Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath product design and innovation, held its first-ever Kohler Design Forum in the Philippines on 29 October at The Fifth at Rockwell, Makati City. This event was designed to be a platform for local architectural and interior design professionals to gain global design insight and perspective from within the industry and other different design-related crafts.
Held as an annual event in key design hubs across the world, the Kohler Design Forum has established itself as the event that gathers design innovators to share experiences and exchange ideas for new inspirations and innovative design creations. The forum aims to be the event that inspires the local architectural and interior design industry to design and create spaces that are engaging and immersive, as well as establishing Kohler as a brand that initiates design innovation.
The focus of this year’s forum stems from the brand’s Perspective of the Year, Experiential Luxury. The concept is defined as the aesthetics of an emerging concept in the global marketplace. As people welcome more technology into their lives, architects and designers risk creating spaces that are too utilitarian. Experiential Luxury encourages these professionals to embrace a new mindset — to create rich and dynamic environments that indulge the senses on multiple levels through the harmonious union of technology, color, pattern and material, thereby challenging the limits of design.
The forum featured insightful presentations and panel discussions by industry experts and provided networking opportunities for local architects and interior designers. The event also launched Kohler’s new line of products with designs inspired by the theme.
The host cities this year so far have been Shanghai and Beijing in China, Johannesburg in South Africa, Vancouver in Canada, and most recently, Sao Paulo in Brazil.
“We live in a time where luxury is no longer an experience exclusive to the elite. Kohler creates products that enable users to have rich experiences,” says Angel Yang, president of Kohler Co. Kitchen & Bath, Asia Pacific. “We at Kohler define luxury as a feeling. We design products that enrich comfortable spaces, elevating the mood and creating that feeling of customized luxury,” she added.
The Kohler Design Forum in Manila features well-known personalities in the industry such as Clint Nagata, founder, and CEO of Blink Design Group and the man behind the design of Alila Calabuena in the Philippines. The speakers shared their definition of Experiential Luxury and how they apply this design concept to their creations. They also shared their insights on the importance of considering how the design affects one’s experience of the space.
The Almario sisters, Ivy and Cynthia, also joined the Forum and talked about luxury, elegance and indulgence. The designer duo, founders of Atelier Almario, include in their notable works the Astoria Boracay, Movenpick Cebu, Citadines Millennium Ortigas, Midas Hotel, Romulo Café and Gigi Coffee and Cupcakes.
Cathy Saldaña-Siegel, managing director and CEO of PDP Architects and one of the prominent female architects in the country, talked about her experiences. Cathy has established her name in the industry through architectural works together with the largest companies in the Philippines such as Ayala Land, Filinvest, Fuego Group, Discovery, Marriott Hotels and Shangri-La Resorts.
Kohler sees luxury as an immersive experience through design.