The organizers of the Philippine International Arts Festival, under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), are pleased to announce the opening of the 2013 Honrado R. Fernandez Architectural Writing Competition. Open to all college undergraduate students of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design in the Philippines, this critical essay-writing competition aims to provide these students with the opportunity to express their thoughts on the designed environment and to communicate these publicly thus encouraging and fostering public discussion and the formation of opinion.
Selected entries will be publicly exhibited on February 2013 as part of the Philippine International Arts Festival. Students who submit winning entries will receive trophies designed after a prized sculptural work by the late Honrado Fernandez, certificates of recognition for their schools, and cash prizes of ten thousand pesos for the third place, fifteen thousand pesos for the second place, and twenty five thousand pesos for the first place.
The competition, established in 2006, was conceived to remedy the lack of thoughtful and public architectural writing in the Philippines. Here in the Philippines local broadsheets and magazines feature descriptive articles and advertorials on new architecture but often without in-depth critical analysis. This situation may largely be rooted in the fear of negative backlash and possible libel lawsuits as well as ethical prohibitions within the architectural profession. Students of architecture, professionals, and the general public are thus not regularly exposed to sober and insightful thought on our public and private buildings and spaces.
And so, even if architecture, landscape architecture and interior design are the most public of all the arts and have profound effects on the physical and psychological welfare of the human being, the public who is the end-user of the designed works remains unaware of what should be considered ‘”good” or “proper” for their designed environment. It is therefore not surprising that the public itself becomes apathetic, in the end, to the state of our cities, buildings, parks, public and living spaces, and thus the nation.
This significant competition has been named after the late Honrado Fernandez, architect, artist, former dean of the U.P. College of Architecture, former Director of the National High School of the Arts, and an acclaimed proponent of Philippine art who in his lifetime consistently promoted the arts in all its forms as a reflection of the Filipino’s desire for self-expression, identity, and artistic excellence. Architect Fernandez always felt that only in constant reflection of the arts can one achieve this excellence, particularly in architecture and allied arts.
This competition is a testament to his life and thoughts.
See the General Information of the competition here.