Friday 20 November 2020

The British Council in the Philippines and Design Center of the Philippines are leading a pioneering design economy mapping in the country. 

The organisations have commissioned a study to analyse the economic contribution and value chain of the design industry by mapping the design ecosystem of nine cities: Manila, Makati, Quezon, Taguig, Baguio, Pampanga, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. 

Recommendations from this undertaking will contribute towards the formulation of a National Design Policy to support the Philippines’ development agenda following the impact of Covid-19 on designers and creative enterprises in the country.

‘The Philippines has a rich design tradition. However, its impact and contribution are not fully understood. With this mapping project, we hope to provide an evidence-based model of the country’s design ecosystem that would be instructive on how we can unleash the power of design to nurture globally competitive MSMEs and contribute design-led strategies to nation building,’ according to Rhea Oreta Matute, Executive Director of Design Center of the Philippines. 

Research experts Nordicity, a London-based creative economy consultancy; Bayan Academy, known for their social enterprise work in the Philippines; and Anna Whicher, who has conducted design ecosystem studies in Wales and Scotland were tapped to deliver the mapping study. 

In the UK, evidence-based policies have helped spur the growth of the creative industries sector that now contributes £111 billion to the UK economy . 

‘We have been working with emerging creative economies to help in the development of policy agendas  and this is the experience and expertise that we will be sharing with the Philippines not only in the mapping study, but in helping to realise the potential of design and creative industries in the country,’ British Council Country Director Pilar Aramayo-Prudencio said. 

The British Council and Design Center of the Philippines have been working closely together since 2017, driving the vision towards a more inclusive and connected creative economy within the country and globally. They are inviting the public to participate in the surveys and interviews to capture the value and impact of the country’s design economy.

The results of the design economy mapping will be presented at the International Design Conference next year, which will be hosted by the Design Center of the Philippines. UNESCO has declared 2021 the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.  

This initiative is supported by Connections Through Culture, a wider British Council-led programme of research and insights on the arts and creative economy across Southeast Asia. It aims to underpin the development of new connections and long-lasting collaborations between the UK and the world.

Notes to Editor

For more information, kindly contact Marc Ocampo, Arts Manager,

About the Design Center in the Philippines
The Design Center of the Philippines is the country’s leading agency committed to cultivating a culture that thrives on creativity, value creation, and innovation. Design Center’s efforts go beyond promoting the value of good design and onto inspiring creative industries to create human-centred products, services, and spaces that make an impact in the Philippines and in the world. From enhancing human experiences to enabling inclusive and sustainable economic growth, we ensure that design plays its role as a creative, strategic, and innovative tool for positive development.
About Nordicity
Nordicity is an international creative sector consultancy specialising in research, strategy, policy, economics and sustainable development. We have undertaken a wide variety of cultural heritage, social and creative enterprise and sustainable development projects internationally, including for the design sector and in people-led approaches.
About Bayan Academy
Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development (Bayan Academy) was established in 2009 with the support from the Lopez Group of Companies (First Philippine Holdings Corporation, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, Manila North Tollways Corporation, Bayan Telecommunications, First Gen Corporation, Rockwell Land, Adtel, Inc. and MERALCO) through the intervention of Ms. Regina Paz Lopez.
About Anna Whicher
As Head of Policy Design at PDR (International Design and Research Centre) at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Anna is responsible for developing partnerships, drafting proposals, leading networks, conducting research, developing strategies and evaluating impact for government, enterprise agencies, sector councils and trade associations.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.