Tag Archives: Design Process

ARCHI NOTE #1: You are a COMMUNICATOR.

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"Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves". ~ Julia Morgan

At the core of it all, an architect is a communicator. You my friend, are a creator of meaning.

Spaces are not merely enclosures with no face and no expression. They are a canvas for which the artist (which is you) distills a multitude of contexts and considerations – to provide response that can say a resounding something.  Continue reading ARCHI NOTE #1: You are a COMMUNICATOR.

“Is It Too Late to Start Pursuing Architecture Again?” (Q&A #7)

Got an email last night from Erika, a young, driven former schoolmate who had to put her architecture dreams on hold due to migration to a different country. Now she has a number of questions that I’d gladly shed some light on.  Let’s check out what she had to say.  

Hey Aldo! :)

I came across your website just recently. It's really refreshing to know that a Filipino site like this exists!

As a fresh graduate and someone already exposed to the working environment in the corporate world of Architecture, I thought you might be able to give me a lot of perspective on things. If you have the time to go through this, it would help me significantly! I'm sorry this popped in so randomly. Any kind of insight would be great.

This might be long and a little confusing; I apologize in advance, huhu.

Hey there Erika! 🙂 So nice to know that you appreciate the site. It’s really been my goal to put some Philippine context in the myriad of architectural learning sites for students. I’d be glad to help; go on and tell me your story.   Continue reading “Is It Too Late to Start Pursuing Architecture Again?” (Q&A #7)

“What’s the Difference?” Design PHILOSOPHIES, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS (Q&A #6)

Let’s face it, we all tend to get confused with the different architectural jargon that comes with the territory. And the earlier we make clear sense of it all, the earlier we’ll be producing guided, cohesive work.

I was browsing through a local Architecture Board Exam review group on Facebook the other day, when I noticed a post by Allan, a young and hungry architecture freshman.

He was asking for assistance in clarifying a few terms that he needed to integrate in his current project’s process – namely Design PROCESS, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS.

True enough, it’s easy to understand his dilemma. Chances are, your professors will have you include your take on these three little devils as to how they relate to your project. And understanding the difference as a new designer can be confusing. Heck, I used to mix them up a lot for a good amount of my freshman life.

As you might already have inferred, I gave him my two cents and decided to make a more comprehensive post, for the benefit of many others that might have the same questions.

Without further ado, let’s dissect each of these 3 important terms, and then see how we can understand them better with an easily digestible example.  Continue reading “What’s the Difference?” Design PHILOSOPHIES, Design CONCEPTS, and Design CONSIDERATIONS (Q&A #6)

On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5)

Got an email last night from Millie, in response to The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?. She has been in the design workforce for well more than the year, and gave some insights I thought would be great to share with everyone. Take the floor, Millie!  

Hello Aldo! :D

I think that as a business model, the Design Studio is only as good as its team. A small team can only be as well-oiled as the assembly line if everyone is hardworking, willing to step up, and takes responsibility. Apprentices should be fast learners and mentors should be generous with time. 

Unfortunately, most small studios don't compensate as well as big companies. Small, young companies are still growing, and all extra money gets invested towards the firm (new software, comfier chairs, etc). The salaries and benefits may be the same, but the perks are limited. Office parties and bonuses are rare, and you are expected to work a lot (even during typhoons, huhuhu). 

Although working in a small design studio is rewarding, I understand it is not for everyone. Cheers! :)

Continue reading On Smaller Firms: Low Pay, But High Value? (Q&A#5)

The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?

Architecture is learned best through practice.

And when I say practice, I mean hands-on, integrative, and synthesizing work. The kind that makes you take everything you know and piece them together in a meaningful puzzle.

It’s for this reason that reading books day-in and day-out without any application probably won’t give you the best retention and bang-for-your-buck.

The solution? Practice. And make sure you’re in the best environment possible while doing it. The kind that makes you feel the weight of your actions, gives each line purpose, and provides you with mentors that hold you accountable for your output – like an architectural office.

I’m a firm believer that every architecture student should experience working for a firm or sole practice at least once before they graduate.

I spent two summers of my undergrad life as an apprentice, intern (and eventual employee), and they were invaluable learning experiences. The kind that expanded my view of the truths of the practice, and made my succeeding works a whole lot more guided.

But of course, there are lots of things to consider and be aware of when dipping your toes into the workplace. It isn’t all fun and games, and there some very important decisions and attitudes you need to be cognizant of.

This series of posts entitled “The Internship Guide” number things you should be very receptive to, so you can get the most of each and every day.

To start off, let’s talk about the two most common organizational set ups of a typical architectural design office, starting the discourse on which one could be better for you based on your own needs. Continue reading The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?

The 6 Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Finalists Have Been Announced!

Last October, I giddily posted about the Designing Guggenheim Helsinki competition, practically jumping up and down on my keyboard.

Check this out first if you aren’t yet aware: Check Out the 1,715 Entries! The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has Rocked the World. 

My fervor was justified. After all, the recent architectural slugfest was officially the largest architectural design competition of all-time, grossing 1,715 approved entries. And from this ocean of proposals, the jury and organization were then faced with the daunting task of picking 6 finalists.

And they’ve done it. By Jove, they’ve done it. Continue reading The 6 Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Finalists Have Been Announced!

Don’t Be Discouraged: Why Having A Flawed First Design Project is NORMAL. (Q&A #4)

Q: "How do you feel about the early designs you did as a freshman or sophomore in architecture school? How did they look like?"

It’s a question I’ve been getting often as of late, so I thought I’d semi-formally answer it on the blog.

I chuckle a little bit whenever I’m asked this, because it involves me looking at my own motivations and process at the time, and comparing them to what I know now. 

And there is a really big disparity between the two.

Quite simply, I can say now that my approaches back then were flawed, unrestrained, form-centric more than they were occupant-centric, and paradoxically incohesive. They were messy and didn’t consider a lot of things properly.

But that’s fine. Because that’s how a lot of our early works really do end up.

It’s a rite of passage of sorts, especially for this generation of contemporary designers that are giddy to produce iconic forms. (This ain’t all bad. At least it means you aren’t settling for boring architecture.)

It’s normal, and in some ways, needed in order for you to discover how to develop as a budding architect.

Besides, if I were designing the same way today as I was when I was a freshman, then it either means I didn’t need architecture school (yeah, sure), or I didn’t grow at all.

Today I’m going to discuss a few of my earlier design projects, how I worked on them at the time, and what I amusingly saw when I looked back at them. The three are my first two houses, and an archaeological studies center for within the university.  Continue reading Don’t Be Discouraged: Why Having A Flawed First Design Project is NORMAL. (Q&A #4)