PH in World Design Capital 2012 exhibit

By Maria Sheila Riikonen, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Oct 06 2012 05:07 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2012 01:07 AM

HELSINKI - As part of the "Everyday Discoveries" exhibit, world class Filipino designers lured international visitors to the Philippines section in the World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki through their exciting showcase of global contemporary design that “drew from and paid tribute to the rich Philippine history.”

“The Philippines booth is very impressive,” Jessica Nieminen, a resident of Helsinki who worked as a librarian in the city library observed. “I saw that Finns young and old alike appreciated the Pinoy uniqueness in design,” she commented after seeing a smiling little Finnish girl sat in one of the traditional wicker chair being photographed by her mother.

"TRANS:CULTURE" shown to an international audience in Finland on September 6-16, 2012 showcased design, ideas and concepts by Filipino designers, some of them from the youth sector.

“Epoch symbolizes a new movement in Philippine design composed of young designers and artists with Filipino roots but based all over the world. They are driven by inspiration and the desire to show beauty and meaning in surprising, unpredictable designs that break barriers.”

“This next-generation Philippine-oriented designers reinterpret traditional artifacts that have been iconic in Filipino history and culture in future design, as they combine the old with their new adapted culture. The synthesis of the two brings about the new face of Philippine design – fresh, different and interesting,” was the group’s overlying concept.

On the show for example a young visitor can read books published in the Philippines by Adarna publishing, recline in a cozy bamboo chair, and touch fabrics and textiles handwoven from the Philippines. Pinoy children living in Finland who visited the mini-library section got their chance to browse through books from Philippine- based publishers Adarna, among others.

The exhibition highlighted over 20 countries to shine in Helsinki, Finland’s capital with its year-long status as the World Design Capital for 2012, recently dubbed by the New York Times a ‘as the seat of design in the world’

Eduardo Ygot, an architect by training from San Carlos University of Cebu noted that the wood elements and nature were highly integrated in the ‘authentic ‘villages’ presentation, composed of countries that participated in the exhibit.

“Aalvar Aalto who is a world famous architect from Finland has inspired many Finns and Pinoys like myself to appreciate forms and shapes inspired by nature. Finland is still a country with rugged but beautiful environment,” said Ygot who has lived in the Finnish capital for nearly 5 years.

On visiting the site, one is enticed to visit a global village housed in individual containers. The possibilities are varied -- a café, design shops, or spacious urban gardens. The unique Pinoy style blended with contemporary and unique collection from around the world -- ranging from wood furniture from Japan or ski prototypes from Nordic countries.

Country representative offered visitors varied programs such as Batik-making from Malaysia, reading rooms with books from the Philippines, North American children's playground, or Irish game of hurling, as well as lectures and parties. The event was geared so that every visitor - adults and children alike- experienced things to do -- whether one is a professional designer or hobbyist.

"Everyday Discoveries" or Arjen aarteet (Finnish) is a unique free-of-charge exhibit because of its comprehensive presentation of international design held indoors and outdoors.

Riitta Vartti, a Finnish freelance writer, Tagalog teacher, and leader of a Helsinki-based Philippines group called Filippiinit-seura ry sent an invitation earlier to a Facebook group of "Pinoys in Finland". From the social media announcement, many Pinoys were made aware of the presence of the Philippines participation at the World Design Capital 2012.

“The exhibition's underlying theme is the day-to-day life – what is it like in the participating countries, and what kind of solutions to certain everyday situations have people come up with in the different countries, ” the WDC 2012 news wrote. The exhibition concept was designed and curated by the Young Designer of the Year Winner in 2010 - Imu Design.