ICOMOS Philippines Open Forum Series

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PEOPLE, PLACE AND CULTURE SHAPING THE ARCHITECTURE: Cases of Nepal and the Philippines

In celebration of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, ICOMOS Philippines and ICOMOS Nepal collaborate on a talk that explores how climate change affects each country’s vernacular heritage. As vernacular heritage is a product of local climate, topography, culture and locally available materials in the past, how will future climate hazards – changing temperatures, rainfall patterns, winds, drought, flash floods, wildfire, storm, landslide, etc., have a larger impact on the site?

Two cases from each country shall present how the place of origin, climatic condition and the culture of the people living in the area has shaped their architecture. The speakers discuss how the vulnerabilities might manifest (rising damp, changing landscapes, loss of roofing, for example), how sites have adapted to keep resilient, and what other interventions we should be planning for today to secure sites for the imminence of climate change.The talk will take place on Monday, April 18, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rdOCupjMvH9xxMOoBKIRGDfJI8v-iHQmk

Speakers for “Color Matters”, an event for National Heritage Month

In celebration of National Heritage Month,  ICOMOS Philippines explores the theme of color. Color is a large contributing factor to its aesthetic value, and to a site’s authenticity- often evidenced by popular  uproar when a historic site is restored with a different color.

ICOMOS Philippines examines color within the broader context of preserving authenticity in heritage. The materiality, symbology, and historic significance of color, from the global to local contexts will be discussed, including practical applications of restoration of colored renders and paint finishes. 

Late May; Date & Time TBD

Leandro Poco gives a historic introduction of the historic significance of color in urban planning and architecture (e.g., use of color in Antiquity such as Greek and Roman statuary and temples, color schemes in Cycladic Islands, colors of Spanish-era colonial settlements such as Vigan, theory of Brutalist finishes, corporate identity color schemes, etc.).

This talk introduces the color and materiality of human settlements and cities using the lenses of history, contextual geography, and socio-economic conditions. It expounds on how color and materiality are not just forms of artistic expression, but, when combined with an understanding of underlying factors, have a deep cultural and contextual meaning that add depth to our understanding of the built environment. One can trace the thread of color and materiality as it starts out as a consequence of geographical context, achieving the height of craftsmanship and expression within local communities. This then moves into the commodification and homogenization of materials into the industrial age of international modernity, wherein increasing production, global trade, and post-ww2 ideologies bring about changes to production and the adoption of a more global (less local) identity. Leading into how the current age of mass market capitalism and branding, suburbanization and corporate enclavization of cities has led to the increased need for mass-customization of materiality and colors to stand out in a public sphere where brands and identity dominate for eyeballs and influence. The aim is to enlighten while presenting, enlightening, and poking fun  at our pre-held conceptions on color in the urban sphere, and make us aware of the subtext of color and materials in our built environment.

Christian Aguilar gives an overview of the use of colors in history from Antiquity via the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and Baroque to the Present. He will then discuss materials (pigments, binders, and admixtures); application (surface treatments, layers, technique); and details (protection, maintenance). Aguilar  discuss the use of colors in restoration projects (case studies of Sta. Ana Church, Pasig Church and San Agustin Churches; the Intramuros walls) and the challenges faced in the Philippines in implementing proper restoration practices. The talk will conclude with a brief overview of contemporary applications of colors in the Philippines discussing challenges and commonly made mistakes. 

Erik Akpedonu will discuss the symbolism of colors in various cultures (e.g., mourning colors in East Asia, Europe, and West Africa) and their application in the built environments of, for example, in Europe and China (Feng Shui). He will discuss the psychology of color in Architecture and in Interior Design in particular, as well as the ecological aspect of proper color choice for ecologically-appropriate color schemes.

