The Campana Brothers on Design and Filipino Artisanship

On the second day of Manila FAME, CITEM welcomed noted Brazilian designers, Humberto and Fernando Campana a.k.a. “The Campana Brothers.”  They took the time from their busy schedules to come to the Philippines and see Manila FAME and spend time with Filipino young designers.

Humberto and Fernando Campana.

Humberto and Fernando Campana are renowned contemporary furniture designers. Their company, Campana Objetos is considered as one of the most interesting ateliers of  design and production of contemporary furniture. their most famous piece is the “Vermelha Chair” also known as the rope chair. They are the first Brazilian designers to have their work displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ironically, both brothers never expected that they will be working together. Humberto originally studied law while Fernando got a degree in architecture. Humberto, after realizing his passion for sculpture and design started his design studio.  Fernando would occasionally help Humberto meet orders, from that point on their partnership began. Humberto would get the feel of the material and the form while Fernando provides the ideas and the design process that is needed.

Their designs are mostly made out of found materials such as rope, wood scraps, recycled fabrics, toys, plastic tubes and aluminum. They want to give these materials a “second-life”, their designs’ eco-friendliness came out of necessity as buying new materials would cost a lot.

Their view on design is also rather inspirational. According to them “Design is not about functionality or practicality, Today, design is and can be political. You can send message through an object.”  


The Campana brothers on an interview with Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez.

On a recent interview with Urban Zone host, Daphne Oseña-Paez the Campana brothers stated their views on Filipino design and artisanship. According to the brothers, since they’ve started working in design they’ve always wanted to visit the Philippines because they were attracted to the craftsmanship of the Filipinos. They are excited to visit the country and hopefully would get the chance to work with Filipino local companies in the future.

The Campana brothers admiring the local handicrafts at Manila FAME’s Creation Stations.

The brothers recalled that they started working with materials such as capiz  and abalone sourced from the Philippines. Fernando used to visit Humberto’s studio and help him cut capiz shells. After working with the material for a long time, they are very happy to see the many ways capiz shells are used in Philippine handicrafts.

According to the brothers, the Philippines beat São Paulo in terms of embellishments and handicrafts, for them Filipinos know how to do it better than they do.

They also cited similarities between the Philippines and São Paulo. For them both places are similar in terms of how the people face life. According to Fernando, “People [in the Philippines] are very warm, happiness despite of all the problems we still have the same warmness in the heart and also in the way of living, how to improvise. The way of being happy despite having social problems.”   Humberto also said that the Filipinos’ positive approach in life is very positive trait, “Necessity is the mother of Creativity, so both countries still face the same question, how to survive and profit with a lot of creativity.”

They also discussed the role of government in enhancing and promoting the design industry. According to the brothers, “to invest in design is a good opportunity to having people come.” The design industry is a good investment to gain profit for the country. According to Humberto, it is important to stick to your roots and in your tradition. “When you show your background, you are speaking globally. The best quality is not to copy or try to be someone that you are not.” Fernando also believes that education is also important. It is important for schools in different communities to teach the youth of traditions that are native to their community so that the tradition is not lost and can be preserved.

For them “slow-design” (handcraftsmanship) is better than “fast-design” (machine-produced). They believe that it is better to take a step back so that people can make “better steps to the future.”

During their short time in the Philippines, they believe that Filipino craftsmanship and traditions are unique. The Filipino artisans’ attention to detail and embellishments are admirable.


Another reason that the brothers arrived in the Philippines aside from visiting Manila FAME was to also meet with Filipino young designers. The brothers had an informal meeting  with the designers and shared with them, some of their many experiences in the design field. They shared inspirational stories and gave the designers’ advices on how they should approach design.

The Campana brothers with the young designers

Be true to yourself. When you create something do it because you like it, because it pleases you and not because of what others would like.” This certain advice was given by the brothers to the young designers. For the brothers design is not something that is based on just what the market needs but also what message the designer would like to share.

(L-R Top) Vito Selma, Daniel Latorre Cruz, CITEM Coordinator Liz Villegas, Wataru Sakuma, Rene Alcala, Olivia D’Aboville, Stanley Ruiz and Jinggoy Buensuceso (L-R Bottom) Paula and Vicky Rodriguez, Humberto and Fernando Campana, and Martha Cech

Overall, the Campana brothers’ visit to the Philippines and Manila FAME has truly been inspirational and productive. They have inspired many people with their designs and their insights.

The Campana brothers said that they hope to collaborate with Filipino designers on their future projects and for sure they will be back to visit the Philippines again.


