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Architect John Ian Lee Fulga, who studied at the University of the Philippines, College of Architecture, and gained additional knowledge working with LEED and Greenmark, has his own architectural firm, focusing on designing and planning masterpieces for property owners, business enterprises, and entrepreneurs.
His company, Fulgar Architects is located in Manila, Philippines, where he shares his passion for architecture with 18 people – programmers, designers, architects, structural engineers, UI/UX designers and developers, and even architecture students.
“Our studio is kind of unique in a way that you have the IT component, the technological component, the designers and engineers working together… We enjoy more of collaborative work.”
Using his vast knowledge in software technology developing both server-side and front-end UI systems, he easily learned about programming and Building Information Modeling Technologies. On the other hand, Fulgar's enthusiasm for architecture and the arts led him to the graduate studies in the College of Fine Arts, The University of the Philippines.
Simultaneously interested in various scientific fields and art, Fulgar Architects mixes architecture and information technologies with meta-modern elements.
In an interview in Makati City, John Ian Lee Fulga said:
“What we have now is assembly architecture which means you buy components and put them together. That is what is happening. That is why you could see most box types as in assembly line,” and he added, “We are borrowing too much from the western ideas, where they mass produce and practice assembly architecture. While we are adopting these concepts, further studies on how it will impact our way of living as Filipinos must also be considered.”
Meta-modern approach - “a viewpoint that will look at impact more than the output”
“Our studio is kind of unique in a way that you have the IT component, the technological component, the designers and engineers working together… We enjoy more of collaborative work,” Fulga said to the media, and then he explained that the metamodern philosophy is a question of what comes after postmodernism.
Then he added, ‘’We are more facilitated now with things that are digitalized… It has a global age message where everyone is more connected and we have more perspective on what is happening across the globe…. What metamodern now is to help us be more subjective to try to think of a common ground where we can entertain polarities and come up with something new, something creative as a challenge now.”
The latest technological trends, among many other industries, can improve the architecture, too. Fulga explained the application of the cutting edge tech in architecture, as the ecologically efficient solution that can cut lots of costs and increase the performance of smart buildings.
“You can simulate a lot to include fluid dynamics and circulation and how solar patterns affect the performance of the building, how you can manage energy load.”
Mars Ravelo Komik Museum
As the primary goal to promote the Philippines, the local arts and culture through comic enthusiasm, one of the first Mars Ravelo comic museum complexes will adorn Southeast Asia's Tagaytay City.
Inspired by the origami and the versatility of paper, Fulgar Architects managed to design several buildings, each characterized by unique flipping sheets and folded planes of structural panels.
''What we build affects all of us. What metamodern’s role here is to look at all these aspects—from sustainability, liveability, buildability, all of that—and try to come up with new forms with more technological innovations, to come up with better building designs that we haven’t tried before that could probably change how we live, how we interact with each other.''
It's obvious that such shapes and forms are hard to visualize. However, the best experts from Fulgar Architects always highlight and display even the most complex models.
“When you work with technology, you are able to visualize the project better because it can be, instead of looking at 2D plans you can actually look at 3D plans and you can section it, you can dissect it, you can walk through it – you could visualize the project better,” Fulga explained the importance of 3D visualization.
In spite of the Western influence in architecture, arts, and other art-related disciplines, Fulgar Architects managed to keep their traditional style, but they also introduced lots of new, modern elements.
Using the state of the art technological solutions and construction systems, they are creating stunning pieces of art. Each building designed by Fulgar Architects represents paper-like masterpieces made of the best solid materials.
From one angle, their architecture seems like origami, but on the other hand, you can see substantial art.
The bottom line
As creators of the period that arrived after post-modernism, we hope that their idea will spread around the world and help designers, architects, and engineers learn how to stick to their tradition, concurrently adding unique innovations.
So, that leads us to the following conclusion: if you manage to mix architecture, engineering, information technologies, and art – the results will change architecture as we know it.
The entire idea of metamodernism sounds ideal, just like the Utopia of the 21st century.
What do you think about Fulga's metamodern elements? Let us know in the comments.