The Busi­ness of De­sign

Mark Wil­son sees new light in the field of in­te­rior de­sign

Red Magazine - - Empowered - IN­TER­VIEW CHRISTELLE TOLISORA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JAR CONCENGCO

“I prob­a­bly spend too much time on In­sta­gram,” Mark Wil­son con­fesses when asked what he does in be­tween breaks from his work in in­te­rior and light­ing de­sign. Wil­son is the other half of WE De­sign, a firm he es­tab­lished with ar­chi­tect Nikki Escalona. Hav­ing re­turned to the Philip­pines from Par­sons School of De­sign in New York, Wil­son has han­dled in­te­rior and light­ing com­mis­sions with two of the most rec­og­nized Filipino cloth­ing and hand­i­crafts store: Kul­tura at SM Makati and Te­soros. He con­tin­ues his pur­suit and shares with RED the lat­est in the land­scape of lo­cal de­sign.

What do you con­sider your great­est in­flu­ence?

I value my mul­tira­cial her­itage. The Filipino in me loves our hard­woods:

bal­ay­ong and ka­m­agong, and our rich her­itage of wood­work­ing, fine fur­ni­ture, capiz, and ban­igs. The Amer­i­can part of me loves free­dom, di­ver­sity, and the im­por­tance of de­vel­op­ing a con­cept. My de­sign in­spi­ra­tion is usu­ally an amal­gam of our clients’ [as­pi­ra­tions]: the con­di­tions of the site, and my own un­der­stand­ing of the his­tory of art, ar­chi­tec­ture, and dec­o­ra­tion.

In terms of process and technique, how would you com­pare the de­sign land­scape abroad and in the Philip­pines?

Our process is the same: it be­gins with de­vel­op­ing a con­cept with the client, us­ing ren­der­ings and 3-D dig­i­tal mod­els so the client can vi­su­al­ize our pro­pos­als. Then, we go into spec­i­fy­ing all the el­e­ments that make up the built en­vi­ron­ment: from light fix­tures to vel­vet on the sofa. We pro­vide quo­ta­tions from con­trac­tors and end in fine tun­ing all the el­e­ments, in­clud­ing elec­tron­ics that con­trol dim­ming and mo­tor­ized shades.

What is it in to­day’s in­dus­try that ex­cites you the most?

The rapidly chang­ing ma­te­ri­als, our grow­ing un­der­stand­ing of car­bon and en­ergy, and how it af­fects our planet. I think a real driver for de­sign now in the built en­vi­ron­ment is the earth, be­cause it turns out that the big­gest pol­lu­tant is the build­ing in­dus­try. How do we man­age our pro­cesses so that we’re us­ing ma­te­ri­als as close to the site as pos­si­ble? Also, an­other thing that’s ex­cit­ing is the way com­puter edit de­sign is evolv­ing.

Any ad­vice for young de­sign­ers who would want to start a ca­reer in the Philip­pines?

Young de­sign­ers should re­ally learn how to be med­i­ta­tive. Be­cause many peo­ple to­day are tied to their In­sta­gram and Pin­ter­est feeds, it be­comes re­ally easy to just copy, but in fact, go­ing within and com­ing up with some­thing cre­ative and con­cep­tual is more re­ward­ing. That’s what young Filipino de­sign­ers have to un­der­stand: the value of the con­cept, be­cause it is the start­ing point for any de­sign. The con­cept needs to be very rich. It comes out of the needs of the client, the con­di­tions of the site, and how the cre­ativ­ity of the de­signer mar­ries both to cre­ate a mul­ti­lay­ered de­sign so­lu­tion.

“BE­CAUSE MANY PEO­PLE TO­DAY ARE TIED TO THEIR IN­STA­GRAM AND PIN­TER­EST FEEDS, IT BE­COMES RE­ALLY EASY TO JUST COPY, BUT IN FACT, GO­ING WITHIN AND COM­ING UP WITH SOME­THING CRE­ATIVE AND CON­CEP­TUAL IS MORE RE­WARD­ING.”

Clock­wise from top: The re­design of Te­soros in Makati; cus­tom­ized Clau­dio ta­ble; Sam­boko­jin Project: light­ing de­sign by Mark Wil­son and Nikki Escalona, in­te­rior de­sign by Em­pire De­signs.

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