Street Art Come to Life at Manila FAME

The week of the March 2012 edition of Manila FAME also marked the first Design Week Philippines, a bi-annual week-long event for design, arts, and creativity in the country. In celebration of Design Week Philippines, Manila FAME featured the Walls of Art with the theme “Creative Environment: Street Life.” The Walls depict a distinct graffiti style with elements usually found on the streets of the Metro along with other popular facets of street life in the Philippines.

During Manila FAME, the four Walls of Art were on-going creations throughout the four days of the show. As you walk along the second floor of the SMX Convention Center, you’ll find various street artists working on the walls, paintbrushes is hand with numerous cans of paints by their feet. On a given day, you may even catch one or two artist braving high ladders to paint the upper sections of the Walls.

The artists involved in this project were members of Pilipinas Street Plan, a premier group of street/graffiti artists in the Philippines. They are:

    •  Greg “Egg Fiasco” Gueleserlan
    • Alex “Tripp63” Martine
    • JJ “Xld” Zamoranos
    • Nemo Aguila
    • Tawny Tantay
    • Omar “Whoop” Ramos
    • Epjey Pacheco
    • Neil Arvin “A.lien” Javier

On Manila FAME’s last show day, an audience gathered to witness as Ms. Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions turned over the Walls of Art to the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), represented by Atty. Al S. Vitangcol III. Atty. Vitangcol, a patron of the arts, assured that each Wall will have a place at its new home in the MRT station, remaining whole, intact, and true to what it represents.

All photos used in this post are property of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions © 

Filipino Craft Forms Highlight Beyond Artisanship at Manila FAME

Following its success during the October 2011 show, Manila FAME’s Creation Stations carries on this March, once again presenting live demonstrations of Filipino craft forms and showcasing traditional techniques demonstrated by artisans from Taal, Pakil, Zamboanga Del Sur, and Davao City.


As you enter the SMX Convention Center, the four stations can be found along the Hall entrances, instantly catching the eye of show on-goers. Each area is filled with displays of their craft with some artisans garb in colorful traditional wear as they demonstrate the skills involved in their craft. The artisans were eager to entertain their audience and welcomed curious on-lookers with warms smiles, beckoning closer and some even proffering small hand-made tokens.

Under the theme Craft Revival, this month’s Creations Stations highlight four Filipino craft forms:

Calado, the long tradition of hand embroidery in Taal, Batangas

This form of embroidery, influenced by Spanish occupation centuries ago, is achieved through a painstaking process executed by bordadoras (embroiderers) creating design on fine cloths of pina or jusi. When making the Calado designs on a fabric, be it tablecloth, placemat, or curtains, it usually takes a month or so depending on the design and scale of the project. Before Calado is done on the material, designs are embroidered usually floral and filigree-like. The actual process of Calado first involves pulling threads from the cloth, a step called Bakbak, then sewing them to form clean holes on the cloth.

Wood Shaving of Pakil, Laguna: A Whittler’s Art

Whittlers use knives of various thicknesses and lengths to shave soft wood, transforming the shavings into filigreed fans, peacocks, butterflies, birds, flowers, and other designs of various shapes and sizes. Most woods used for shaving are Cayatana, Matang-araw, and Malasanti. Whittlers use fresh wood in lieu of dry wood as it’s easier to manipulate into different shapes and are not brittle.

Mat Weavers from the Maguindanao community of Zamboanga del Sur

The Maguindanaos use seagrass in weaving their mats in the colors of red, green, and blue. The mats have different patterns: Siko siko means “liko” and looks like zigzags on the mats with each row in different colors, Mantapunay means “mata” with the pattern looking like eyes, Kumala means “briliante” which are diamond patterns also in different colors.

Beadworkers from the Bagobo community of Davao

The Bagobo’s clothes are usually decorated with multi-colored beads over the woven patterns on the cloth. The beads create splendid decorations and designs which are also incorporated on the head pieces, belts, and woven abaca bags. Like most of the crafts featured at the Creation Stations, bead working takes months to complete as the miniscule, colorful beads are hand-sewn onto the clothes often accompanied by small bells.


Manila FAME unveils this edition’s Trend Stores!!!

This edition of Manila FAME continues it’s Merchandise Specialist Program with their international branding specialists Michael Cleghorn and Linda Simpson. They revealed that this year’s trends are as follows: Paradiso, Stone Age and Tribal Fusion.

Like last October’s edition the products developed under the program were displayed in the Trend Stores. Developed products from the participating companies were featured in these trend stores.


Paradiso reflects colors and patterns inspired by the Mediterranean. Floral designs and bright and vivid color palettes are reflected by this trend.

