Filipinos have become more mindful of sustainability and how it relates to their own homes and workplaces. They are also more conscious of how the spaces they live in and work at can affect their overall health and well-being. But there is still work to be done in order to make these changes more widespread.
This is the insight gathered during the American Standard Design Catalyst Live held earlier this year. Organized by water and housing product manufacturer LIXIL, the trade event gathered over 200 architects and designers all over Asia to discover the design and architectural trends that are important to people in the region.
In the Philippines, there is a recent increased priority when it comes to sustainability—particularly when it comes to the “use of locally sourced materials and traditional craftsmanship techniques,” according to Antoine Besseyre des Horts, LIXIL’s Leader of Global Design in Asia. This trend, he added, “not only promotes environmental sustainability but also celebrates rich local cultural heritage.” Antoine cited Philippine resorts that furnish their properties with local materials such as recycled woods, weaving basketry, and weaving fabrics as an example.
“This trend is a good practice that can be adopted elsewhere to foster sustainable design and support local economies,” he explained.
Satoshi Konagai, LIXIL Water Technology Leader in APAC, said the pandemic has “sparked a renewed interest in design and architecture that prioritize health and wellbeing” not only in the Philippines but also worldwide. “For instance, there has been a strong focus on enhancing indoor air quality, promoting natural ventilation systems, and maximizing access to natural light in public structures and buildings. These endeavors aim to create healthier and more comfortable environments for occupants,” he said.
But there are challenges in the implementation of these trends. There is further need, Satoshi said, for widespread awareness and education about the importance of health and wellbeing-focused design. He added that the Philippines also needs to design homes, workplaces, and other living spaces with inclusivity in mind as this can also enhance health and well-being for all individuals.
Overall, however, three macrotrends have emerged in the region in terms of what people are prioritizing in terms of design and architecture, Antoine said.
The first trend: People in Asia paying more attention to physical and mental health wellbeing in relation to their living spaces. This is because the past couple of years have seen people spend more time at home. A manifestation of this, Antoine explained, is how many people are now viewing “bathrooms as a spa or wellness area.”
Sustainability is also a trending regional priority, especially for the hospitality segment. “Consumers are demanding brands and products that help the planet without compromising consumer experience,” Antoine said.
The third macrotrend: the pressure to transform the one-function room into multifunctional living spaces—again, a need that came about due to the need to stay home during the pandemic.
Antoine explained: “These macro trends are influencing consumers to seek out fittings and fixtures that act as smart, intuitive helpers that simplify everyday routines—as the borders of the bathroom and bedroom, as well as kitchen and living room, are dissolving.”
These concerns are top of mind at LIXIL, of course, as it adheres to their missions of creating products based on “Monozukuri”—the Japanese concept of manufacturing and designing excellent products that contribute to healthier living environments.
“These include our American Standard HygieneClean system which includes innovations such Double Vortex flushing design for efficient flushing while conserving water, Aqua Ceramic anti-stain technology and ComfortClean antibacterial technology. Additionally, we prioritize water efficiency in our designs to promote sustainable water usage, aligning with our commitment to environmental stewardship,” Satoshi said.
Antoine added, “As heightened health and hygiene concerns impact our industry, we continue to embed consumer-centric thinking in our research, design and manufacturing processes to meet the needs and concerns of consumers across all markets. Applying this approach throughout our business creates relevant, purpose-driven products and we are excited to develop solutions that improve the quality of life, and solve real-life challenges faced by consumers in their daily lives.”