Roanna Reyes (Architect)
What Comes To Mind When You Hear The Word 'Life'?
Life for me is experience and continuous discovery. Experiencing the world, your surroundings with all your senses.
Life is a system of processes, self sustenance, growth, feeling, learning.
Life is painful, exhilarating.
What Do You Think Your Purpose Is?
My motivation, my purpose is to provide for my children as well as to always keep myself and my loved ones happy…it’s a challenging purpose but that’s what I aim for everyday, every second.
I started my architecture firm because I wanted to create structures, to express my creativity, make my drawings, my designs come to life – this makes me fulfilled, purposeful.
These are the elements that connect to achieve my purpose.
What inspired you to be an architect?
Besides my parents being both architects, both being a big part of my career inspiration- I always loved to draw, to sketch and doodle and to dream, to visualize.
I would sit beside my dad whenever he worked and drafted on his big architectural drafting table, I would watch him draw those lines, the trees, the structure itself, the people, the pen strokes, the colors he used, I was mesmerized.
My mom was a professor, she was the first female dean of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts in the University of Santo Tomas, she taught me how to be resilient in a then male-dominated profession, to be strong and to always know my worth and never to give up.
The strength, the passion from my parents, and the creativity - this never-ending thirst for conception- guided me to my chosen profession.
Today, I am continually inspired, motivated. It’s a feeling of wanting to explode. There are some days where I wouldn’t know what to do when I have all these ideas running in my brain, I couldn’t even draw because there’s just too much.
I clean my house, organize my closets, walk outside, meditate, drink wine… then when my thoughts are calm, I write, I draw, I sketch… I believe that when there is no chaos around you, that is when you can think clearly.
Do you consider your designs as a parallel universe or do you try to stay grounded in your own reality?
That is what I love about design. You can start conceptualizing from nothing to everything to anything. Of course, we need to come back down from our flying imaginations when we need to put our design on paper.
I always consider my clients’ requirements, opinions, budget and concerns. Architecture, design, is not just about conceptualizing something, it is problem solving, learning how to articulate the space you are creating into the built and natural environment, it is a process.
Therefore my designs are not entirely as a parallel universe or dimension but there is a part of my alternate reality that I share, the part of my DNA that I provide with a touch of imagination.
What do you think of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead?
I believe that book isn’t just about the architecture world but about pride, ownership, stubbornness and at the same time integrity. Comparing the characters, the protagonist against all the other men in the story shows how the world then and now perceives success.
It’s heartbreaking, really. I think about it all the time… what does it take for people with integrity - honest, good hearted business people to succeed? Do we need to play the game of pretentiousness in order to get up there?