5 Homegrown Companies Represent PH For Japan’s Good Design Award

Published · Wednesday, June 27, 2018 05:17 PM

Bambike, MAD Travel, Red Palm Ventures, SALt, and Woven were handpicked by the G-Mark jury to represent the Philippines and vie for the coveted Good Design Award. Product and service design nominees from all over Southeast Asia will undergo the final screening of the ASEAN Design Selection, a category under the Good Design Award, on 24 July 2018.

The Good Design Award or more popularly known as G-Mark, is a globally-recognized design promotion system hosted by the Japan Institute for Design Promotion (JDP) that serves as an avenue for good design recognition as well as a powerful seal of excellence that influences consumer preferences beyond the confines of Japanese boundaries.

The Department of Trade and Industry, through its Design Center of the Philippines, aims to usher in more business opportunities for Philippine-grown products and enterprises through the use and promotion of good design. In photo: (L-R) Rhea O. Matute, Executive Director, Design Center of the Philippines; Asec. Rosvi C. Gaetos, Assistant Secretary, DTI-Trade and Investment Promotion Group; Dr. Noriko Hashida, G Mark jury, Faculty of Engineering at Shibaura Institute of Technology; Michiko Kamioka, Project Manager, ASEAN Japan Center; and Masami Kawaguchi, Senior Manager, Japan Institute of Design Promotion.

“The significance of the G-Mark begins with the recognition of Philippine ingenuity, adding credibility to what local designers and the whole Philippine design industry can offer to the global design landscape,” Rhea O. Matute, executive director of the Design Center of the Philippines shares. “But it goes beyond that as well in terms of business and trade. Having the G-Mark, or possessing good design qualities at least, signifies market acceptance and opens up more and better trade opportunities for our homegrown enterprises, specially to the Japanese market,” Matute further explains.


What makes a good design?

Dr. Noriko Hashida, designated G-Mark jury, has built her design background over the years, having worked at TOTO Ltd., put up her own design studio, and currently teaching design at the Shibaura Institute of Technology.

In photos (clockwise) are some of Dr. Hashida’s works—Regina series faucet for TOTO Ltd., RETTO soap dispenser, ENOTS minimalist stacking chair, and Pickman party picks.

In a brief presentation on design techniques, Dr. Hashida discussed the different ways a sense of quality is expressed through a product design, and emphasized how a sense of quality varies per product and per target market. In the stage of product conceptualization, Hashida explains the importance of using image words because it will guide the product design and help establish connection with the end consumer.

These image words are very consumer-oriented, taking in great consideration those that would appeal to the target users. As Dr. Hashida’s presentation stated, people’s feelings are expressed in different image words, and a designer needs to understand this idea as he or she pursues developing a sense of quality in a product. Hashida also mentioned that one’s sense of quality changes as time changes, and that there are many different definitions for sense of quality depending on the different product categories. Lastly, Hashida encourages designers to experience the sense of quality by themselves, and also be able to explain it.

During the ASEAN Design Selection-Philippine leg screening, the companies were evaluated and selected based on merits of good design, which included functionality, originality, aesthetics and value, sustainability, and ecological responsibility. The G-Mark jury also looked for forward-thinking product and service designs that addresses a consumer’s need, provides solutions, and possesses a great potential in contributing to the global standard of design and in the creation of new industries and businesses.

The five companies were selected from a shortlist of 20 companies, with a total of 33 entries under the categories of Product Design and Service Design.

Here are the five homegrown brands, products, and services that will vie for the Good Design Award.

Bambino by Bambike. The Bambino is a balance bike that is specially designed for kids ages 2-6. While its primary purpose is to teach youngsters how to bike and encourage active play in the outdoors, the Bambino’s bolt together design aims to foster parent-child bonding in assembling the bamboo bike. Bambike is socio-ecological enterprise that offers handmade bamboo bicycles that are made by bamboo bike builders (Bambuilders) from a Gawad Kalinga Village in Victoria, Tarlac. The enterprise practices fair-trade labor with their Bambuilders, exhibits good environmental stewardship, and is for “People- Planet – Progress.”

MAD (Make A Difference) Travel. Anchored on social tourism, MAD Travel mixes fun and sustainability through its Tribes and Treks programs in Zambales and Aurora provinces. Hiking adventures gain more value as the tours are guided by local indigenous people, and guests contribute in developing a sustainable livelihood for the community through a social enterprise education program (via the GK SEED program) that includes activities such as tree planting in a 3,000 hectare forest, crop planting in a 100 hectare food forest, or educational and literacy sessions with kids in the community.

Red Palm Ventures. Taking the discarded banana stalk from plantations in San Pablo City, Laguna, Red Palm Ventures applies solar power technology in drying banana stalk wastes and converting them into tree-free wall paper products. These wall paper products are 66 percent cheaper, non-combustible, and a good acoustic material for bedrooms, halls, theaters, etc. The enterprise also envisions a green factory, a low-carbon footprint manufacturing facility that will generate job opportunities for the marginal banana farmers in San Pablo community.

Salt lamp. Aiming to provide sustainable and efficient lighting for marginalized Filipino communities, the SAlt lamp employs the metal-air technology activated by salt water to enable the use of the lamp for eight hours a day. It highly considers that the Philippines is surrounded by salt water, making it a low cost alternative to kerosene lamps.

Woven. As an enterprise, Woven is driven by their aim to keep woven banigs relevant in the modern times.  A product of close collaboration between banig weavers of Basey, Samar, embroiderers, and sewists, Woven’s Abre laptop bag is a handcrafted item that embraces the traditional weaving of tikog leaves and buri strips to create modern lifestyle products such as gadget sleeves. The enterprise aims to economically uplift the community of Basey weavers, and empower them to continue the waning craft.

The other entries that were considered were: Marinduque in a Bag (MIB) food collection by AGREA; Beehive Chandelier by Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper Crafts; KALIKASAN Sorsogon branding by KALIKASAN Sorsogon; Binhi three-piece seat collection by Kish Design Hub; Kay lamp and Onik stool by Nature’s Legacy; OLA Bench by Rachelle Dagñalan; Marvel and Stefan necklace and, Zoe and Zandeya minaudiere/bag by Floreia, CVD Ventures; Petiole lamp and Whisk lamp by Stanley Ruiz; and Bita fan clutch by Tali Handmade, Inc. for product design.

For service design, the entries were: The Garden Classroom by AGREA; Ecosystem business model by ANTHILL; Coffee for Peace business model by Coffee for Peace; Globe PRISM by Habi Education Lab; HomebrewED by Hub for Innovation For Inclusion (HiFi); KALIKASAN Sorsogon business model by KALIKASAN Sorsogon; and Virtualahan Business Model by Go2Virtualahan.

About Design Center

The Design Center of the Philippines, and attached agency of the DTI, is the only national agency for design, and the leading agency committed to cultivating a culture that thrives in creativity, value creation, and innovation.

For more information on Design Center and its programs and services, please log on to www.designcenter.ph. You can also visit the Design Center at the DCP Bldg., CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City or contact them at 832-1112 to 18.

Share this article: