Much ado about architecture in Dumaguete

·2 min read

When architect Ned Carlos was tapped to grace ArchiNEXT’s Dumaguete City launch to inspire the Architecture students of Foundation University to join its scholarship program, he talked on architectural solutions in sustainable practices as integrated in his passive-green masterpiece, the “Bi-Centennial” building at Don Bosco.

The inspirational talk was in line with the theme of designing an “eco-friendly elementary building.” Thereafter, a series of talks year after year was rendered by the architect.

“Giving an inspirational talk isn’t good enough,” explained Carlos. “You have to give your audience some learning on a new paradigm.”

By the time he gave his first talk at Silliman University, he offered insights on how to breathe new life to old structures that already outlived their original purpose by looking at examples of his adaptive reuse projects across Negros Oriental.

“The best adaptive reuse project we had so far was the renovation of the entire St. Paul University in Dumaguete City,” continued the architect. “I never thought renovating old structures was more enjoyable than building from the ground up.”

His second talk at Silliman University was during the National Architecture Week (NAW). It is an annual tradition of the architectural profession in the Philippines and celebrated on the second week of December to showcase the fresh and dynamic ideas of architects, aspiring architects, and architecture students alike. That year, NAW focused on visions of future Filipino Architecture. Carlos presented insights on how culture should define Filipino Architecture and create architectural visions for the Philippines by inspiring the architecture students of Silliman University, Negros Oriental State University, and Foundation University to empower Filipino design by looking back at the country’s pre-colonial past.

A few months into the pandemic lockdown, Carlos gave his ultimate face-on keynote on the eve of the Sandurot Festival. The National Commission on Culture and the Arts with Foundation University hosted the “Vernacular Architecture Conference of Negros Oriental and Siquijor” where he presented insights on how the current Negrense Architecture can create Modern Heritage for both Negros and Siquijor islands.

“Architecture should be aspirational,” he said. “It should inspire our senses.”

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