The ingenuity of Filipino designers and manufacturers is the secret to creating unique and unexpected examples of Material Manipulation. This is a design term that describes the use of different fabrication methods to transform a specific material into a desired product.
Material Manipulation is also about creating a process or innovation to push a material further from its expected outcome or use. For example, solid metal can appear almost liquid-like or translucent by hammering them into fine sheets or grids; and plastic can be made to appear like a soft fabric. Here’s what we saw at the recent editions of Manila FAME:
1. Rattan/Abaca/Natural Fibers
From abaca fibers bound with wire to mimic coral at Tadeco (see main photo above), and Hacienda Craft lamps woven to look like Barong Tagalog, to a wicker jeepney that is also a dress, these pieces prove our indigenous fibers can take any shape or form.
Translucent marble globes contrast against an iron web in Industria’s wall lamps, tiny, washer-like pieces complete a coffee table for Zarate; while pressed metal sheets appear light and graceful in MCCA’s collections.
Delicate wooden sheets are layered to create sculptural lamps for Triboa Bay Living, wood veneer is interspersed with mirror in Art Deco-style wall décor, while indigenous tattoo patterns add depth and texture to dainty wooden clutches.
To see other wonderful material manipulation examples in paper, fabric, and plastic, watch this video:
MELE + MARIE
NATIVE CRAFTS AND ARTS