Honoring the Filipino Legacy: Integrating
culture and heritage into Workplace Design
3 October, 2022, Sombat Ng
Remembering the Filipino culture, heritage, and designing with Filipino pride is the legacy that partners IDr. Karen Calalec, Co-Founder and Director of Paperspace Philippines, and IDr. Loubelie Gardiola, Vice President and Principal Designer of Lourel Development Corporation, would like to impart to the new wave of designers at the 25th Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition Worldbex last August 31 to September 3, 2022.
Legacy, Art, and Ecology
Communicating their legacy through art and designs, 28 interior design icons showcase their vignettes carrying ideas of their legacy, art, and ecology at the Interior Designer’s Gallery, World Trade Center.
Paperspace Philippines, in partnership with Lourel Development Corporation, built an experiential booth that took visitors through the timeless beauty of a Filipino designed workspace where sustainable materials are used and technology is integrated.
This seamless collaboration highlighted Paperspace’s core business in Workplace Design and Lourel’s expertise in Landscape Design by enhancing a simple work area into an inviting workspace where people can do collaborative or focus work.
The Filipino Culture, Heritage, and Pride
“We need to have Filipino pride with us and showcase our culture wherever or however we can. Our strength comes from our roots, and as they say, if we have a strong foundation, design wise or as a human being, we will never lose our way.” – IDr. Karen Calalec, PIID
Even though as designers with years of global experience, IDr. Karen and IDr. Loubelie always tries to look back into their roots as they create unique yet functional designs.
Putting Filipino culture, sustainability, and technology at the core of their legacy, they hope to empower young designers to build a strong foundation in expressing themselves.
In addition, they wanted to remind people that we only have one Earth with limited resources. As designers, they see it as their responsibility to be mindful of their designs and material choices.
“To learn about new technology that supports and creates alternative resources and educating our clients about it is our responsibility,” IDRr. Karen.
A Closer Look Into Our Booth
Capturing a timeless aesthetic that leads us back to recognising our culture, the Biophilic design concept increased the connectivity of users to the natural environment through the use of live plants — bringing the outdoors inside.
Sustainable materials that are locally sourced and are environmentally-friendly are used. All of the wood strips are upcycled materials from our builder which they used for the triangle patched wall accent, ceiling, central island seat, table, and bar tops.
The ceiling design is inspired by the Filipino weave “Solihiya.” It is usually used as a furniture backrest or seat because it allows for good ventilation and is perfect for the tropical weather in the Philippines.
The booth seats at the side can be used for quick meetings while the low and high seats are for focused work. Being surrounded by plants also helps in boosting one’s mood while working and allows rest for the eyes.
The flooring is representative of the Spanish Machuca tiles that were commonly used in the olden days from the bahay na bato (stone houses) to old churches. The design, however, was lifted and used as a vinyl tile flooring material.
Taking this Filipino design a step further, technology is integrated showcasing its deep connection with us in the modern world. By integrating 6 pieces of 55″ HD TV as a “full window,” LED lights, and power-saving equipment, we achieve a complete design that is “both modern and undeniably Filipino.”
A Virtual Reality (VR) program was also made available for the visitors to further immerse themselves and to walk through our previous Workplace Designs projects, which we have used in presenting to our clients to enhance their imagination as they walk into their future workspace.
Did you know that this collaboration area can be integrated into your office space?
Taken from a larger office set up where one can focus or collaborate other than the typical office desk, this area provides opportunities for interaction with colleagues and focuses on nurturing relationships between coworkers.
This setup is usually utilised for informal meetings, brainstorming sessions, and employee engagement sessions — perfect for organisations who want to transform into a Hybrid office and create a harmonious ecosystem within the office.
Renewed Sense of Filipino Pride
“We hope that there is a renewed sense of pride with the Filipino design,” IDr. Karen answered when asked about what she hopes the users have achieved by visiting the booth.
She added that she is proud that they were able to build the booth by being mindful of our limited natural resources and select sustainable materials while ensuring that the latest technology is integrated to show how it connects us with the world.
Paperspace Philippines and Lourel Development Corporation would like to thank #Wolrdbex2022 for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this meaningful exhibition. We’d also like to thank our partner and sponsors for their unending support in helping us to make this event possible.