On architecture, meditation and books

Before the lockdown, Dumaguete-based architect Ned Carlos and his family had the opportunity to travel twice a year and see iconic buildings designed by world-class architects.

His favorite so far is Taipei 101, where his family got to experience the skyscraper from top to bottom. His kids enjoyed drinking coffee in the tallest Starbucks (35th floor), and Ned saw a real structural shock absorber (88th floor) that keeps the former tallest building in the world from tilting.

After a slow year of pandemic season, Ned has apparently started filling up with architectural works again. McNeloy’s La Cavitena was Ned’s first completed project in Dumaguete City. The restaurant’s modernist interiors vetoed ideas of the province’s ubiquitous Spanish design as a derivative of European styles and focused on designs that complemented current industrial materials.

Since then, the Dumaguete City architect has built a reputation for high-level modern architecture in Negros Oriental and during his 20-year career in the city, Ned has pioneered the development of a new style modern Negrense architecture.

In his spare time, however, Ned likes to meditate and read books, and he sporadically helps his daughter Meya write articles for her school newspaper. Ned relished reading timeless classics like Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’, Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ and Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’.

“Reading lets your imagination run wild,” said the architect, “especially if you can’t travel, but writing puts your imagination into practice.”

Speaking of family, Ned and his wife Menell are considered well-known architects in Dumaguete City and Guihulngan City (Menell’s hometown in Negros Oriental), but they prefer to maintain a slightly private lifestyle. The couple have a 15-year-old son named Don, and one piece of advice is for his son to become an architect, just like his father.

Moreover, the architect Dumaguete has a huge passion for painting, and perhaps he will unveil his own artistic career after dangling his drawing tools.

“I have always loved painting since I was a child and I loved the works of Van Gogh, Picasso and Amorsolo”, enlightened the architect. “Without the paste, I would be a painter.”

Finally, the architect has previously emphasized the rank of meditation in his life as well as in his career, confident that it helps him to preserve his concentration.

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