Tuesday, March 12, 2024

DTI PTTC-GMEA awards top graduates of the inaugural Obra Design Masterclass for Furniture Industry

March 2024, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA) has recognized the top designers among the 52 graduates of the very first Obra Design Masterclass, a design and product development mentorship initiative to uplift local talent within the furniture and creative industries.

Participants of the Obra Design Masterclass unveiled their exceptional furniture, lighting, and decor designs at the prestigious 32nd Philippine International Furniture Show (PIFS) held from March 7 to 9, 2024, at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City.

The Obra Design Masterclass honorees are:

  • Best Furniture Design: Apollo Coffee Table by Reimer Neil Bonghanoy (Cebu)
  • 1st Runner-up: Heron Parasol by Luzel Andrea Alconera (Cebu)
  • 2nd Runner-up: MORF (Modular ORganizer Furniture Set) by Dean Gabriel Lusung (NCR)
  • 3rd Runner-up: Obrang Baybayin by Chester Gazzingan (NCR)
  • 4th Runner-up: Hiraya Bar by Basil Rico Gahi (Cebu)

  • Best Decor Design: Pangolin Sauce Bowl by Jay Chadly Pulan (Cebu) 
  • 1st Runner-up: Orbito Tray by Reimer Neil Bonghanoy (Cebu) 
  • 2nd Runner-up: Kyrie Screen Divider by David Paras (Cebu)

  • Best Lighting Design: Zephyrus by Matthew David (Pampanga)
  • 1st Runner-up: Socorro by Josh Matthew Flores (Cebu)
  • 2nd Runner-up: Orbital Corners by Maria Catherina Agregado (Pampanga)

The three-month Obra Design Masterclass program was simultaneously conducted in Manila, Pampanga, and Cebu. The program aimed at addressing key industry challenges, such as the emigration of skilled professionals, market competitiveness, and the rising costs of materials, through empowering local talent, by seamlessly integrating cutting-edge technologies, sustainable materials, and innovative creative processes.

“The Obra Design Masterclass enriches the Philippine furniture industry by upskilling designers and crafters capable of making a significant impact on the global stage. Scholars with design backgrounds, architects, and industrial designers, among others, were guided by seasoned mentors on key concepts such as mindset development, design thinking, material selection, and assembly techniques, which were valuable in producing prototypes worth selling to the international market," PTTC-GMEA Executive Director Nelly Nita Dillera stated.

Under the guidance of renowned figures from the furniture design industry, including Ronald Rommel Viloria, Josef Crisanto, Eric Paras, Stanley Ruiz, Rey Soliven, Dem Bitantes, Vito Selma, Estela Ocampo-Fernandez, and Christine Manguerra, and key industry partners such as the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF), and Pampanga Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (PFIF), graduates mastered not only design and craftsmanship but also vital business and communication skills necessary for transforming their creative concepts into tangible pieces.

The designs will be showcased at Obra Pop-Up: A PTTC-GMEA Showcase of Obra Scholars & Prototype in the PTTC-GMEA lobby area in Pasay City from March 11 to 12, 2024, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Furniture designers, enthusiasts, and students can visit for free to check out the scholars’ brilliant designs of furniture, lighting, and accessories.

The Philippine International Furniture Show was organized by Next One Now in collaboration with CFIP, CFIF, PFIF, and Global-Link MP Events International Inc. It ran alongside Interior & Design Manila, organized by Global-Link MP Events International Inc., with the support of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, Philippine Institute of Architects, and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., highlighting the synergy within the Philippine design community.

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