MANILA — What acclaimed Japanese industrial designer Motomi Kawakami loves about Filipino designers is that they “follow their heart.”
“Younger Japanese designers could learn from Filipinos. The Japanese tend to get bogged down with concepts and conventions—how the design should be. Filipinos follow their heart,” he said.
He believes that a a product is not only functional as it also elicits joy among the people and the community.
He added that the designer’s happiness and attitude are more important than the product.
“Mass production produces a cold and contrived perfection. People are yearning for the maker’s soul in an object,” said Kawakami in Japanese.
He recalled that when he was in his youth, he was primarily inspired by aesthetics, convenience and technicalities.
“That is not design,” he said adding that good design should be something that creates a significant impact in the society. It should highlight values rather than the industrial systems.
Kawakami, who was the guest speaker at the recent Manila FAME, was impressed by the numerous natural resources in the Philippines and how creatively designers have made use of them to develop artistic home accessories.