Designers urged to improve their craft

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva September 25,2016 - 09:18 PM

PEOPLE in the creative industry should not be threatened by the presence of international designers attracted by opportunities in the country brought about by the Asean integration.

Architect Buck Sia, president of the Cebu Creative Council, said they should instead see this as reason to improve their craft.

“We have very good architects here, but there is a need to step up,” he told reporters prior to the launching of the new Architectural and Interior
Source (AIS) showroom at the Axis Entertainment Avenue in Vibo Place, Cebu City on Tuesday.

Sia was referring to more than 38,000 registered architects in the Philippines, not counting other creatives.

In August this year, it was reported that global furniture retailer IKEA had plans to come to the Philippines. During the same time, the Swedish-based company was also reported to have been in talks with the SM Group, among others, for its planned entry into the Philippines.

The furniture retailer, which is known for its affordable and ready-to-assemble furniture appliances and home accessories, has 384 branches in nearly 50 countries including Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand in Asia.

Sia said he did not mind the entry of international players for as long as they were good because in the end, it would be the consumers that would benefit.

Another challenge designers are facing, Sia said, is the increasing awareness of consumers on trends in design made accessible to them via social media.

He said a lot of consumers have very good taste in design and may opt to no longer consult designers for projects.

Sia said this should motivate designers to increase their level of skill, experience, theory, and design research.

He added that as more big players come in and are increasing their reach, he sees an opportunity to customize.

He said this had been reflected in the move to re-launch the AIS showroom to focus on a higher-bracket designer series.

AIS by Intranet Trade International Inc. (iTrade) is a subsidiary of Cebu Bionic Builder Supply, Inc., a leading construction supply distributor for 40 years.

Sia, who is also iTrade president, said he wanted to increase the choices for designer-related architectural finishes and bathroom ware.

“The difference between Bionic and us is that whatever we display and sell are the ones we’re directly importing,” he said.

The first AIS showroom, with a total area spanning 400 square meters, was launched at the Escario Building on N. Escario Street in Cebu City four years ago.

Sia said that showroom was more focused on projects rather than retail./Reporter Victor Anthony V. Silva

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