Color is a fundamental aspect of how we perceive our environment and has a profound impact on our psychological well-being. Given their powerful effects, colors the world over have been employed to symbolize specific concepts, ideas, and feelings, such as joy and mourning, power and purity, good and evil, aggression and peace, and many more. How colors are used in architecture varies from culture to culture, be it the manifold symbolic meanings of color in Chinese traditional architecture based on geomancy (Feng Shui); the vibrant colors of Bolivia translated into contemporary buildings, or the geometric patterns of sub-Saharan Africa. Perceptions of color are likewise influenced over time by notions of ideology, power, and manipulation, ranging from the colorful emotional extravaganza of the Baroque via the monochromatic rationality of Neoclassicism and the controversial color debates surrounding Classic Modernism up to the present free-for-all of Post-Modernism. Finally, our natural environment influences our choice of colors, be it the blue-and-white schemes of traditional Greek houses, the colorful dwellings of Scandinavia, or the earth tones of traditional clay architecture. Given its strong psychological and symbolic impact, colors also play a vital role in interior design, where they are used in a wide range of combinations to visually reduce or enlarge space, add or remove light, and create the desired ambience depending on the target audience. Finally, color`s physical aspects can be put to good use at a time when Global Warming increasingly calls for designs that use color to aid in passively cooling or heating buildings, creating a sustainable architecture for the 21st century.

Press Release: ICOMOS Philippines official membership to the Stakeholders’ Chamber on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)

Photo from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines has officially become a member of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Stakeholders’ Chamber on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The NEDA Subcommittee on Sustainable Development Goals inaugurated forty-two (42) member organizations from various sectors dedicated to upholding the SDGs in the Philippines.

The Stakeholders Chamber is a platform for the Government to engage Non-Government partners to improve coordination, alignment and understanding, resource management, ownership and facilitate the emergence of well-aligned partnerships for the achievement of the SDGs. The Chamber is the avenue for policy dialogue, stakeholder mapping, increasing awareness and support for the SDGs. The Philippine National Committee of ICOMOS is the sole member of the Chamber whose global expertise works for the conservation and protection of cultural and natural heritage worldwide. ICOMOS is an advisory group of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and ICOMOS Philippines also holds a seat on the National Committee on Monuments and Sites, of the National Commission of Culture and Arts (NCCA).

The membership will be effective  for the Fiscal Year 2022, and subject to renewal. The Board of Trustees appointed Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG)’s EnP. Marybeth “Chen” R. Mencias as its Permanent Representative. Ar. Harvey Vasquez and Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales as the Alternate Representatives of ICOMOS Philippines.

Photo prepared by ICOMOS Philippines

EnP. Mencias represented ICOMOS Philippines during the Pledging Ceremony last April 7, 2022, Thursday, at Aboitiz Equity Ventures Head Office, NAC Tower, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Photo from EnP. Marybeth “Chen” R. Mencias

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fellow representatives Ar. Harvey Vasquez and Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales attended the Pledging Ceremony remotely.

To know more about NEDA’s initiative, kindly visit this link.

Click this link for more information on ICOMOS Philippines and SDGWG

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ICOMOS Philippines established the National Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG)

In January 2021, ICOMOS Philippines appointed National Representatives to ICOMOS International SDGWG eventually establishing the National Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG PH). At present, it is now composed of ten (10) ICOMOS members. 

The Sustainable Development Goals Working Group of ICOMOS Philippines (SDGWG PH) coordinates ICOMOS response to the 2030 Agenda, through advocacy, policy, and localizing of the SDGs. SDGWG PH looks into the important role of culture and heritage as a driver and enabler of the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. It believes that Culture and Heritage supports the achievement of all the 17 SDGs. The linkages of Culture and Heritage starts at Target 11.4 to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage to make our cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, but it also enables the achievement of various SDG targets. This belief is anchored from the ICOMOS International Policy Guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals

SDGWG PH through the PAMANA 2030 (Heritage 2030) Campaign aims to develop a policy guidance document to localize the “ICOMOS International Policy Guidance document for Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals” from 2021 to 2023. 

TEAM, 2021-23: 

Ar. Kenneth Tua  is the Policy Guidance Manager / Task Team Coordinator. With him as Task Team members are LAr. Gabriel Caballero, EnP. Chen Reyes-Mencias, Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales, IDr. Mylene Lising, Ar. Harvey Vasquez, Ar. Claudia Isabelle Montero, and LAr. Cris Justine Ugalino, and as local members are: Ms. April Dopeño and Mr. Nicanor Germono.

Know more about the people behind the ICOMOS Philippines SDGWG: