, Italy which aims to raise the bar of design in the Asean region to world-class standards.
The tour is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations –Republic of Korea Future-Oriented Cooperation Project, a collaboration between the Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Commission of Culture and Arts, and the Philippine Small and Medium Business Development Foundation, Inc. (Philsmed).
Assisted by international designer, architect and art director Paola Navone, the delegation was exposed to the latest designs from the world’s top design brands while absorbing the soul of design from the exhibits and installations around Milan, regarded as the world’s design capital.
The mission was led by Asean Deputy Secretary General for Socio-Cultural Community Asean Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee and Philsmed Foundation Chairman Mina Gabor, the Project’s implementor.
Designers who attended were Masulin Lim of Byo Living, Indonesia (weaving); Roselyn Lah of Livan Craft from Sarawak, Malaysia (beading); Al Valenciano of Balay ni Atong, Philippines (handweaving); Rush Pleansuk of BlueDot Design World, Thailand (mixed technique sculpture and product design); and Dr. Truong PhiDuc of the University of Fine Arts in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Other Philippine delegates were Design Center Philippines senior designer Ramon Pabillon who represented the NCCA and Philsmed Deputy Project Manager Oly Delos Santos.