B+Abble explores improv, Pinoy games, and personal values on its fifth year
August 14, 2019
Written by Lorenzo Escober
Images courtesy of Buensalido+Architects
Discussions about design have been a staple at Buensalido+Architects (B+A). Its Founder and Chief Design Ambassador Ar. Jason Buensalido has always encouraged his team to share their ideas, a drill of some sort to help them articulate and defend their designs to clients. Or he would sometimes bring along speakers to share their experiences to the B+A team. In 2015, the firm decided to challenge its own Design Ambassadors to share their insights to a slightly bigger audience. So, they opened B+Abble to the public.
What began as a small sharing session among students and architects at a neighborhood café along Perea Street in Makati has eventually turned into a full production of talks led by Ar. Nikki Boncan-Buensalido, Ar. Ems Eliseo and Ar. Nitz Balce. Each edition of B+Abble is meant to impart different facets of arts, design, and creativity to the audience.
“We’ve always wanted to put creative titans in one room to talk about their craft. We believe this is one of the best ways to learn—creatives learning from fellow creatives,” says Buensalido. “We’ve always known that we want a cohesive platform for all creatives, not just architects. We want creatives to exchange ideas and figure out how they can apply these nuggets of wisdom in their own work.”
In 2016, B+Abble started opening its doors to other forms of art, inviting visual artist and muralist Kris Abrigo and creative director Ric Gindap from Design for Tomorrow. In 2017, B+Abble sustained its momentum with a marvelous roster of speakers including Team Manila co-founder Jowee Alviar, metal sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz, and Atelier Almario interior designers Ivy and Cynthia Almario. With bigger and better ideas for its fourth year, B+Abble 2018 took guests to The Mind Museum, where many renowned creatives such as Bootleg Innovation Design co-founder Aaron Palileo and Homonym founder Mike Constantino tackled more out-of-the-box topics.
B+Abble 2019 went beyond the usual design discussions, with an emphasis on social empowerment and effective communication at PETA Theater in Quezon City last June 22.
While cultivating their abilities with creative tools, artists must also know how to effectively articulate and present their ideas. B+Abble 2019 participants discovered the joy of improv and how possessing an improvisational mindset can help them succeed in any industry from Silly People’s Improv Theater (SPIT) founder Gabe Mercado.
Mañosa & Co. interior design director Bambi Mañosa believes that cultivating creativity involves both hard work and play. She shared how creatives can celebrate the spirit of play through music, art, dance, and culture in her latest project called Awit at Laro, which aims to introduce traditional Filipino games to the youth.
This B+Abble also had two talks on design. Visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso shared how he made his own unique narratives by transforming metals into breathtaking masterpieces. Currently managing his own design firm, Ar. Joseph Javier discussed transformational design and purposeful human-centered design process.
This event was well-attended not only by students but also by known developers and practitioners in the industry.
Going back to its roots. For its fifth year, B+Abble complemented its annual event with a smaller, more focused session at Foundree, a new progressive learning hub dedicated to uplifting the state of architecture education. Celebrating B+Abble’s roots in architecture, this second edition held last July 27 was conceptualized in collaboration with SPAM Architecture, a collective of broadminded and contemporary Filipino architects. The special session revolved around the question of values and integrating them into their practice.
Ar. Benjamin Mendoza of BAAD Studio spoke about how architects can use their profession for a higher purpose. In a world of fast-paced technology, architects now have more power to use these tools for positive change. i.incite’s Ar. Sudarshan Khadka, meanwhile, encouraged participants to reflect on their own place within the architectural framework, considering how their personal values can leave imprints on their work. By doing this, architects can contribute to critical architecture and make a meaningful contribution to society.
Ar. Maria Cynthia Funk’s lecture centered on the lack of connectivity in today’s supposedly connected world, and how architecture can bridge gaps in this reality. For Funk, the architect must think of how their work makes people’s lives better by considering functional, environmental, social, and technical issues.
Ar. Buck Sia of Zubu Design Associates talked about architecture’s potential to be an instrument of transformation and propel the Philippine design industry to the world stage, especially when working together with the government and the academe. Sia also addressed the recent issue involving the World Architecture Festival, reiterating that his collaboration with Kenneth Cobonpue for the Cor Jesu was a healthy, ethical partnership that allowed for both artists to contribute to the project according to their respective strengths. He also underlined the role media plays in focusing the narrative on what is truly significant – celebrating the successes of Filipino architecture and the continued progress the industry has made.
Lastly, Ar. Jason Buensalido spoke on the future of Philippine architecture and how local architects can help their country progress. With a passion for our local culture and a determination to enrich the field of Philippine design, he shared his vision of a Philippines where architects could translate the principles of local culture to their craft.
Event partners for the 2019 edition of B+Abble included Evermount Construction Corporation, United Architects of the Philippines Alabang Chapter, Foundree, Design for Tomorrow, R.S. Gutierrez Engineering Design & Consultancy, Boysen, Valcucine, CasaBella, Spurway Enterprises, Wilcon Depot, Excell Contractors and Developers, Inc., Pioneer Pro, Ava Consultancy, Inc., Kenneth and Mock, Scavolini, Perfect Dimension Corp., Kinx, Triple E 2008 Builders, Metrotech Steel Industries, Inc., CT Bond, AIS, RCCI, and Focus Global.
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