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The Design Center of the Philippines provided guests with a one-of-a-kind experience during the guided tour of special settings at Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event.

Under a bamboo forest canopy inspired by the concept of forest bathing, Design Center’s special setting showcased two innovation projects — Bamboo 360 and Bamboo Extreme 2.0.

Bamboo 360, a partnership with Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation, interior products manufacturers and bamboo converters, featured design-forward home and lifestyle products developed by 10 designers from the agency’s Design Innovation Program. The products featured focused on the material’s various unique qualities and the current technologies available to convert the bamboo as a building block for product innovation.

The Bamboo Extreme 2.0 focused primarily on mobility concepts for the extreme lifestyle of the millennial market and featured three product development partners who launched the next-generation concepts from the 2017 Bamboo Extreme project. This included the Bambino by Bambike Revolution Cycles which was recently conferred with Japan’s Good Design Award in Tokyo, Japan. The other product on display highlighted by Bambike Revolution Cycles is the Chariot, a study in bamboo symmetry and function.

Also on display was Locale Magazine’s Editor’s Choice, Modern Eco-Padyak by Milo Naval, which caught the eye of many resort developers and tourism professionals, as well as crowd favorite Midnight Falcon by Banatti, an electricity-powered café racer.

Marriage of material and sensibility

Design Center’s bamboo setting had as its curator Naval, who traced his roots as a farmer alongside being a furniture designer as he discussed the creative direction for the Bamboo Showcase.

“I love gardening, I love farming, and bamboo is one of the plants I want to propagate,” he explained. “Initially, the designers came up with suggestions like lamps, furniture, and other items for the home that beneficiaries of the bamboo-propagation project could follow.” He was referencing the government’s collaboration with the mining sector to revegetate post-mining communities through bamboo.

Meanwhile, Design Center executive director Rhea Matute noted that the setting translates the conversation between designers and manufacturers, with the guidance of Naval, on how they could further push bamboo as a material and spur further innovation on the use and conversion of bamboo.

“Each of our designers has their own point-of-view, their own voice on how they want to work with bamboo, and how they would translate a specific characteristic of the bamboo into their finished product. So, it’s a marriage between the bamboo, the manufacturer, and the designer,” Matute said. “What we want to do at Design Center is to create an environment where designers can experiment with ideas, materials and processes. It’s creating those pockets of safe spaces where designers can boldly explore possibilities and push innovation of otherwise banal materials.”

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