Developing the vision for architecture through appreciation – The Manila Times

A vision is something to see and a picture or image that forms. Architects help people translate their ideas usually fragmented at the early stages and put together a picture or vision of what could be a nice architecture or physical form. Like all other professions, to be an architect is something one can learn as a career path through the aid of education, exposure, and experience.
Some forms of building architecture may be constructed but miss out the vision of the people of a place to be. These can be missing on convenience for the users, aesthetic to relieve the senses, or advancement to make the building secure and last longer. People from different backgrounds have something they expect or envision, while the architect enhances them by helping out through the profession. To develop the vision is to develop a combination of values or elements of what one can appreciate and want to apply as they go on.
There are many great architects who have nice ideas to help develop one's vision and design preference. To avoid biases, certain design or concepts fits a certain context and this is where an architect's vision fit depending on the combination of values they embrace. Reading materials Everyone of all ages can appreciate a nice place through reading materials such as books on architecture or simply travel magazines. This helps readers picture architecture of different forms, style, and concepts. For formal schooling, the theory of architecture was a subject where each were asked to study and present a particular work of a globally known architect. Back then, we were more than 40 in class and each featured one architecture. That time, I presented a work of architect Renzo Piano.
Back in college, we had a library with a vast selection and I often visit particularly the section on new arrivals for architecture books. We also had a college magazine called Vision Magazine produced by architecture students. The college magazine featured architects and architecture that student writers admired, including outstanding students' theses. It also featured topics from conferences organized by student clubs back then. Early on in my career, magazines like Bluprint and Design Anthology were of particular interest. Later on in our careers, we continued to read technical architecture books especially to review for the national licensure exam with the aid of a review center.
Conferences and seminars Conferences and seminars are a form of discussion on a topic. These can be simple as a casual conversation with another person. Other forms can be formal classes and regular meetings. Add a topic to architecture and one can go endless in the combination: architecture and books, architecture and tourism, architecture and the arts, architecture and writing, architecture and urban design, architecture and interior design, and the list goes on. Travel exposure While our household does not travel much, thanks to the invitation from other people, we were able to learn and understand better architecture through travel visits. Since I started formal architecture classes locally, I was able to explore with peers. Some of the places we were assigned to visit and study were the National Museum, Binondo District in Manila, the Cubao Bus Terminal near Araneta Center in Quezon City, Roxas Boulevard, a street of old houses in Sta. Ana, Manila, Pasig River Ferry Station, and riding the Philippine Railway from Blumentritt Station in Manila to Alabang in Muntinlupa; Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar Hotel and Resort in Bataan, Taal churches and old houses in Batangas; Bicol Church and beaches. We visited Tagaytay for a retreat center. Abroad, we had a trip in Singapore to understand and appreciate urban planning and design.
Later on, travels include Baguio, Angono Artist Village in Rizal, University of the Philippines campus, Valenzuela Museum, Masungi Georeserve Park, Metropolitan Theater and Cultural Center in Pasay, Cubao X rowhouses, Leon Gallery in Makati, Pinto Art Museum in Rizal, the Collective Retail Hub along Malugay Street in Makati, 12 Monkeys Music Lounge in Makati, Balara Watershed Park in Quezon City, Paranaque Public Library, Lhuillier Auction House in Paranaque, Taguig Church, Marikina Shoe Museum, Quezon Province, Henry Hotel in Pasay, Alberto House in Binan, Laguna; Aguinaldo House in Cavite, Vigan Town, old houses in Ilocos, La Union beach areas, and Boracay.
In the City of Manila alone, we got to travel and appreciate architecture through peer invitation in different districts such as Quiapo Muslim Town, temples along United Nations Avenue, San Miguel and Pandacan districts; Tondo monuments and Tutuban Center; Binondo food centers, Paco Park and Cemetery, La Loma Cemetery, Malate Church and night stores, Arroceros Park, Manila Post Office, Metropolitan Theater, Luneta Hotel, Intramuros, Luneta Park and pocket gardens in Ermita.
Interesting mall architecture are Mall of Asia in Pasay, Festival Mall in Alabang, Robinsons Place Manila, Harrison Plaza (now demolished) in Malate, Times Plaza in Ermita, Araneta Center in Cubao, and Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo, to name a few. In Makati, there are the Landmark, Glorietta and Greenbelt malls.
Foreign travel included South Korea and Malaysia. South Korea has an interesting hostel architecture — a park replica of historic architecture where many film producers shoot scenes, and streets catering to university students and cosmetics retail stores. In Malaysia, particularly George Town, Penang and Melacca Town, one can learn and appreciate old mansions and rowhouses. For a better place These experiences has helped in forming how to appreciate and care about architecture. Through architecture and appreciation, we are able to develop a vision that we can impart to others as improvement and contribution for a better place for ourselves and others.
Abigail Ko graduated Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas with Masters degree of Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management. She has been an officer for more than five years in the United Architects of the Philippines QC Central Chapter.

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