Participating Companies: Art N’ Nature Manufacturing Corporation | Bon-Ace Fashion Tools Inc. | Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines Inc. | Cancio Contract Furniture Corporation | Catalina Embroideries, Inc. | Chanalli | Clear Export Industries Inc. | Craft Mill, Inc. | Crystal Seas Handwoven and Handcrafted Products | CSM Philippines Inc. | Ferimar Import-Export Inc. | Floreia by: Nature’s Legacy | Hacienda Crafts Company Inc. | Island Girl | Le Font Inc. | Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc. | Obra Cebuana Inc. | Riviera Clay Philippines Inc. | Sarilinlikha Novelties | Shell Arts Company | Stanpuz Corporation | Triboa Bay Living by Vivere Lifestyles Co., Inc. | Tumandok Crafts Industries | Venus Crafts


Stone Age reflects a monochromatic color palette. Texture plays a major role in this trend as it adds depth to the design of the product. Minimalism is also a style that represents this trend.

Participating Companies: APY Cane, Inc. | Asia Ceramics Corporation | Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines Inc. | Cancio Contract Furniture Corp. | Catalina Embroideries Inc. | Chanalli | Craft Mill, Inc. | Crystal Seas Handwoven and Handcrafted Products | CSM Philippines Incorporated | Designs Ligna Inc. | Ferimar Import-Export Incorporated | Floreia by: Nature’s Legacy | Image Handicraft Center | Island Girl | Le Font Inc. | Maze Manufacturing Co., Inc. | Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc. | Obra Cebuana Inc. | Riviera Clay Philippines Inc. | Sarilinlikha Novelties | Shell Arts Company Inc. | South Sea Veneer Corporation | Stanpuz Corporation | Triboa Bay Living by Vivere Lifestyles Co., Inc. | Venus Crafts


Tribal Fusion is richly influenced by ethnic/tribal aesthetic. Woven patterns (e.g. Ikats) and a warm and natural color-palette summarizes this trend.

Participating Companies: APY Cane Inc. | Art N’ Nature Manufacturing Corporation | Asia Ceramics Corporation | Bon-Ace Fashion Tools Inc. | Calfurn Manufacturing Philippines Inc. | Cancio Contract Furniture Corporation | Catalina Embroideries, Inc. | Chanalli | Clear Export Industries Incorporated | Craft Mill Inc. | Dela Cruz House of Piña | Designs Ligna Incorporated | Ferimar Import-Export Incorporated | Floreia by: Nature’s Legacy | Hacienda Crafts Company Inc. | Le Font Inc. | Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc. | Obra Cebuana Inc. | Shell Arts Company Inc. | South Sea Veneer Corporation | Triboa Bay Living by Vivere Lifestyles Co., Inc. | Tumandok Crafts Industries | Venus Crafts

These trend stores can be seen during Manila FAME March edition. The fair runs from March 14-17, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center.

Manila Wear: A celebration of Filipino fashion and artisanship

The Filipino Fashion Industry makes a big comeback during Manila FAME’s March edition. In celebration of Filipino Artisanship, CITEM unveils “Manila Wear.”  It will be led by international designer Josie Natori herself, it will showcase unique and beautiful masterpieces designed by 20 noted Filipino apparel and accessories designers.

Manila Wear unveiled the creations of the designers during Manila FAME’s “Manila Night” last March 14, 2012 at the SMDC Grand Showroom.  Manila Night is an event exclusive for it’s buyers and special guests.

One of the night’s highlights was the Manila Wear Fashion show featuring the designs from noted Filipino fashion designers.

Well-known apparel designers’ Rajo Laurel, Dennis Lustico, Jojie Lloren, Inno Sotto, Cesar Gaupo, JC Buendia, Randy Ortiz, Joey Samson, OJ Hofer and Vic Barba showcased their creations during Manila Night.

Manila Wear also featured fashion accessories designed by the following designers: Joel Escober, Joyce Makitalo, Maco Custodio, Arnel Papa, Lulu Tan-Gan, Gerry Sunga, Jun Artajo, TC Alvarez, Patrice Ramos-Diaz and Adante Leyesa.

These fashion masterpieces and more can also be seen at Manila FAME’s Manila Wear setting at the second floor exhibition halls.

Manila FAME 2012: The Design and Lifestyle Event Opens!

The March edition of Manila FAME finally opened it’s doors to international and local buyers this morning! This edition of Manila FAME is said to be filled with new show features such as the new Trend Stores (featuring the three new global trends Paradiso, Stone Age and Tribal Fusion), the Creation Stations: Craft Revival, the Hub, the DeXign setting, Manila Wear, the Red Boxand many more!

A preview of the “Paradiso” Trend Store. See and learn more about the latest three global trends only at Manila FAME!

The show runs until March 17, 2012. The show opens at 9am and closes at 6pm. So what are you waiting for? Come and visit Manila FAME!

For more information on the show features for this edition please visit this link: