Eyes on Southeast Asia: Textiles & Identity

Eyes on Asia is a program of Asia Society Philippines which aims to highlight and promote understanding of an Asian country or region through its policy, culture, and arts – spanning discussions and activities to discover what is beyond the surface.

Eyes on Southeast Asia: Textiles and Identity is a three-part series developed and produced in partnership and collaboration with SoFA Design Institute. The series highlights the diverse and rich culture of Southeast Asia through in-depth and personal conversations with creatives, changemakers, and experts.

In Eyes on Southeast Asia: Textiles and Identity, we explore our rich culture of textiles and its link to our identity as peoples. 

Join Asia Society Philippines and SoFA Design Institute on September 8 (Episode 1), 15 (Episode 2), and 22 (Episode 3) every 5:00PM live on the Asia Society Philippines’ Facebook and YouTube pages (@AsiaSocietyPH). 

Missed Episode 1 and 2? Watch on-demand on Facebook or YouTube. 


Episode 3: Future-Proofing Our Textiles

In Episode 3, we dig into the questions, “What’s the future for our textiles?” and “How do we future-proof our textiles?” Listen in on the presentations and the conversations between our panel of experts, covering policy, intellectual property rights, labor, and education– realms we rarely discuss when it comes to textiles.

Joining us in the panel are:

Esme Palaganas is a creative and fashion practitioner that works in the intersection of fashion, culture and innovation. She is the current Policy and Planning Chairman and a Board of Trustee at the Philippine Fashion Coalition. She is the founder of BasicMovement and co-founder of PHx Fashion Conference. She is currently a Chevening Scholar studying at City University of London at Bayes Business School.

Emi Englis heads the Philippine Women’s College of Davao Center for Innovation and Social Ventures (CISV), a creative  entrepreneurship development program for  social impact. Englis is an artisanal heritage fashion designer, a creative entrepreneur, a multidisciplinary design educator, a product designer, and a PAASCU  accreditor for Fine Arts, Interior Design,  and Architecture. He owns Emi-Alexander Englis Luxe Couture, a made-to-order wedding and debutante apparel couture house based in Davao. His capsule collections have featured in Philippine Fashion Week and Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival and in international platforms like Anchorage Fashion Week in the USA and Top 100 Filipino Designers for a Dubai-based magazine. He is currently organizing the Tambayayong Dabawenyo Creative Hub Network, a consortium of higher educational institutions piloting “culture-based creative enterprise for social impact hubs” in the Davao Region. The  hubs  are composed of academics, researchers, and community development organizers to impact an equitable and sustainable ecosystem of creatives.

Michael Claparols is the co-founder of Creative Definitions, an enviro-social enterprise producing sustainable and innovative textiles made of locally sourced fibers in collaboration with partner communities of weavers in the Negros Island. He is now a Board of Trusteeof the Association of Negros Producers. He is also a member of HABI The Philippine Textile Council and the Philippine Fashion Coalition. His ultimate dream is to help revitalize the once vibrant Philippine textile industry by making it globally competitive through innovation.

and returning host, IDr. Carla Leonor of SoFA Design Institute. Carla is a licensed Designer of Human-Centered Products and Built Environments; an Educational Innovator and an Entrepreneur. She considers herself a lifelong learner passionate about exploring possibilities and pushing the boundaries of what is and what could be. Her interests in merging Art, Science, Business and Tech apply in her cross-disciplinary endeavors that include innovating user experiences through Signature Spaces, an e-mentoring platform for Interior Design DIYers; exploring the boundaries of wearable art through Studio CLEO, a bespoke metalsmithing and glassblowing studio; rethinking what Design Education should be as the Chairperson of the Interior Design Program of SoFA Design Institute & in Furniture Design as an Research & Development consultant for furniture brands & manufacturers in the Philippines. Currently, she is working with thinktank, Studio Idiyanale and is leading a study on bringing the Philippine Creative Economy to a global scale. 

Eyes on Southeast Asia: Textiles & Identity

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