The Metallic Allure Of Industria
When one speaks of metal furniture, it’s far too easy to equate that to cold, hard, unfeeling furniture. When in fact, creativity is the key to unlocking how metal can be warm, rich and full of emotion, when combined with other materials. The Pampanga-based artisanal furniture brand Industria Edition has been demonstrating this for close to a quarter of a century, but as most of their production has been for export—primarily to Europe, Australia, and the United States - we’ve not been afforded the opportunity to see how they’ve been achieving this year after year.
Thankfully, their new showroom at The Residences Greenbelt will change that, and allow us the chance to experience their statement pieces that merge organic structure with the rawness of steel. Industria Edition’s Creative Director and Chief Designer Jude Tiotuico and his partner Arthur Viray are relatively new at this game of marketing themselves locally; but prodded by good friend Kenneth Cobonpue, they took a space at The Residences that Kenneth knew was available, as it’s a stone’s throw from Kenneth’s own Manila shop.
Photos by Philip Cu-Unjieng
As far back as 2007, Jude has been collaborating with interior designer Eric Paras, who Jude refers to as ‘my conscience each time I design’. Six years later, as part of Design Philippines by CITEM, Jude and Industria worked with Budji Layug and the aforementioned Cobonpue. Jude likes to refer to Eric, Kenneth and Budji as his mentors—the ones who helped pave the way for the birth of Industria Edition and helping him clarify his design philosophy. It was at this time that Jude’s designs of the Bordeaux lounge chair and his Loopy lounge chair won him the Katha Awards of CITEM. The Bordeaux combined metal and rich textiles to create a honeycomb pattern tufting.
For the opening of Industria Edition’s Makati Showroom, Jude once again called on Eric and Budji to help design some statement transition pieces - there’s Budji’s Molave Table, a round version, topped by glass. And Eric has a Jurgensen lounge chair that utilises streamlined bars of steel framing round and rectangular shaped cushions.
To add spice to the launch, Jude invited both Lilianna Manahan and Leeroy New to collaborate as well. Lilianna came up with an Umpire chair, and Jude raved about how she has been injecting whimsy and playfulness into Jude’s pieces that were often seen as too masculine or serious. Come February of 2019, there’ll be new pieces from Lilianna, some in limited edition and some in continued production.
Leeroy’s contribution is a crazy Z-Zag coffee table that artfully showcases his penchant for angulating lines. This results in lines of bent steel that give the illusion of moving up and down while holding steady a slab of cut glass - it’s disciplined wildness!
And if you want an inkling of the full design capabilities of Industria Edition, head to 8 Rockwell’s lobby. The giant metal sculpture featured there is a commissioned work designed by Butch Valdez, executed by Industria Edition. It may have taken 24 years, but finally, there’s an Industria showroom here in Manila, and discriminating architects, interior designers, and homeowners are jubilant.