‘Forced green’ — Architect on Pinoys, sustainable architecture

Penny Chanco
·2 min read

ARCHITECT Ned Carlos was born in Bay View Hills PICOP, Philippines in 1972. He studied at De La Salle-JBC and the University of San Carlos-Technological Center in Cebu City, graduating in 1994. After working for Maxwell Espina, Manuel Guanzon and the MVB group, he established his own practice in 2002, which now has a recognized office in Dumaguete City.

Q: “What made you establish the office?”

Ned Carlos (NC): “The 1997 Currency Crisis was an opportunity to start the practice. While big construction came to a halt, the furniture exporters in Cebu were thriving primarily because their market was in Europe and America. The exporters were looking for young upstarts to design their houses and condominium interiors and we jumped in to ride with the tide.”

Q: “Can you expound on the design approach of Carlos & Antique Architects?”

NC: “Our approach in design has always been progressive. We always wish to be forever young and forever bold, to try things that are new, exciting and daring. Every year, we forcefully absorb the spirit of innovation. In 2020, our tone is that we are rebellious, experimental, customized, personal, young, creative and Filipino.”

Q: “How important is sustainable architecture and design today?”

NC: “To curb this current pandemic, sustainability is as important as the air we breathe. But sustainability should go beyond architecture and should contain all areas of engineering, town planning, city planning, urban planning, and even transportation. We see sustainability systems working very well in Singapore.”

Q: “What for you is a design area one can improve on in the green building sector?”

NC: “Green building is still vague for many. Propaganda for green building has had no impact on many Filipinos. It’s time to play the lion instead of the fox, to force it upon the citizens to build green.”

Q: “How can architecture and design tackle the many issues currently facing the world?”

NC: “Because health is one of the biggest factors determining the economy and business, one of the most direct ways but seldom addressed in solving the current pandemic is to retain what psychologists call “personal space” of each individual. And there is no better way but to create an environment that retains that space. An environment with high risk contagion creates wildfire in infection. Informal settlements like slum areas can only increase contagion. But architecture like a good housing plan can reverse that effect. Or well-designed educational spaces that reduce or even deter an epidemic.”