MANILA, PHILIPPINES–Dissecting design thinking and the infinite ways to change the world through design is the main theme of today’s adobo Design Conference jam-packed with a lineup of world-class creators and innovators. Welcoming the crowd of 400 was adobo magazine Creative Director, Chaz Requiña, followed by the official opening remarks by Angel Guerrero, the woman who started it all for adobo.

Then, lights off as the crowd prepares themselves for the first speaker, formally kicking off the first day’s series of talks. “My name is Paolo Malabuyo and I am HOME”. Straight off the bat, the Google User Experience Director shared his story of chasing the big waves that led him to work for brands like XBOX 360, Merces-Benz, Netflix and now, Youtube and the career-changing lessons he got along the way:

  1. “Bad culture can’t design a good product.”
  2. “Relentless vision, craft and execution are timeless.”
  3. “Make decisions based on facts, not beliefs.”
  4. “Teams and ecosystems are gardens, not buildings.”

Touching on the grounds of design thinking in spatial design was Yang Yeo, Asia Pacific Creative Kaiju, Hakuhodo Inc. who is also the Jury President for this year’s adobo Design Awards Asia. He extended design thinking to a whole different space outside campaigns and graphics–homes, offices, and entire worlds. “Design culture” was the main essence of his presentation, even going all the way to taking the crowd through his home among the several spaces he has beautifully designed through the years. To end, he shared a very important message on the day’s design thinking theme, “Always think design, and design will help organize your thinking.”

To cap off the morning’s series of talks was Jowee Alviar, Co-Founder of Team Manila Graphic Design Studio who gave the crowd a trip down memory lane with the History of Philippine Graphic Design. From pre-colonial illustrations to modern designs, the talk opened the eyes of everyone in the hall–though Filipino or not–to the many transformations Philippine design has undergone through the years and the urgent call to establish its national “design identity”.

In the afternoon, Tim Kobe of Eight Inc. got the ball rolling by integrating design thinking to enhancing human experiences. He shared about his work with the late Steve Jobs and the process behind designing the Apple in-store experience that has set the standard in the retail industry. He ended his talk by emphasizing that “If you define the human outcome, the business outcome will follow”.

 

 

Full-time artist Jayson Atienza took the stage with his journey from advertiser to full-time artist and inspired time-lapses of his process of creating his stunning illustrations. Before that, he spent almost a decade at BBDO New York and dabbled in freelancing, where his works won several of the most sought-after metals internationally. Eventually, his artistry from advertising took him all around the world, and eventually to Shanghai where he is currently based.

Coming back to challenge the audience once more was Dentsu Team B’s Hidetoshi Kuranari and Nadya Kirillova, shedding some light into the role of one’s “B-side” or personal passions into the work. The duo discussed the “box” that restricts one’s creativity and how to break its walls.

Digging into her past, Nadya talked about how common sense can bound people’s creativity. Having studied in six countries, she gave insights on how each culture approaches education and how colors reflect one’s culture.

Rich Tu then took the stage by storm with the vibrant artworks and projects he has done for clients that range all the way from famous shoe brands like Nike and making illustrations for international publications, to now working as the MTV Vice President for Brand Design. He started and ended his presentation on a very powerful note: Through our work we transform culture. Witnessing culture transforms us.

Finally, the leaders of the organizations that push creativity forward in the Philippines gathered to discuss the pressing concerns in the industry today. The panel consisted of Alvin Juban, President, Game Developers Association of the Philippines; Liza Diño-Seguerra, Chairman and CEO, Film Development Council of the Philippines; Rhea Matute, Executive Director, DTI – Design Center of the Philippines; Juan Miguel Del Rosario, President, Animation Council of the Philippines Inc.