Budji Layug is Launching a Book! Here’s How it Happened

Illustrious designer and multi-hyphenate Budji Layug collects remarkable design memories and lays them bare in his first book

  • October 21, 2019

  • Written by Gabrielle de la Cruz

  • Images courtesy of Budji+Royal Architecture + Design

Everyone knows the story. From the renowned hairdresser immortalized in the lyrics of the famous Pinoy hit, “Bongga Ka Day” to being one half of the illustrious studio, BUDJI+ROYAL, Budji Layug is and continues to be the indefatigable creative whatever medium he works in.

For his first book, entitled “Budji: Design Journey,” the designer takes us with him in a story of self-discovery and growth in design. The ouevre featured within the book are distributed into six chapters dedicated to a specific design style: Organic, Tropical, Natural, Contemporary, Traditional, and Modern. Budji shares that the book’s concept came from to be from his desire  of not wanting to produce the usual design book that is just a mere collection of works. “It was actually along the way of designing spaces that we were making the book, and I thought that it would be too limiting for me to just publish my works and not include the total journey,” he says. “I didn’t want to crowd it with just history. I wanted a book of design, I didn’t just want a timeline, I wanted to showcase style.”

Budji’s mom, Herminia Cancio-Layug, is his main inspiration for the book. He emphasizes that she is his main influence, the one who planted the seeds of creativity in him and nurtured it through the years. 

From the concept up to the content, Budji narrated how he immersed himself into publishing the book. He stated how particular he was with how large and thick the book would be and even to what paper color would emphasize the visuals more.

“I needed a lot of white spaces, and I needed big photographs, I didn’t want to crowd photographs. Such were needed to create the design of the book and highlight the openness of the photographed spaces,” Budji explains.

Four years in the making, Budji’s book required a lot of going back and forth to different locations, re-photographing spaces he designed. He shared how he was in every single shoot, directing the photography to be able to convey the meaning and character of each designed space. “I realized that doing a book and showcasing your work is actually baring your soul,” Budji says. Carefully refining the narrative and painstakingly bringing art and copy together into a cohesive whole took two years alone. 

Remarkable people in Budji’s design journey were chosen to form part of the editorial staff. According to Budji, the compositions of these people are essential in giving readers insights about who he is, providing different perspectives other than that of his own. “I think that makes it more personal,” he explains. Beyond built spaces, Budji also included some of his paintings within the book, enabling readers a peek at different expressions of his artistry

Here’s a sneak peek at the beautiful pages from “Design Journey”:

A look at his first design style, “Organic” celebratestthe beauty and sensuality derived from mimicking nature’s forms. 
Working with the existing landscape and harmonizing with the surroundings, Budji’s “Tropical” style illustrates the beauty that can be achieved working with nature. 
Budji demonstrates his masterful command of materials and textures within the pages of the chapter entitled “Natural” 

“At the end of the day I’ve given my best, and all I hope is that people will appreciate the book,” Budji says. 

“Budji: Design Journey” will be launched tomorrow, October 22. 

Watch out for our second article on Budji’s first book where we publish an exclusive excerpt and more gorgeous spreads, as well as details on how to get hold of this must-have tome. 

WATCH: Budji Layug on the Importance of Design Exhibitions

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