Opportunities for Philippine architects abound as Asean integrates - WTA
(The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - By end-2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will have  a single market for goods, services, capital and labor. This integration will create the Asean Economic Community, which has the potential to be one of the largest of its kind in the world.

For most businesses in the Philippines, however, this poses the threat of increased competition and fewer opportunities for local professionals.  This would include the country's architecture industry, which has been struggling to find definition and strength in the past few years. 

But for WTA Architecture and Design Studio, a Manila-based firm focused on urban development projects, this puts Filipinos in a unique position, one that architects should take advantage of.

The Philippines is a service-oriented society, having the most talented and diverse pool of architects and designers dedicated to improving the lives of those which they serve. WTA believes this gives Filipinos an advantage in a service industry such as architecture, one driven by research, passion and creativity.

 As an advocate for better livable urban communities, WTA  also views the region  as an excellent arena for the practice, as it houses some of the world’s largest and densest urban centers; from the ultra modern urban planning center that is Singapore, to the vastness of Jakarta, to the freewheeling capitalistic development of Metro Manila. With unique problems that require intricate and highly unorthodox solutions, Asean architects and designers are trained within a context that is highly ideal for the development of architecture and urbanity.

Furthermore, WTA sees the Asean integration as the first step in the long road towards achieving global presence. As one of the Top 10 architectural firms in the Philippines for 2015 as cited by BCI Asia, the firm constantly takes part in exhibitions and competitions across the region and around the globe, including the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and the 2015 World Architecture Festival. Urban Block, one of WTA's commercial projects, was shortlisted as a finalist for the latter and will compete this November in Singapore.

WTA Architecture and Design Studio savors the idea of having a bigger Asean market and talent pool as a resource. With the aim to develop a richer and more cosmopolitan design aesthetic as well as creating a unique blend of diverse cultural influences, the team has also welcomed a few foreign architects into the practice. According to the company, Asean gives them a much bigger and richer base upon which stronger networks and ties could be built as they continue to grow in the decades ahead.

ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN STUDIO ASEAN ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS METRO MANILA NBSP URBAN BLOCK VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL WTA
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