To be christened the Milan of Asia would be big shoes to fill for any country west of Italy, but through the 2017 Philippines International Furniture Show (PIFS) — to be held on March 9-11 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay — our very own Pearl of the Orient is determined to maintain the moniker. Already the longest-running event of its kind in the country, PIFS will be sharing its space with Interior & Design Manila, the Philippine Finishing & Furnishings Expo, and the Philippine Ventilating & Air-Conditioning Expo. In short, it’s set to be the largest showcase yet for our design and construction industries.
PIFS, however, doesn’t just want to prove that the Philippines has earned the distinction of being known as the Milan of Asia; it also makes a statement that creativity and innovation — qualities associated with the Italian city’s global influence — are just as natural to us Filipinos. Filipino designers have a reputation for resourcefulness when it comes to interiors and furniture. Even when natural fibers aren’t available, we find a way to make use of other indigenous materials (sea shells, aluminum, stone, etc.) while still retaining functionality and a signature craftsmanship. This keeps Philippine design consistent with the growing international demand for environment-friendly creations.
It’s at PIFS where the local and international spheres can really intersect and interact; it’s just as much a space for networking and business as it is a showroom for handmade art. Young designers can receive mentorship at the expo, while those who think of interior design more in terms of practical function are free to exchange ideas with artisans who primarily work on furniture as a means of expression. It isn’t the scale of the convention or the number of participants that lead to PIFS’s world-class reputation; it’s the willingness of artists and workers from all corners to meet in the middle and celebrate what unites them.
The 2017 Philippines International Furniture Show will be held on March 9-11 at the SMX Convention Center. For more information, visit www.pifs.ph.