A panel discussion with (from left to right) Clint Nagata, Cynthia Almario, Ivy Almario, Angel Yang, Annie Sim, and panel moderator Manolet Garcia indulged the audience with a more personal take on luxury

Trust the design industry to have multiple takes on a single concept; last night’s discourse on experiential luxury, while no different, however reveals an understanding of the concept that is much more nuanced, grounded, and not at all about the glitz and the excess it has come to be associated with. Luxury is good and for some architects, even necessary for life.

A Constellation of Creativity

Last night’s 4th Kohler Design Forum, in partnership with BluPrint, was held at The Fifth at Rockwell as a night for a selection of the country’s best and brightest designers to relax and unwind, but also stimulate discussions relevant to the industry. For this edition, the attendees conversed on the topic of experiential luxury.

Manolet Garcia (left) opened the forum and prompts the audience for the night’s discussions, followed by Angel Yang (right) who gave a briefer on experiential luxury through the different fields of art and design

The event opened with frequent BluPrint collaborator Architect Manolet Garcia extending his warm regards to those in attendance. After an event briefer, an opening keynote presentation was given by Angel Yang, President of Kohler Co. Kitchen & Bath for Asia and Pacific. Throughout the 145 years of design and craftsmanship by Kohler, Yang presents how the company has become not just creators of refined, quality products, but also of immersive design experiences which celebrates design at its most beautiful and functional.

As one of the most prominent female architects in the Philippines, Cathy Saldaña’s projects and craftsmanship speak volumes about some of the most endearing architecture marvels that she has worked on that are anchored on sustainability

“Luxury is an experience that’s real, authentic, insightful, and natural.”

Architect Cathy Saldana, Managing Director of ArcoGroup and co-owner of PDP Architects, was first to the podium and presented the luxury experience in local architecture. Amid the influx of high-end brands and projects entering the country, she emphasized that luxury is to embrace the earth and not subdue it, bringing you back to being human. It’s about relaxing amidst the stresses of a busy day and awakening what makes you human. At the end of the day, luxury is about reconnecting with yourself and with nature.

Interior designers Cynthia and Ivy Almario’s signature masterpieces exude luxury and elegance, from world-class residential condominium projects and high-end hotels to cafes and restaurants

“Luxury is an expression of the designer’s identity.” 

For the power duo of Cynthia and Ivy Almario of Atelier Almario, their portfolio highlighted bespoke design that is an expression of the client’s everyday life and the objects that grant them happiness. Delighting in the beauty of a well-design space becomes a luxury, enabled by a mastery of craft, continually challenging and broadening established standards in design, as well as respecting age-old traditions and cultural heritage.

Unencumbered by a signature style, Clint Nagata endeavors instead to bring out the best in each location, keeping brand, owner, and geography in mind

“Luxury is Finding Comfort in Being One’s Self”

Clint Nagata, Founder of BLINK Design Group, was last to present and stated that experiential luxury leads to the atypical–marrying the environment, the customer, and the designer for a one-of-a-kind occurrence. To attain his grand design executions, Nagata relies on learning the cultural history of the residence and the current rituals of the community for a seamless truly personal space, a celebration of individuality and self-expression.

Guests seated comfortably and marveled at the thought-provoking presentations as the night’s proceedings went on

While for many, luxury is defined in terms of material value and economy, the Kohler Design Forum revealed that what makes luxury truly appealing is its ability to stimulate our human senses, encouraging individual experiences of delight.

Alongside the forum, BluPrint has gathered esteemed architects and designers to share their personal insights on experiential luxury. Keep posted on this site and our Facebook and Instagram pages for the video feature. Discover Kohler’s latest products through their website at <kohler.ph>.

Photographed by Ed Simon

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