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Webinar spotlights female and trans experiences in architecture

Artist-architects Micaela Benedicto and Isola Tong share their personal experiences through their creative journey and solo practices in Manila



Artist and architect Isola Tong. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF SAGA

Gender and diversity in the local architecture scene, amid the growing population of female students pursuing the path, is spotlighted in a free public webinar headlined by female and transpinay — a term for transgender Filipina — professionals.

Artist-architects Micaela Benedicto and Isola Tong impart their design processes, as well as their respective key project samples and ongoing works that exemplify the seamless extension of their expertise and talent into visual arts and music. They showcase their diverse disciplines and share their personal experiences through their creative journey and solo practices in Manila.

Benedicto, a practicing architect in MB Architecture Studio, aims to achieve a distinctive sculptural and spatial quality by placing emphasis on the relationships between the unique user, the built space and the environment.

In the visual arts scope, she explores three-dimensional constructions and photograms to examine the relationships between the ambiguities of space, memory and loss. She has likewise held group shows and solo galleries.

Her latest exhibition, “Volume,” was on view at Silverlens. Her architectural works were featured on Wallpaper, BluPrint and L’Officiel, among others. She is part of dream pop duo Outerhope, with releases under Terno Recordings, Number Line Records and Shelflife Records.

musician, architect and artist Micaela Benedicto.

Tong engages in the boundaries between nature and technology, human and nonhuman, center and margin, and north and south epistemologies to challenge binarism, reveal worlds within worlds. She conveys the interconnections of science, aesthetics, and politics through the lens of a transpinay from maritime Southeast Asia.

Her art spans across a variety of media portraying a divergence from anthropocentrism towards interconnected biologies. She has shown and performed in Korea, Slovenia, Serbia, and the United Kingdom.

A cum laude graduate from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture, she is an incoming graduate student at University of California in Santa Cruz, California. Having studied and worked in Osaka, Japan for four years, she currently teaches architectural design, theory and history at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).

Hosted by the Social and Academic Guild for Architects (SAGA), the official student-run architecture organization of DLS-CSB’s School of Design and Arts, the talk was streamed on 30 July. For more information, visit the official Facebook page of SAGA (