FOR the fifth time, Manila is all set to host again the Anthology Arch. and Design Festival, themed “Think Architecture,” happening from February 7 to 9, timely to the historic massive developments now taking place in the country and across the region.
“Architecture has always been the most definitive and visible reflection of a society and its development,” said Arch. William Ti Jr., principal architect of WTA Architecture and Design Studio.
The significance of this field is now more evident than before given the nation’s constant growth and quest to play a pivotal role in the global community.
“This is very important because the Philippines is undergoing an unprecedented time in terms of construction and development,” Visionarch Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Terrence Yu noted during the event’s press launch held recently in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. “Never before in Philippine history the way construction and development is at this faster pace in the last 15 years, and the growth looks like it’s continuing to expand. So what we are doing now in these years that you are all witnessing too is going to change the skyline of the Philippines. It’s going to be how we will live in the next decades to come,” he added.
As the country undergoes major change in the built landscape, it is also important for Filipinos to discover and explore the architecture that forms a crucial part of their identity.
“We must continue to find ways to make this exploration and evolution relevant not just to our own society but also as a vital contribution to the richness of humanity and its cultural growth,” Ti pointed out.
The three-day event is expected to bring together around 6,000 participants this year, including leading architects, designers, industry leaders, and the general public, in a series of talks, workshops and partnerships aimed at helping develop and formulate design-influenced policies that aid and advance nation building and urban planning here and in the region.
“Urbanism and awareness in Southeast Asia has grown worldwide. Attention and eyes of the world are focused on us because the Southeast Asian region is one of the steadiest economically, and financially, as well as in real-estate development, it is a block in itself,” said Cathy Saldaña, managing director of PDP Architects. “But we are all growing in the context of the urban environment, and the Anthology Festival is a great platform for this.”
AKIN to the success of its previous editions, Anthology will be headlined by more than 150 local and foreign thought leaders in architecture and urbanism sharing their thoughts and ideas in various activities lined up during the summit.
Twenty-one of the best and brightest minds in the architecture industry will shed light on architecture and design at Anthology Talks. Keynote speakers for Anthology 2020 are Wong Mun Summ of WOHA, Liu Xiaodu of Urbanus and Ricardo Bofill of RBTA.
Shelter Dialogues is a series of dialectic panels moderated by several architecture critics and industry leaders each featuring four to five architects with varied backgrounds. Anthology Sessions opens a stage for the exploration and discussion of ideas that can help evolve architecture to address the problems of a changing world. Here, a manifesto will be published in support of urban development by providing an architectural framework that supplements policy-making and planning.
Think Architecture Exhibit features the participants’ works that highlight the diversity and richness of architectural practice internationally. Installations from some of the leading firms in the Philippines will be displayed in the festival grounds, showcasing the talents and ideas of Filipino architects.
A series of sociocultural debates, Anthology Raw aims to give lively discussions and global perspectives into mainstream architectural discourse, led by Joel Luna of Joel Luna Planning and Design, Denise de Castro of DEQA Design Collaborative, and Kevin Low, founder of Small Projects. Anthology Workshops will be conducted by industry leaders SOM, Arup, and Skew and PDP Architects.
Different competitions for students, professional architects and designers are also included. For the student contests, participating international schools are Taylor’s University, University of Indonesia, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Thammasat University, Tsinghua University, Politecnico di Torino, Hanyang University; while the local schools joining are College of Saint Benilde and the University of the Philippines. Photography enthusiasts and sketch artists can also participate.
The festival as a whole seeks to heighten awareness of how architecture and design affects the environment and society. Likewise, it hopes to inspire individuals to challenge current practices and norms so as to build “socially conscious” architecture, or a built environment that focuses on the conditions and needs of all social segments.
“Anthology is becoming a large dialogue for the different minds, and we just don’t have this kind of dialogue where it happens. As with any urbanization, moving forward, we have to have the bayanihan of the different stakeholders. So this is such a big opportunity to have more developed countries come and share experiences, and have the stakeholders share their ideas, so we can move forward together as one. Hopefully, this will result in a better future for our communities and our country as well,” Ti stressed.