We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Tiny Kiwi Meditation Cabin” competition – Al Barry Ayaquil and Andrea Bianca Novencido from Philippines!

Barry Ayaquil and Andrea Bianca Novencido from Philippines

AB Design Architecture and Interiors is a young architectural design consultation firm established in 2017 by spouses Al Barry and Andrea Bianca, who are both architects. The firm is small and is situated in the northernmost region of the Philippines. It is run by a team comprised of only 3 personnel, mainly the 2 owners and an administrative staff member.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

The company focuses more on residential projects which range from small housing units, such as condominiums and permanent residences, to country villas. The projects are carried through all phases of planning, economic viability, environmental impact, and socio-cultural design.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

The company stands by its belief that design is evolutionary. Through design solutions, new value is being created. Though we at AB Design understand that architecture is basic, and that it only intends to shelter and introduce certain activities for its users, time and again it has proven that, once in a while, new demands for a space usage appears. This is true to all facets of human existence. Going beyond the basics of architecture is a choice. And one must recognize its evolving nature. As architects and designers of our physical environment, it is our role to protect it, make improvements, and nurture the relationship we create from it. Architects not only build forms and spaces with art and science, but we also acknowledge that we share the responsibility as stewards of the race and all entities that surrounds us, and that we hold a place in society in which we can educate everyone through the spaces we make.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture competitions offer many possibilities and design solutions for a single design problem. This being said, the firm strongly feel that it is through design competitions that the company grew to be more diverse when it comes to approaching these problems. Though we had a fair amount of successes and more abundant losses in participating in design competitions, “we did not lose entirely. Even if we did, we only failed forward.” In accepting this truth, we believe it has become one of the strengths of the company. There is excitement when one explores, competes with the best minds, and participates to learn a thing or two from competitors and your previous self. It taught us to be dynamic but with good sense, as oftentimes we discover that we are so caught up and far ahead in searching the answer that we miss the obvious. The experience is priceless, and the recognition for each success is equally incomparable.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Find a reason to enjoy the process and love it despite the pressure. Don’t be afraid of failure, this is very common to us, so don’t worry. If we accumulate all the learning for each of these failures, we can morph into well-rounded designers. Find mentors. It will help you so much if you have someone who can show you the way. Innovate. Try again and again, better than the previous time, until you find the best fix to a problem. And lastly, like most professions, success comes from hard work and perseverance. Until you are not there, keep threading one step at a time.

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