By Roy Mabasa
Seven designers from the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia will participate in a nine-day design residency program at the old Spanish-inspired Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan to gain deeper understanding and appreciation of the province’ economic ecology.
Dubbed “Door to Asia: Bataan”, the program is modeled after the Door to Asia in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region and will be held from January 23 to January 31.
“Design is a tool to imagine the way forward. DOOR to ASIA: Bataan hopes to support business owners in the region to imagine possibilities via this learning exchange and design platform. It also aims to have participants gain a deeper understanding and better appreciation of Bataan’s economic ecology,” according to its promoter, the Bellas Artes Projects (BAP).
The program is supported by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Design Center of the Philippines.
Participating in the nine-day program are Coji Katsuyama (Japan), Joreen Navarro (Philippines), Mika Bacani (Philippines), Motoki Koitabashi (Japan), Johanna Velasco-Deutsch and Mark Joseph Deutsch (Philippines), and Vinny Asrita Rahma (Indonesia).
Within the nine-day program, designers will be challenged to create solutions to obstacles specific to each business.
Participants will first visit Bataan landmarks such as Mt. Samat and the Philippine Refugee Processing Center, among others, to immerse and familiarize themselves with local tourism agencies and cultural context.
Noted Filipino designers Russ Vergara and Roxy Navarro will deliver their respective remarks to supplement participants’ research. Participants will develop marketing tools and promotional strategies that will culminate with the presentation of design proposals toward the end of the program.