The Designer Competency Development Program (DCDP) of the Design Center of the Philippines, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, developed a 12-month intensive training program for design graduates to deepen their commitment to the fundamentals of good design, develop design thinking and acquire skills in the business of design.

The New Design Graduates Training (NDGT) Program is an experience-oriented platform under the supervision of an industry-recognized design mentor and a program advisor, both internationally-renowned homegrown designers. 15 fresh graduates of design were handpicked to undergo three phases of the program. The first phase, the incubation, aims to guide the designers in nurturing their own unique creative voice. The second phase is the apprenticeship stage, where trainees will be able to apply skills and practice product development and project management in a design studio. And the final phase, the Atelier, participants will be engaged in actual design practice in a design firm.

“This program will nurture a new generation of professional designers who are analytical and creative, who would be advocates of good design and ambassadors of the business of design” explains DCP Executive Director, Rhea O. Matute. She also said “The heart of this program is the discipline of craftsmanship, bringing design back to the spirit of making things and making things well. When people make things, they are exposed to the production process; designers gain valuable insight into materials, processes, techniques, and even how to communicate their ideas and solve problems.”

A recognized leader in Philippine design, Tony Gonzales adopts a holistic approach and compares NDGT program to a master’s degree – from the basics toward focus that will enable participants to go beyond the surface of what they have learn and to “go deeper into the learning process of design” the acclaimed designer added.

NDGT program advisor for implementation, Josef Crisanto, also said, “With this batch, we hope to get a new breed of designers who will contribute to the distinct design voices that make up the Philippine design community”.