Benilde Open Design + Art

Open Worlds: Benilde Open Design + Art 2024

Benilde Open Design + Art 2024 finally opens to the curious, promising realized visions by Filipino creatives, project showcases by Benildeans, and a not-to-miss show by Swiss artist Heidi Bucher

Words Benilde Open Design + Art
Editing The Kanto Team
Images Students of the PHOARCH Class of Greg Mayo

Maria, Maria by Lala Monserrat in collaboration with Russ Ligtas, Geric Cruz, and Jazel Kristin, photographed by Matthew Mangulabnan; Header: Heidi Bucher: and pull yesterday into today at the MCAD, photographed by Matthew Mangulabnan

It’s time to step into the Open, where creativity reveals new possibilities!

De La Salle College of Saint Benilde has launched the inaugural Benilde Open Design + Art 2024 exhibition, a vibrant display of what were once creative visions, now made reality. A collaboration with De La Salle University and the Embassy of Switzerland, this exhibit features groundbreaking works from various design and artistic fields, each funded with a PHP 300,000 grant to bring previously unseen projects to life. A not-to-miss show on Swiss artist Heidi Bucher, with her iconic ‘body shells’ and monumental ‘skinnings,’ awaits at the MCAD.

Benilde Open Design + Art
Heidi Bucher: and pull yesterday into today at the MCAD, photographed by Matthew Mangulabnan
Benilde Open Design + Art
Heidi Bucher: and pull yesterday into today at the MCAD, photographed by Matthew Mangulabnan

Running until June 30, 2024, the exhibitions take place across multiple venues, including the School of Design + Arts (SDA) Campus, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila, and the Hub for Innovation. Visitors can enjoy free weekly tours every 20 minutes from the SDA campus lobby and engage in a variety of public programs. Highlights include talks with Heidi Bucher’s sons, Indigo and Mayo, on their mother’s legacy and discussions on creative courage, grant proposal writing, and women in design and architecture.

Among the select few grantees whose proposals stood out from 324 submissions are Nice Buenaventura and Costantino Zicarelli, RJ Fernandez, Lyra Garcellano, Aaron Kaiser Garcia, Rambie Lim, Gabe Mercado, Lala Monserrat (in collaboration with Russ Ligtas), Geric Cruz and Jazel Kristin, Issay Rodriguez, Mikayla Teodoro, Michael Vea, and Errol Balcos. Their projects range from video and textiles to augmented reality and sculpture, promising visitors a diverse and engaging experience.

Exploring the Use of Philippine Silk in Tausug Pisyabit Weaving by Rambie Lim, photographed by Matthew Cole Suguitan
Gender Reveal by Brian Ilustrisimo Razon, photographed by Matthew Cole Suguitan

Additionally, the Best of Benilde category showcases 17 exceptional student works from the College of St. Benilde who received full curatorial support to realize their projects. These budding creatives include Louisa Ray Cagaligen, Xandrix Antaso Corpuz Jr., Danielle Cusi, Asia Entico, and more, presenting works that span puppetry, photography, software, and beyond.

Running alongside the exhibit is a landmark show featuring pieces by renowned Swiss artist Heidi Bucher (1926-1993). Her exhibition “Heidi Bucher: and pull yesterday into today” is now in Manila after successful runs in Seoul and Beijing. Bucher’s works are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila and feature her famous wearable sculptures (of which an example can be worn for a photo op!). A latex ‘skinning’ by Bucher of an office from the Bellevue Sanatorium in Kreuzlingen from 1988 hangs above the museum, along with other works that delve into the artist’s fascination with architecture, textiles, and the performative arts. The last stop in an Asia-wide tour, the show is open in Manila till August 18, 2024.

The Benilde Open grantees and Best of Benilde students will also host talks and activities covering topics such as puppetry, psychogeography, performance, fashion, and board games. Benilde faculty will lead workshops on printmaking, prosthetics, intellectual property, and lesson plan design, which will be open to students, faculty, and the public.

In a recent announcement, Benilde Open is slated to become a biennial due to the initiative’s success. This will guarantee a new batch of creative visions brought to life by grants every two years!  

For more information and a schedule of activities, visit or social media @benildeopen. • would like to thank Ivonne Aquino, Atheena Chloe Janda, Matthew Mangulabnan, and Matthew Cole Suguitan of instructor Greg Mayo’s PHOARCH AP1 class for lending their photos for this feature.

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