Philippine News

Lifestyle: Local Furniture Brand, Lamana, Launches with Designer Brand Ishinomaki Laboratory in the Philippines for “Made in Local” Initiative

Ishinomaki Laboratory, a designer furniture brand in Japan comes to Manila through its partnership with Lamana. Lamana is a local furniture company established in order to participate in Ishinomaki Lab’s Made in Local initiative – a meaningful and practical program designed to empower local communities to build furniture that is suitable to their needs and lifestyle.

In their launch held at Xception in Legaspi Village (where Lamana also sells their furniture) on April 24, 2019 Ishinomaki Laboratory’s Project Manager Rebekah Cheng elaborates, “Made in Local started with the simple desire to bring Ishinomaki Laboratory’s designs and story to a local context. We were borne from very humble roots; through using locally-available materials and tools, we were able to design and make products that continue to inspire others with their simplicity and versatility today. We hope to bring that same design ethos to local communities worldwide, and look forward to working with Lamana to foster greater creativity and an appreciation for DIY+Design in the Philippines.”

The Filipino craftsmen of Lamana now manufacture original iconic designs of Ishinomaki Lab using materials that are accessible locally for selling in the local market. The Japanese brand’s COO and Workshop Leader Takahiro Chiba has this to say working with Filipino craftsmen, “The quality of Lamana’s craftsmanship is simply excellent. Even before I came to personally train them, the craftsmen were already intuitively thinking through the process and came up with ways to assemble that, while different from our original idea, worked surprisingly well. I’m inspired by the potential of local craft here.”


At the event, Lamana showcased the range of products that their craftsmen have produced. The guests experienced the furniture as they listened to the story of Ishinomaki Lab. Of how a collaboration amongst designers and locals borne out of a need to rebuild an area of Japan most devastated by the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake has become the well-respected global furniture brand it is today. Veteran host David Celdran (who has been to the city of Ishinomaki right after the tsunami hit) was able to relate to Architect and Founder of Ishinomaki Laboratory Keiji Ashizawa’s sentiments as he recounted how the brand unknowingly started 8 years ago. Ashizawa tells the room full of architects and designers, “When we began, we were just a public community workshop, stocked with donated tools and timber for anyone to use. We didn’t think that we would become a furniture brand, but through the simple beauty of the designs and strong message of our story, Ishinomaki Laboratory has now gone global.”

Regarding the future of furniture design Ashizawa continues, “The future of furniture design lies in simple, functional pieces that have a timeless quality. Ten years ago I could not have possibly imagined coming to Manila and collaborating with a local maker, yet, through the versatility of our pieces, we are able to do just that. The possibilities are endless.”

Jar and Kay Concengco, the couple who established Lamana talked about the future of the Made in Local initiative and what it could mean for the local community.

“We invite all of you to work with us at some point. Let’s build something together,” says Lamana’s General Manager Kay Concengco.

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