Portrait of the artist: an interview with multidisciplinary designer Raphael Pangilinan


The Art Collector spoke to Raphael Pangilinan, multidisciplinary artist and founder of Konus Design, several questions about his art and studio. His conceptual installations have gained recognition around the world, positioning the studio as one of the leading design and installation forces of this generation.

Raphael Pangilinan

How has working in the perfume industry influenced your art?

My first job after architectural school was working for a perfume company in Cannes, France.  That hands-on experience exposed me to the product design aspect of things. A clever and artistically designed bottle is as important as the fragrance itself since it enhances the buying  experience of the consumer. Working for a parfumerie allowed me to hone those fundamental skills and artistic abilities. As a designer and craftsman, all these plays a critical key role in my  design process, whether I am creating a larger-than-life sculpture for display or smaller scale and intricately designed pieces.


Your website mentions that you incorporate “the use of indigenous and
modern materials with other natural resources.” Can you tell us about
some of these materials? 

Locally sourced bamboo and hand-woven abaca fibers were some of the indigenous materials utilized when I was based in the Philippines. While living in the south of France, I also incorporated the use of natural resources such as driftwood and locally made saffron paper. Within the last few years, I have additionally transitioned to using energy efficient LED lights. They are oftentimes set within the centerfold of my lighting sculptures to enhance both the anatomy and natural hues of the wood.

Homme et Femme, 2019

Is sustainability at the forefront of your work?

Yes, sustainability has always been an essential part of my work. My clients are fully aware that they are purchasing climate friendly products that have low climate footprint. This is the main reason why I use sustainably sourced wood and materials. My packaging is clearly thought out as well as I use recycled paper and turn them into boxes.

3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing. Can you tell us about some of the benefits and drawbacks that come with this technology?

The ability to produce intricate pieces for retail and commercial clients without having to create  each piece meticulously by hand for weeks and/or months is one of the benefits of 3D printing.  It definitely simplifies the production process. It does have some drawbacks though, including  the absence of natural textures and colors that can only be seen in materials such as wood and  other indigenous materials.

Do you create commissioned work?
Yes, I create a lot of commission work and have always enjoyed the ability to customize my work based on each client’s needs. 

Who is the typical client of Konus Design?

Real-estate developers and private art collectors are my typical clients. Recently I have been  commissioned to do public art such as outdoor lighting sculptures.

Can you tell us about some of your projects for 2021?

I have quite a few projects lined up for 2021, including a new series called “Link.” It is a large scale outdoor lighting sculpture consisting of several intertwined pieces. The artwork represents  an interlocking bond and powerful connection we all need to triumph over life’s challenges, and  I think this is especially true in today’s world. I am in the process of collaborating with designers  and organizations globally and cannot wait to start this installation project as I can see it  bringing out the smiles in people’s faces and pride to the city’s it is installed at.



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