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An architect’s dialouge

Louise Lizan

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STUDENTS and practitioners gather for Anthology Architecture + Design Festival last year.

As the world progresses at a much faster pace, given the level of social awareness and technological advancements, the future of architecture goes beyond the art of building establishments, cities and nations but rather about making conscious decisions for social growth and a better future.

According to William Ti Jr., principal architect of WTA Architecture and Design Studio, “We should find new approaches that can define our changing relationships with the physical world. We must integrate the best ideas and share them with those who can best understand and act on them.”

To create more innovations and trends that affect the art of architecture, dialogues between different minds allow architects to challenge cultural practices and norms in order to build a “socially conscious” architecture.

FROM left: Ti with Rebecca Plaza, Cathy Saldaña and Terrence Yu.

“Architecture is becoming more entwined with social advocacy, and it’s a major trend that’s becoming global,” Ti added. It creates an understanding and connection between architects to do designs never done before and expand the footprint to the whole world; formulating
design-influenced policies to accelerate
nation-building and urban planning with one another.

Now that a lot of cities are fast-growing in the Philippines — BGC in Taguig and New Clark City in Pampanga, to name a few — people are becoming more aware of how architecture can help inspire and grow a nation. “This is architecture, this is what’s changing our lives,” Ti said.

ARCHITECT and festical director William Ti Jr.

Safe space for all
For Terence Yu, president, and CEO of Visionary Architects, dialogue is important as the Philippines is undergoing an unprecedented time in terms of construction development.“Never before, in Philippine history, have we constructed and developed at this fast pace,” he said. “(The dialogue that) we are doing now, that people are all witnessing, is going to change the Philippine nation. It’s going to be how we will live in the next decades to come.”

In the past few years, these social “dialogues” have built and created new opportunities for practitioners in the Anthology Architecture and Design Festival. It started as a passion project in Intramuros called The Book Stop Project. William Ti Jr. curated an encompassing and important annual event not just for architects, licensed urban planners and interior designers but also engineers, builders and the general public.

“Anthology has become a large dialogue for different minds. And this kind of dialogue never happens,” Yu added. For the fifth time since 2016, architecture and design within the Philippines and Southeast Asia will be showcased at the festival from 7 to 9 February.

In 2020, the Anthology, which also means a “collection of stories,” has over 150 local and foreign thought leaders in architecture and urban life that will hold a series of talks, forums, collaborations and workshops aiming to increase awareness of how design and architecture impact the environment and society. It is a platform to talk about the relevance of the practice in urban societies.

“Architecture itself can make things happen,” William Ti explained. The festival allows architects, especially the younger ones, to discover their own advocacy and spearhead initiatives in terms of projects that create social change.

“Architecture is becoming more like social architecture. About society, about the people. I think in the developing countries, they learn about the developed world, about technology. But they’re also learning from us: how we live with each other, our lifestyles and how people work together. I think architecture has become more and more focused on people skills and soft skills,” he added.

ANTHOLOGY 2020 is all about collaboration and connecting the world through dialogues in architecture that matter.

As it is inclusive of everyone, the venue creates a safe space for professionals, students and veterans in the profession, who are able to learn things from one another, resulting in more improved spaces in the future. “There’s also diversity in project ecology. So, we’re not just dealing with big projects in the discussion but also small projects because the Philippines is not just Metro Manila.
If one looks around, there are parts of the Philippines that are improving. So even the smallest projects are important,” Yu said.

The following events will happen simultaneously in the historic Fort Santiago in Intramuros: Anthology Talks, Shelter Dialogues, Anthology Sessions, Think Architecture Exhibit, Installations, Anthology Raw, Competitions and Anthology Workshops joined by renowned architects in the field such as Aric Chen of Tongji University, Chatpong Chuenrudeemol of Chat Architects and Wong Mun Summ of WOHA Architects.

Six thousand participants from all over the world are expected to come to the festival which is set to become the largest architectural festival in Asia. Tickets are available at SM Ticket outlets or at anthologyfest.org/buy-tickets. To know more about the festival, visit anthologyfest.org.

THE theme for the 2019 festival was “Impact Architecture.”

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