A Respect to Retrospect: Two Masterful Decades of BluPrint on elevating Filipino Architecture and Design

July 19, 2021



Germaine Dilay

Exactly 21 years of BluPrint is challenging for a handful of reasons. Primarily because it calls us to become more introspective and brutally honest about how far we have come as a brand, as designers, and as contributing bodies to the progress of the Philippine Architecture, Interiors, Allied Arts, Engineering, and Construction Industry. Though it will require quite the rigor to look over the past two decades, piece them apart, and make a good sense of the journey, we are doing it anyway; We must recall and reflect, because it is those two decades filled with a wealth full of design stories that got us to our new perspective.

Bluprint First Editor-in-chief, Architect Tina Bonoan

It’s been an interesting journey and one that has evolved so vividly since its early years under the direction of architecture journalism pioneer and former Editor-in-Chief Tina Bonoan. Realistically speaking, every endeavor has its ups and downs. Success eventually becomes elusive or even subjective in a sense. We’ve seen through the past two decades, as in the brand’s success along with the industry’s, was mostly determined by how well it coped with the test of times, through the challenges imposed by the ASEAN integration, demand for cultural preservation, and the clamor for healthy spaces in the midst of the pandemic.The only measure of success that is not based on limiting definitions, is our answer to this question: “How did we hold ourselves accountable as designers and design critics, through the efforts we’ve done to drive the industry to significant and life changing progress?” Despite the hurdles and the fact that BluPrint has been passed on from one leadership to another (four Editors-in-Chief so far), the brand’s vision of being the definitive authority of architecture and design remains.

Bluprint’s 4th Editor-in-chief Judith Torres with her Editorial Team in 2018. From left to right: creative director Patrick Kasingsing, editorial coordinator Ria Lasco, associate editor Lawrence Carlos, head photographer Ed Simon, associate editor Angel Yulo, editor in chief Judith Torres, contributing editor Miguel Llona

With one vision, we have worked tirelessly to become better design storytellers. We’ve done this in many different ways, becoming more inclusive and open to a New Perspective. We’ve learned to strengthen community engagement. We’ve learned that that the path to this vision is multi-faceted, that we should listen to stakeholders, especially the end-users. Hence, we’ve continued to feature community-focused designs promoting self-sufficiency, seamless mobility, and sustainability. We’ve learned not just the value of heritage preservation in design, but the approaches, which do not limit our methods of expressing the Filipino identity. We’ve learned through BluPrint’s featured modern Filipino Structures, that culture-rich designs can coexist with modernismThe future is bright as it is heavy—because we carry the voices that we believe to be the catalyst for the advancement of Philippine Architecture and Design. Nonetheless, we are hopeful, not only because of what BluPrint has accomplished so far with every story ever released, were also hopeful because we have seen the plans set for its future releases. 

We have witnessed how BluPrint has established continuity in its messaging, being the definitive authority of architecture and design in the Philippines, while empowering new voices through new architectural stories that will call the audience to action. With these said, we are also not blind to the fact that some of the topics raised several years back, are still part of the conversations we have at BluPrint to this date. (Filipinism and authenticity in design, heritage preservation, and the realization of the build build build platform.) Does having similar threads of conversations signify our lack of progress? Does it mean we’ve been repetitive? Not necessarily. Watching the industry this closely, will lead you to understand that positive change does not happen overnight, nor over a year, or even a decade. It’s a lifetime mission.

Bluprint’s 3rd Editor-in-chief, Architect Dominic Galicia
Bluprint’s 2nd Editor-in-chief Architect Paolo Alcazaren

We are still building—whatever we do serves as incremental efforts directed towards the vision we set two decades ago. We have to act like we are able to command transformation. We have to continue doing so to get our best chance in actually seeing the difference we want to see happen.

-Bluprint Editorial

Related Article: https://bluprint-onemega.com/4-lessons-bluprint-editors-in-chief/

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]