21 March 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Design Center of the Philippines sees Philippine design steadily rising into the international design scene, as locally made eco-friendly motorcycle Green Falcon landed in WGSN’s Design Futures Report.

“With Green Falcon and Bamboo Extreme getting featured in WGSN, it pushes the Philippines’s status a notch when it comes to material and design innovation. It celebrates the Philippine design industry’s capability to develop products that are forward thinking, and potential in influencing global design,” said Rhea O. Matute, executive  director of DTI-Design Center of the Philippines.

WGSN is an internationally renowned online trends forecasting portal, where excellent research, data and insights are provided to help businesses stay relevant, keep abreast of future trends, and tap into their potential growth opportunities.

In WGSN’s report entitled Engineering Nature, the Green Falcon was listed among other product and material innovations that combined technology and engineering with natural elements.

“Moreover, it recognizes Design Center’s efforts, and in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, in growing its vision for the Philippine design industry,” Matute added.

The Bamboo Extreme is a collaborative project between Design Center of the Philippines and DTI-Industry Cluster Enhancement aimed at modernizing bamboo to capture the millennials’ way of life, filled with adventure, exploration, and experimentation.

Inspired by café racers in the 1960s, the Green Falcon is notable for using bamboo for the motorbike’s upper body, a first in the production of motorcycles. It remarkably emphasized how bamboo as a material can be pushed beyond the usual, normal, and traditional product applications such as furniture, home accessories and lamps and lighting.

“What is highlighted in the Green Falcon is a natural or organic ergonomic component in the use of bamboo for the motorbike’s body shell,” designer Christopher Paris Lacson said about the bamboo body shell. “It allows the rider to feel comfortable sitting as he would on a wooden chair.”

Lacson especially designed the Green Falcon for adventurous millennials, who highly regard design, performance and sustainability, while supporting the Philippine design industry, as well. Mimicking the speed of a falcon, the eco-friendly motorbike can put its gear to a speed of 100 kph to 110 kph. It also uses electricity for power, its contribution to zero pollution on the road.

“What we are doing, with bamboo and other raw material composites with technology, we are breathing a new paradigm in materials. It is a paradigm breaker,” Lacson explained about the combination of natural material and technology. “I would like to think that this is something that is hopefully at the edge of a new trend.”

While he believes Filipinos are very creative people, he noticed how most Filipino consumers would still look to other countries’ products, and not the locally made ones.

“It’s about time we shift their perspectives on products—from Ducati to Banatti [manufacturer of the Green Falcon], from foreign to local,” Lacson remarked, wanting to inspire local industries and leaders to create and develop more tools that can transport the country and its people to inclusive growth. “I hope that other countries will begin looking at us, and would want to try something from the Philippines.”

The Design Center of the Philippines, an attached agency of the DTI, is the only national agency for design and the leading agency committed to cultivating a culture that thrives in creativity, value creation and innovation.