Growing up, I never saw myself in the field of architecture and design. My fascination stemmed no further than my pubescent years when I first started obsessing over sims (cringe) and definitely no broader than my collection of design magazines or knowledge for home demolition shows (to which my professor later corrected, was an inaccurate idea of the profession) which technically speaking, leaves me back to square one. I absolutely had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was only until junior high when I was faced with the hard-hitting question: what did I want to be when I grow up?
“A business degree is always a good choice,” my mother prompted as I jotted away on my college forms. Business was okay. Business was safe. I thought to myself that if it was anything I wanted to do in life, it was far from safe. Far from routined. I’ve always dreaded the idea of settling. “Or engineering?” Oh god, no. But we are getting somewhere, mother dear.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and to say that the college program I ended up with was accidental is quite an overstatement. I’ve witnessed people whose life has been singlehandedly planned out for them and I’m one of the lucky few whose life has yet to be figured out. And for a 16 year old, it didn’t exactly feel like luck then. It was a terrifying process.
Now that I’m years into the study and have appreciated architecture and interior design to more than novice ideas, it’s in moments like this, when I’m out of the school environment and surrounded by actual manmade wonder, that I begin to rekindle my love for it. And I say rekindle because university life isn’t precisely a walk in the park.
My recent stay at Nobu Manila was stellar — not for the 5 star amenities, or the Natura Bissé toiletries (and true to the asian stereotype, I’ve packed away to checkout), or the perfectly fried katsu we ordered for room service (okay fine, the katsu had me sold) but for easily bringing zen sensibility, minus the stark white and same old tired geometric clichés, contrasted by a beaming gold facade that could’ve easily fallen short if it hadn’t been done right. But thank the lord, it was done right. This is modern architecture. This is modern zen. This is not your run-of-the-mill minimal.